Hearth Fires

Gabled roof faded red to gray,
tiled moss curled
against a century of winds
whistling to get in..  Thyme
and vines compete to claim their space.
Trod bare from barn to kitchen door
the yard wears its foot print paths
like welcome mats.

My mother’s grandmother
once tended wood-fed fires
that warmed this hearth and hearts
for miles around. I take a faded apron down
from hand hewn wooden hook, begin again
to knead the dough, to bake the bread,
to tend the fires that light our lives
and make this house a home.

Alice Drifts into Her Screensaver

 “ And so it was indeed: she was now only ten inches high, and her face brightened up at the thought that she was  just  the right size for going through the little door into that lovely garden..” (from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland)

                      A moment stolen from a hectic day,

No passion greater
than the senses touched, separately and at once.        In awe
she stood inside her head, remembering the greenest green,
emerald, jade and all the hues between.      The forest scents
waft in;  air and ground combine.    Nature’s sweet perfume
is beckoning.   In the midst of forest bliss,  a   waterfall sings
its song; the breeze joins in.      All creatures great and small
hum along.  Alice, noted for her taste for peace, sups deeply
of this brief repast, a grand refreshment.  Alas, life  intrudes,
but what a joy   to sense the textures of bark and fern,    and
feel the cat’s paw touch of sun.

A moment spent in quiet peace has the power to change a day
……………………..if we allow our cares to drift away


In the silence of a winter night
when even the stars are sleeping,
one imagines the joyful song
of a snowflake on its way from heaven,

or the sound of mist muffled
by the thick white counterpane…
Earth tucked in by a loving hand
and everyone, the laborer and the lazy,

exploring the hinterland of dreams.
No pin dropping, no feather drifting,
so quiet that even a pine needle
makes a thud

as it bumps into the pale glow
of a moonbeam
tracking the scratch
of my pen.

Autumn’s Eastern Shore

A sepia daguerreotype;
the flat fields, the stubble left over
from October’s second cutting,
the shocks of corn
like rows of teepees ,

Some see a morning monotone
but my eye
sees a thousand shades and hues,
a palette unmatched
by any mortal hand,

O beautiful bronze of autumn
when you are gone
the year is all but done;
in spring the clover
will bloom again.

The crocus and the daffodil
will decorate new green
but my soul still finds its solace
on the Eastern Shore
in autumn.


The sun still shines;
Even at a slant it sustains.
It’s true, the buds have burst,
bloomed their best. Now
beauty has faded but underground
there is the promise of return.

Ash and oak  and spreading chestnut,
the maples most exuberant:
They know the drill, know
the disappointment of leafy canopy
stripped bare. They do not quit
nor do they slink away to shadow.

Even the fragile ferns, bent
by the wind, endure to praise the tempest
for the spores it spreads, and the brook,
ever joyful with its song, gurgles
beneath the crusty ice
throughout the season of freeze.

Each October, it looks as if the lilacs
are gone forever; each spring
they bloom again. To everything
there is a season. Whether we believe
or not, they will return. Such is the love
of our Creator.