One by one,

One by one,
winter lifts its long fingers from the deep freeze
where they have grown, collecting crystals
month by month

with its diamond file
sharpens them precisely then slips out to
test an edge on the skin of our necks
and back it goes

sitting in the shimmering dark
wearing the glimmer of a smile
as it hones and shapes, and the wind
comes calling

~~~

Small offerings

The night’s small offerings to the road
are easy to lift: wrapped in a leaf
or carried on a bier of two stout twigs
an empty drink cup in the ditch will do
if a scoop is needed

Their still, often neat bodies
of feathers and beaks
of claws and fur
tiny red stick legs and translucent wings
or simple uncoiled lengths
finally agree
to settle
deep into the long grass
and wait for the seasons.

But some
if I come too late
cannot be pried from the asphalt
black as a clean slate
they are too small
the load that felled them
too exact:
these, after a few soft words, I leave
their diminishing flesh and precise skeletons
recording history

~~~

My sleep is like

pearls
on a worn string

slipping down the line from one
hour to the next

of jewelled slumber but in between
a frayed cord of anxious waking,

hot turning, grasping for a lifeline that
my sweaty touch disintegrates, dreams

clattering to the floor
and here I am again, awake

~~~

The fabric of the world

in the hammock
in the shade
in the clearing
in the woods

with me
a small mosquito, two birds nearby
a shushing wind

the bleats of sheep
car on the road
woodpecker knocking:
rooster crows

30 feet above my head
four maples meet and swing their greens
in a blue sky the sun shines through,
a dappled pattern on my knees

the buzz of bees
the smell of hay
in the hammock
in the shade

the fabric of the world
envelops us
in the clearing
in the woods

~~~

Rounds

last night I ignored
the full moon
did not dance
as she sang
in rounds, stayed under
the lamp watching flickering
figures move in blue
light, watching black
words dance on a white
page but
this morning when I woke she
was still there, hanging
among the tallest branches
waiting
to say goodbye

~~~

Hot or cold

I don’t want to post only my happy poems, but when I read I do not always want to be dragged into the muck of someone else’s fear without warning. Warning: This is my fear. Wear your tall boots.
Love,
Ellen

~~~

How does anyone sleep
through global
warming
how did we sleep through the cold
war

I twist in my hot
bed and still the rain
has not come

Then we would freeze
to death now
we will fry
the rivers
dry and the animals
and grasses shrivelled
around us

I have made
a million mistakes I
have made a lake of sweat
an elegy
to the ocean planet

~~~