Friday, April 29, 2005

Tell me to stop

I am reveling in exploring your poems and thoughts,
getting a measure of bredth and limits --
but ever drawn to post and share
and expand 'till someone tells me to stop!

For I am a storyteller;
and I find myself
phrasing each speech, announcement or lesson
in a peotic form -- or lyric verse --
broken into 'thought bites'
for nibbling rather than gulping
or sipping -- never gusling,
hopefully singing to one's soul
instead of jumbled mind
or sorrowed heart,
or joyfull distraction.

Try this 'story' -- poetry or no??


Red Clover Creek is unknown to most;
forgotten, never found --
only about 30 miles long.
Start with the mingling of nameless tiny streams --
empty into the languid Indian River,
both ends reachable only by terrible dirt roads --
best unknown.

Camp about half way down --
decide to explore.
Travers side slopes so steep -- brush covered;
only travel by hopping from rock to rock,
sometimes backtracking to find a better route.
Find at places the Creek is only about twelve feet across and a foot deep;
at others perhaps thirty feet wide and only a couple of inches deep.
Hummocks of Red Clover poke up
here and there
like hairy basket balls -- don't step there.

Then a miracle!
The walls change to high rock cliffs.

At the base is the most perfect swimming hole ever.
A natural basin formed by churning granite boulders on the softer shale.
It is perhaps thirty feet across and twenty feet deep.
Giant boulders around allow a dive of up to ten feet,
or a run down a natural water slide.
There are smaller pools also,
where I can sit with only my head exposed,
while tiny waterfalls tinkle in my ears --

hear the music of the snow.

Thus I was pleasantly escaping the heat when she came.
A silent small doe.
Look carefully around -- silence.
Perhaps she mistook my head for a hummock
and the rustling water disguised my scent and breathing.
I just sat emersed there, half awake -- half dreaming.
She straightened up!
Suddenly a young women -- sort of.
Incredibly beautiful -- I won't attempt to describe.
Yet she was covered with downy fur -- pale gold.
She dove into the waiting pool
and I could only see her occasionally as she swam and frolicked.
I dare not move.

Finally she got out and climbed the rocks to stretch in the sun.
Then, with a graceful shimmer -- a doe again.
She took her time re-entering the woods,
nibbling grass as she climbed -- then gone.
I cannot believe I was asleep in the cool water --
neither can I accept that I was awake.
Either way,
it is memory that will never leave me --
just as it should be,
in Red Clover.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Found Green

A new friend here suggested the beauty of the Tennessee mountains
as a replacement for the distant peaks of my youth.
I muse a bit this morning, and am not sure of the limits of what
y'all consider poetry, but ...

in a few minutes of frenzy -- this is what you get.


Those borne easy
in the embrace of nature found in Tennessee
may not appreciate or offer prayer
for the grace of green I may feel.

Life in the high desert of my birth
has advantages
of pristine air, shuddering sunsets
and star stretch you have never seen, but…

The soul knows
when it is separated from communion
with the vibrant daily message of Mother Earth
in response to both shine of sun and draw of Mistress Moon.

It is simple --
life on Terra is meant to be green;
after all, old man Sol is a green star you know
(if you didn't, your DNA did).

And every plant that you love or curse
is simple energy of this blessing
changed into a form to provide food and pleasure.

As love defines our spiritual existence,
green defines our capture here --
or chance perhaps, to model love and life.

When I first visited here in September of 2003,
I penned this short piece,
playing on KNOXville and the immense greenery seen even then:

Green Tendrils of Ivy Knox

Oh, Ivienoch, bound home of Emrys.
Who can doubt the presence of Light
in such a green-lush and quivering cathedral?
A moment of prayer and thanks?
Of course.
A lavish bed for a brief nap?
Ah, could it be;
but I dare not allow moss and vine
overgrow my purpose.

But I will sit awhile.

Now I sit at Sakin'el, (Silent Breeze)
completely smothered in leave and vine --
hemlock, lilac, spruce and ivy.

Every window calls to me,
each bird a reminder of a tree branch,
the morning mist a slow unveiler of untold splendor.

In this, each dawn brings a reminder
of our own daily rebirth in love and purpose and dream.

please be green with me … Happy Spring to you all.


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Following the Green

Green Time

following this theme -- written last year

There was a time in high desert Spring
when I yearned to make grass grow green,
and hurry the kiss of early sunrise.

Then languid summer chores would set in.
I prayed for power to halt the grass
from growing ever into fun and play.

Later on in the Spring of my life,
a most sweet faire maiden taught me well
that the grass is always green somewhere.

Now, more of mind of past falling leaves
as memories to cover shortened lawn,
I am content as She does the work.

May the Goddess nurture rebirth seeds
and Father entice their height on high,
and Mistress tears feed their rightful place.

I now worry about teaching birds
to sing to the tinkling brook and thee;
with my new love ever by my side.


Following the Green

(Facon’s song got me dancing . . . and, you know, the whole world is suddenly, completely GREEN! Pi started this one . . . she said she was going up the eastern seaboard “following the green.” Singing words that beg to dance! What is a person to do?)

She went down to the meadow in morning
To wash in the sweet, honied dew
She went up to the hawthorned hill side
Where the oak and ivy grew
She danced on earth, she danced on air
The bright pathway than ran between
With flowers wreathing her flowing hair
Joyfully following the green

Following the green in the dawning
Following the green until noon
Following the green in the twilight
Following the green ‘neath the moon
Following the green she went dancing
Following the green where it spills
Following the green through the deep wood
Following the green to the hills

She went down to the meadow in morning
And since she has ne’er been seen
She danced off to a land of enchantment
Joyfully following the green

©Edwina Peterson Cross

We interrupt

We interrupt
your regularly
scheduled day
to report
the mackeral sky
is illuminated by a sun
that has not
yet arrived,
but is progressing
at impossible speed
along the planet's surface.
The coral, teal,
and gray hues
remind some observers
of their families
or of a childhood home
and a late spring
day just before
school vacation
was to begin,
when the boy or girl
in the fourth grade
produced a shy kiss
from an interior pocket
which also held
licorice whips and the chains
of cherry-flavored
Luden cough drops,
stuck together
like carbon atoms
attempting to form anthracite
which will color the sky
at evening
when you reflect on
the nature of this kiss
and all that it bodes
for an unimagined future.
We return you now
to your daily activities,
already in progress.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Memory in the Meadow

Welcome faucon!

Welcome faucon of Sakin'el, Bard of the word! What bright beauty you bring to this place! Your words sing, they soar, they make my heart happy and my soul dance! Your flowing, joyous poem made me think of a painting of a little ghost I once knew. I am so glad you have joined us, I am looking forward to hearing more of the music of your words. ~ Winnie

Down and Out

The girl danced barefoot in the meadow
and knew that the grass
enjoyed the stroking as much as she.
Down came the silt with the floods of spring.
Down came the stalks of last year's growth.
Down spread the roots of the summer thistle.
Down lined the nest in the matted rush.
Down came the veil of self-deceit.
Down came the rain of pure rebirth.
Oh, come down, down to me.

He wiggled his toes at the point of ebbing surf,
caught in a guessing game
bound to the pulse of the moon.
Out went the churning foam,
now fresh with a trickle from the mountain stream.
Out went the compressed sand
seeking balance with stretch of beach.
Out flew the shadow from the pinnacled stone.
Out went the blistering heat from his uncapped brow.
Out went the anger from his eyes.
Oh, out, out goes the anguish from me.

They hopped the shaky rocks beneath the cataract,
a feat that cannot be done alone.
Up rose the blinding mist from the crashing spray.
Up smashed the roar of defiant escape.
Up drifted the heady scent of waving fern and hidden moss.
Up swelled the yearning in their youthful hearts.
Oh, up, up is my need for you.

They lay silent in the speckled
patches of sunlight allowed
by the swaying branches
of the cedar canopy above.
Through came the shafts of golden delight
to caress her swelling breast.
Through came the tender breeze
to cool the ardor of aching limbs.
Through filtered the song of birds
and fairies and pixie prance.
Through came the throbbing beat
of Mother Earth 'neath the needled carpet.
Through came the gift
of the Great Spirit near by.

Oh, all through,
and new is my love for you.

faucon of Sakin'el


I have lost the map
to my self. I am lost
in a river.
Lost in a forest.
Lost in mountains
of disregard.
I wander behind
my own eyes.
I listen to
my own speech
as if it were
the call of a bird
thought long extinct.
I study the face
in the mirror, read
the runes of its smile,
its frowning storm.
I realize that
I do not know this language.
There is no stone
which translates
from my eyes
into the coins of breathing,
the small change
that reads my palm
and vanishes
like the gypsy heart,
like the morning's
pale moon.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Green waiting

Forgiveness is like
the pearl clot
of cloud and
mist that melts
in front of
the April sun.
It is not that
something is hidden
away or disguised.
It transforms itself
into the earthy
smell of humus,
where the jack-in-the-pulpits
grow. This green
waiting is a forgiveness
as well.
And a giving
of thanks. For
the shell of
winter and the wanton
warmth of desire foretold.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lily of the Incas

Peruvian Lilies

They awake to the sound of water
Inside each clear green sheathe
Energy stirs from quiescence
As beauty begins to breathe

Long steams wake from wilting
Like dancers prepared to fly
Stretched up, extended open
They lengthen toward the sky

A hundred glowing faces
Incandescent, full of light
Flushed like silken fire
Elemental second sight

Flower of the Inca’s earth
Ignite like fire’s flare
After drinking deep of water
Flourish up into the air

Abundant, breathing beauty
This living work of art
Lifts me with them to the heavens
Where they fill my soaring heart

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Still I Miss You

I've other friends that care,
Many people to laugh with.
So many give gifts of love,
And share reasons to smile.
Still I miss you.

There are others I can turn to,
Comfort is easily found now.
Never again to be all alone,
No more to fear no-one cares.
Still I need you.

Other men would call me theirs,
Making no bones of their desire.
Wishing to be part of all of me
And drink deeply of my passion.
Still I want you.

I know that "We" will never be,
Yet my sweetest dreams are of you.
Knowing your touch, voice, and passions,
Is a longing that will never leave me.
Still I love you.

Despite the known impossibilities,
Knowing that it holds such hurt.
I cannot say nay to my feelings,
Or turn my dreams to other than you.
Still my heart's yours.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Smoke and Mirrors

It is always less than it appears

I’ve walked this slender line for years
I stilled the spinning of the spheres
Painted bright to still my fears
Empty cups to hold my tears
Words all written in arrears
Lemon ink that disappears
It’s always done
With smoke and mirrors . . .

Edwina Peterson Cross

Maya's Rainbird



“The power of illusion, false appearance
The veil that deludes the Divine . . .”
Not this Maya

Here is a shaft of clarified light
More real than any mirage of a dream
A bright lazar of understanding
Ceaselessly searching meaning
Seeking deeper, casting further
Questing clear

Between spiritual reality
And the physical world
Not a veil at all . . .

A lightening rod

©Edwina Peterson Cross

For Winnie

A sacred stone
found me
I dug it from earth
flew it sea to sea

place your hand on the stone
touch my heart

the stone flew away
and a white feather
rests in my palm
earth bound


African Sleeping Sickness

Image Hosted by

Over recent weeks I have spent dark days
Lethargically slumped
over my writing desk
I have been feeling dispirited and dull
My concentration has gone
and I am now prone
To frequent,
unpredictable mood changes

For days now I have felt indifferent
decidedly irritable and
if you so much as looks at me
I am likely to snarl viciously and
Aggressively demand to know
why, just because
I teach people to write
Everyone expects me to be an accomplished writer

What could someone
With a banal daily life like mine
Possibly have to write
In verse or prose for that matter?
Of what consequence
Are my sporadic, deranged mutterings?
It has all been a façade, a masquerade
all done with smoke and mirrors

This proliferation, this sudden invasion of my organs
this debilitating infection of my brain has left me
suffering from a chronic, torpor
It is an effort even
to raise my pen
I am suffering from daytime insomnia
exhausted by periods of sleep-like unconsciousness
Fear I will slip into a deep coma
wither and die of sleeping sickness

Sleeping sickness?
First described in the fourteenth century
when Sultan Djata of the Kingdom of Melli
was stricken by a lethargy that killed him
Only methodical destruction
of the tsetse flies habitat
repelled the spread but now, centuries later
a fresh reservoir of blood lies unprotected

Only a vigilant mobile surveillance system
with specialized staff
using effective diagnostic tools and
improved field control strategies
Will repel this resurgence
control this vigorous strain of sleeping sickness
causing neurological impairment in
lonely writers and artists all over the world

Friday, April 22, 2005

The kingdom of sleep

In the kingdom of sleep,
the bowls of light are arrayed.
Dreams sit at their mythic table
and portend nothing,
playing with the purple tassels
that hang from the arms
of their black chairs.
In the harbor, a ship
is filled with memories
that will sink before dawn.
Gathered in amphora,
they will arise in the awkward future.
The king and consort enter the hall
bearing the perfume of sex
and the image of the sky.
They take their places,
awaiting the daily pleadings
written into a map
that shows the empty spaces in a day.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Welcome Pi!

Welcome Pi! Tea and Pi, Talasa, Lady of soft, beautiful poetry that sometimes has a spine of steel; worker of words that follow piping, questing sea birds into other realms. Reading her words, you will find yourself enchanted, wandering on the other side, where beauties burn and thoughts turn gold. You will return, only to find yourself astounded, clutching a myriad of meaningful images like a sacred heron feather, with wonder in your eyes. Welcome Pi! Welcome to this special place. Thank you for joining us and sharing your words.

~ Winnie

Let the mind roam

Mnemonsyne's children
cant be found
they hide themselves
close to home
in the brain
the count's only to twenty
if you expect
to win

Tomorrow we'll play
trivial pursuit
today the game's for real
a hide-and-seek
no clues
for this exercise

The stop-watch is set
for and early

Welcome Gwen!

Welcome Gwen! Who has been known to be a Shape Changer - she comes to us here as a poet whose work is full of strength, openness and an energizing honesty. We look forward to sharing your words, Gwen.

~ Winnie

(I think, however, that perhaps the green ink is not a great idea!)

Old Notebooks

She danced
In the shadows of the mountains
Up and down the long front room floor
Just as she breathed
She danced

She understood things she couldn’t explain
She knew the significance of things
Whispered on a deeper level
Almost, but never
Nearly, but not ever

She understood the sweetness of the marrow of life
She grasped the balance of time
She knew that Now was forever
She knew that Now was forever lost
She knew that Now could be saved
Distilled into something almost real
Preserved in glass bottles that
She knew enough to call
She knew that memory is an essence
A whisper, a shadow, a ghost
Whose footsteps are sometimes
Dipped in ink

She sought words
With her eyes unfocused
With a pen between her teeth
A suspended, ecstatic
Dance of desire
Then in a ritual
Ancient and tangible,
She put ink to paper
Caught those words
In nets of thought
Preserved them there
In webs of wonder

In the shadows of the mountains
She wrote
Just as she breathed
She wrote
She filled page after blank page
With essence
With marrow
With something almost real
That she knew enough to call

Wide ruled
Spiral bound
Still they hold
Sweet secrets
Suspended shadows

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Je me suis arrivez!!

Hullo Dears,
I am finally among the Live Poets. Here live rhythm and rhyme, meter and cadence. I shall do my best to make a worthwhile contribution to the talent and learning here. Hugs and kisses, Gwenguin

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

A house of oceans

Your body is a house of oceans.
Stepping in
from the shore, I can feel the tide
lifting the world.
Sad birds sing in the forest of your hair
An umbrella of wind opens
and all your flowers bend.
I search for you in your mountains.
My voice calls back to me
from the valley of your breasts
and thighs. I escape
onto the road of your neck
and throat and kiss the ground
with my steps, entering at last
with what is spoken at your ear.
What cities and nations,
what forests and rolling plains,
what curling streams...
what will you engender
in slow birth with love?

Opening the body's library

Opening the body’s library

A strange forest,
you cover yourself
with the modesty of wind.
Torrents of forgetfullness
and desire are the dark
tumult to your thighs,
a gartered waterfall,
a door ajar.
I imagine you speaking.
Your warm voice,
a library of volumes,
a century of reading,
the sighs
of the turned page.
Your arms prepare to open
like clouds above
the sun-warmed table
of your abdomen.
I am prepared to sit
amid your studious breathing
until all your knowledge
is my own.

Monday, April 18, 2005


In the glossolalia of every day,
a sacred mystery
is spoken into our body
and we speak its dialect
into the bodies of lovers,
into the waving limbs
of the ecstatic tulip tree,
into the childish laughter
of our accidental humor,
into the palms of mothers
and fathers and children.
We do not understand
our own native tongue,
but recognize the cadence of truth
punctuated by justice,
compassion and illumination.
The announcement of the future
flows from us like a river that leaps
from the ground as a spring,
fully born, muscular
and with all the determination
and portent of gravity.
In blue roils, it says
it is free of the past.

Throwing Bones

Never Say Never Again

Come and see the Aspen
Shining in the sun
Come and see the mountains
This story’s just begun
Come and see Will Shakespeare
Celebrated and prolific
Come and see the other side
Of the Great Pacific
Come and see Mount Shasta
Full of magic, spread with stars
We’ll sit up and tell tall tales
Drink red wine and smoke cigars
We’ll laugh and sing together
Of all the things we’ll see again
Never knowing where, of course
Never understanding when
We’ll cast the bones on the table
And read by the light of the moon
That there is no end to the universe
And the stars still shine at noon
We’ll look at the spring-time Aspen
And remember the things they’ve taught . . .
That life is an unknown shiver of joy
And we’ll say, “that’s what I thought.”

©Edwina Peterson Cross
(For Fran)

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Suddenly Spring

In the slender sunshine
My Aspen grove shimmers and shivers
With a sudden spume
Of tiny tatted lace
Blithe as a baby’s breath
Against the milky bones of boughs
An effervesce of exquisite edging
Citrine, celadon, chrysoprase, chartreuse
Greens so delicate they are almost sunlight

After millions of turnings, cycles of circles
Spring still comes with an indrawn breath
A enchanted, brief

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Saturday, April 16, 2005


I am enamored of the idea
Of honey
That essence that Ancient Egyptians worshiped
The sweet, significant tears of Ra
Amber made edible
Edible made beautiful
The sensuous, slow gilded dripping
That turns the bread of life from dry fact
To something tinged with dreams

I am enamored of
The creamy, sweet giving of wax
Cradling fire, drawing life back into wood
Smelling of secrets, of memories, of
Sweetness stolen from flowers

Stolen with bountiful, generous
Consent, a bright circle of giving and receiving
Pollen, bees, sunshine, water, earth
Fertile fields of singing color
Combs dripping with sustenance

I am enamored of the idea
Of honey
Because it is not necessary for life
Natures original, succulent sweet smile
That whispers:
“Have a little bit more.”

©Edwina Peterson Cross

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer

Life is a stage upon which we dance,
controlled by the strings of the puppeteers.

Law abiding citizens that we are,
we do what the strings instruct,
but who among us hasn't wondered
if what we're doing
is right for us,
right for our fellow travelers,
right for the planet?
Do the puppeteers always know to pull the right strings?
Or are they just restless beings like us?
Do they manipulate the strings the way they've been told,
to get the job done to their advantage only.

Think about it.
If he's not doing what is right for you,
rein in your puppeteer,
cut the cords and go your own way
with no strings attached.

Vi Jones
©April 16, 2005

Friday, April 15, 2005



Line my heart with river rock
Where water falls like bronzed glass
Warm brown rainbows of reflected sun
Dapple and shiver through the trees
Timeless sound of hush and wash
Pitched to the fluting of a meadow lark

Seal up my heart with river rock
Cascades spilling secrets
Clear with a silver shiver of fish
Eternity in a ripple
Alive, replete, abounding
Flowing into forever

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Cabinets de Curiosities (Wunderkammer)

Cabinets de Curiosities (Wunderkammer)
Effect of the Interesting


A cabinet of wondrous curios
A delightful collection
Carefully placed
Lying, seeming unconnected
Next to each other
Triggering memories
Permitting the mind to
Wander to faraway places

Scales, microtomes,
Drafting tools,
Magic lanterns
Antique candle powered projectors
Fine laboratory glassware
Vintage beakers, funnels, test tubes, crucibles,
Dessicating jars
And a one-off hand blown, baroque piece carefully stored

A pair of rare wax anatomical models
Crutches and callipers,
Arm braces,
Blood pressure meters
And first aid dummies
Antique botanical prints
Woolly mammoth hair
Spiny trilobites,
Skulls, fish and ammonites stored in labelled draws.

Butterflies mounted in Petri dishes
An Atlantis Moth
Whimsical and wonderful
Packets of seed,
Very old taxidermy birds, in excellent condition
Hand-made pills,
Patent medicines and toiletries.
The scent of human breast milk, swamp water and sex
Stored in tiny laboratory vials

All combine to fill
A purveyors
wonder chamber of
creative stimuli

Heather Blakey April 2005

What will your Cabinet de Curiosity look like?

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

He Is the Wind

Power in the four elements
Earth, Wind, Fire, Water--
There's only one I see
        with masculinity,
All macho and tough,
Needing to show off.
Trees shudder beneath his breath
As he sends high waves crashing
        across the distant shores.
Do not make him mad.
For in the form of tornadoes
He will act with a vengeance.
Destruction will then
        lie in his wake.
Yet true to form he will lose
His bluster in the end and retreat,
Leaving a calm in his absence--
        Who is he? He is the Wind.
April 2002

A Relaxing Haiku

This is for all you who love to melt stress and cares away with soothing scented bubbles.

Sinking into the heat
Lavender, rose and musk
Scented bubbles soothe
April 1, 2005

Aunt Jena's House

Aunt Jena's House

Ridgepole broken
joists barren and twisted

loosed gutters flopping
in a dry wind

old house

A rusted weather-cock leans
into the hollow

piles against the lean

ground gives way
under our tread

Why, I ask can they not bury
these bones
of my memory?

The tragedy of dawn

Erase the tragedy of dawn
with your delicate breathing.
Lift your arms
to let me enter
the palace of expiring maidens,
the home of clamoring awareness.
Undo the clasp that holds
the hyacinth perfume in a small box.
Let mountains arise in your imagining
and traverse them upon awakening,
as if they had belonged to you forever,
a gift from the emperor of time.
Those who arrange time,
have arranged it to display
all of your possible futures.
I am in all of them.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dr. Pierces

Just outside of Logan, Utah

Memory of an Old Friend

Vi, your words sent me searching for an old friend. When I went to “Google” to look for a picture of this barn, I put in the words “Utah” and “Barn.” I was overwhelmed by the number of beautiful, sagging old friends who I actually recognized - from all over the state. The painting is not mine, I found it on the web, but it shows the barn that stands just outside of my home town. It’s side was used, long ago, as an advertizement for “Dr. Pierce’s Favorite Prescription”, hailed, as you see, as “The Woman’s Tonic.” Indeed. It was full of opium and tremendously addicting, but it handled menstrual cramps, headache and migraine, PMS and other things that were wont to be referred to in those days as “The Vapors.” Dr. Pierce’s Tonic is no more, but the ancient advert remains, repainted when it threatens to disappear in the weather. The other picture is an actual photograph. Thank you for this memory, Vi!

She Was But a Barn

She Was But a Barn

She stood forlorn in a worn out field,
An aging, wrinkled crone.
Though unsung,
She rivaled the classic architecture of old Europe.

There were no signs or souvenirs,
No mention in a guide book.
No tourists flocked to view her,
She was but a barn.
Her history was hardly grandiose.
She was but a simple monument to the brave,
But ordinary folk
Who settled hereabouts.

Each winter, snow lay heavy on her roof.
Each spring she sagged a little more.
How many seasons could she have stood to tell
That some humble pioneer
Homesteaded there?

One morning when I walked that way,
A sign proclaimed development.
Eighty homes, a strip mall, and a filling station
Would replace my piece of history.

With swimming eyes, I climbed the fence
and walked on dry and crackling grass.
I entered through the double doors,
One hung precariously, the other down and molding into dust.
I stood in silent homage
To what soon would be no more.
Inside, weeds grew through the floor.
Old straw crumpled into dust in stalls where once horses rested.
Swallow nests in darkened corners, chirping music in the rafters.
Blue sky shone through gaps while
Dust filled God beams; searched for mouse tracks below.

She was alive that day.
Her old timbers creaked and groaned
As I sat, my back against a crumbling stall
And whispered my good bye.

I left that day with heavy heart.
She had been a friend so long,
seen each day as I walked by
In rain or shine, snow or freezing cold.
I took one last, long look, then, turned my back.
There was nothing I could do to help her.
She had no historic value,
Only architectural charm.
She was but a simple barn
Built by gnarled hands and sweat.

I walk that way no longer
Now that my friend has gone.

Vi Jones
©April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005


Milk writes its sad signature in a glass
through which the rest of your life is illuminated,
like a manuscript that has been labored over
and ornamented, driving one monk to madness
and three others to blindness.
This is not what you supposed or intended,
but it is what you read from your open palm,
from the way the sheets on your bed wrinkle,
from the prophecy of crows,
from the reading of leaves rotting into the earth.
Some day you may return here
to try to understand how it came to be,
but the elder stones will not discuss
their runes in the light of day.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


The Philosopher's Stone

I went in search of the meaning of meaning
Of turning base metal to gold
The philosophy of an Alchemist
To transform and transmute and unfold
Is it something real or imagined?
When you skin the idea to it’s bones
To reach your hands through forever
Seeking Philosophers stones?

I have felt the power of endurance
Of remembrance hallowed and long
I stood on the wind swept Salisbury plain
Amid power earth deep and time strong
The air, replete with forever
A silence that hollows the bones
I brought a prayer in my open hands
To the foot of the huge sacred stones

They scanned my body with echos
Drew pictures from bouncing sound
Amid the deep secrets of living
The waves danced in bound and rebound
They wrapped around my tissues
Slid right through my bones
And drew a portrait of bursting
A grave double handful of stones

In the woods walked a woman of power
Another stood ‘neath the blue desert sky
Through the trees a force whispered in calling
The singing energy of Wotai
An ancient blessing enduring as ocean
From the cradle of creation’s bones
Into my need opened hands
Fell the power of two perfect stones

I have found what I went off in search of
Though it isn’t just what I expected
The philosophical power of change
With prayer has been interconnected
I searched for an academic thought
Through ancient philosopher’s bones
But found something authentic and real
When I closed my hands on the stones

What came had nothing to do with thought
And everything with feeling
What came was not the key to gold
But the priceless gift of healing
I was flooded with hopes, prayers and wishes
And I soaked them down to my bones
The dross of my body began to change
I saw the truth in my searching for stones

What was given to me, was given
It wasn’t anything that I found
In my need it came to me as love
There is nothing on earth as profound
And the change has come, the Alchemy
That strengthens my muscles and bone
As I walk from healing into health
I have found the Philosopher’s Stone

©Edwina Peterson Cross

When all is said and broken
When all is said and done
When all the words are spoken
And the closing has begun
When all we know is ended
And everything comes still
When all thought has been suspended
And there is nothing to fulfill
When all the wishing’s finished
And all the trying’s past
When all has been diminished
And it’s all brought down at last
Wait for me by the back door
Don’t go on until I come
What was started once, forever
Can’t be left ‘til it’s been undone

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Friday, April 08, 2005

Poetry of Karol Wojtyla - Pope John Paul II


So many grew round me, through me,
from my self, as it were.
I became a channel, unleashing a force
called man.
Did not the others crowding in, distort
the man that I am?
Being each of them, always imperfect,
myself to myself too near,
he who survives in me, can he ever
look at himself without fear?

Girl Disappointed in Love

With mercury we measure pain
as we measure the heat of bodies and air;
but this is not how to discover our limits--
you think you are the center of things.
If you could only grasp that you are not:
the center is He,
and He, too, finds no love---
why don't you see?
The human heart--what is it for?
Cosmic temperature. Heart. Mercury.

The preceeding two poems by Karol Wojtyla were written while he was a parish priest and auxiliary bishop of Krakow. They first appeared in various Polish religious and philosophical journals under the pseudonym "Andrzej Jawien." Many years later they were collected and published in THE PLACE WITHIN - THE POETRY OF POPE JOHN PAUL II translation and notes copyright by Jerzy Peterkiewicz, Random House. Copyright 1979, 1982 by Liberia Editirice Vaticiana, Vatican City.

Over This, Your White Grave

Over this, your white grave
the flowers of life in white--
so many years without you--
how many have passed out of sight?
Over this your white grave
covered for years, there is a stir
in the air, something uplifting
and, like death, beyond comprehension.
Over this your white grave
oh, mother, can such loving cease?
for all his filial adoration
a prayer:
Give her eternal peace--
[Krakow, spring 1939]

(Karol Wojtyla)

Saturday's Satan

Saturday's satan appears
on the rolling horizon,
which is a vanishing road,
a wet line of blue and black
that distinguishes this from that
and here from there.
but hides the answers in small towns,
in the vacant buildings
beside the bus station,
in the eerily lit strip malls
in their October loneliness,
in the blue hum and pulse
of the suburban television
at 2:00 a.m.,
in the grey barn
struggling to stand.
From this journey
we take everything
and to it we give everything.
This road consumes everything,
leaving behind only the rusting
skin of ancient travel.

June charita

I push bare toes through long grass

Dandelions yellow the field
Orange lilies bend in the wind

A big green caterpillar with red spots creeps on a broad leaf
I bend over him and whisper
"You are going to be a butterfly"

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The 'Moors' of Utah

I always felt the winter cold like a knife

But told myself that the hours spent out on the moors
made me ‘rosy and strong’, just like Mary Lennox

Living forever inside a book,
running across the wind swept ‘moors’
of a snow covered Rocky Mountain playground

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Across a prairie field

My boots are heavy

I make deep marks in the snow
My sleigh is hard to pull

A speeding jack rabbit runs ahead
He shows me how easy it is to run
A rabbit has built- in snow shoes

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Lezlie & Taran

At ten
She rocked him to sleep
Walked the floor when he cried
Her small slender hands patting rhythms against his back
His tiny fingers caught in her curly hair

At twenty-five and sixteen
He towers over her
They dance, laugh, push and shove
Find each other delightful, obnoxious, hilarious

Their shared laughter paints the air
In bright bursts and showers
Softly padding the sharp corners of my not
Empty nest

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Cherita for Childhood

I liked to play by myself

I knew which trees talked,
and which just drank the wind.

The bark scratched my bare legs
as I nestled in their arms
Dryad in crinolines.

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Cherita, a fun form

Cherita for childhood

I tried to draw myself

A long time ago
I wore a parka

A parka is a pixie uniform
made by her mother
A parka makes angels into pixies

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Haiku of a Cat

The feel of warm, soft, sleek fur
The cat's meow

April 3, 2005

Sharing Light

Rivers, Bridges and Other Cliché’s

Thirty years later
I recognize your handwriting on the envelope immediately
Even without my glasses
You write to say
You are a Grandmother . . .
An unexpected gravity shift
In my mind, you are definitely
At incongruous angles with the word

I remember you holding the tiny newborn son
Who must be this baby’s father
When my own jigsaw childhunger was still
Unsolved, raw and throbbing
Even then, it was strange to me
How he fit so seamlessly in your arms
Yet had nothing at all to do
With the bright, fluid part of you
That belonged to me

A long, long time ago
The vivid, flowing beings that we were
Unclasped hands and stepped apart
And the years poured like a rushing river between us
Through all the years of motherhood
Those years of quiet joys and sleepless nights
We echoed and mirrored, but never quite touched
Drawing the traditional paper trail of
Christmas Cards and letters
Each signed at the end
With small, regretful handwritten

I know the tale of four grown children
Though, it seems they must belong to another someone
Someone who wears a metaphor of your face
Someone who poses in photographs with beautiful strangers
Someone who can’t really be you
You, on the other side of that wide, deep, flood
Inextricably wearing the name of

So the years disappeared underwater like slick, sudden weeds
In a flood, in a rush, in a flux, in a torrent
You are a Grandmother
I struggle with a body suffused with chronic pain
We are no longer the bright, graceful beings
We once were . . .
Here I stop
Close my eyes and smile
For it doesn’t matter . . .
It doesn’t matter . . .
At all
Time may flood and rage and flow
But memory is a bridge that is stronger than time
Built of forever; anchored firm in our hearts
The river is a symbol, an image, a cliché
I’ll tell you what is real:
Out there in time
There are two young girls
Driving around in the middle of the night

Two heads are tipped together
Chestnut, Gold
Cradling confidence; trading trust
Somewhere a full moon shines
On the clean, clear line of their throats,
Their heads thrown back in laughter
Somewhere two voices lace the darkness
Asking deep, intent questions of life
Never pausing to listen for an answer
So our bodies are growing old, and our eyes are growing dim
So we go another twenty years and our hands never touch
It doesn’t matter . . .
It doesn’t matter . . .
At all

In the deepness of a hushed summer night
An endless summer night, rich with the smell of honeysuckle and hay
We are forever sixteen
Savoring sips of sweet stolen darkness
Dancing forever
on the edge of light

©Edwina Peterson Cross,
( With Love, For Bertha )


Loss comes in many guises,
in the little bit of dying we do every day.
Loss is
when a best friend takes that final journey
and we remember all the good times we had
growing up, seeking the world together.
Loss is
the happiness I felt for her the day she married.
Loss is
the joy I felt for her each time another little one appeared.
Loss is
in the letters that spoke only of her family
and my responses, that spoke of mine and not me.
Isn't that how it should be?
Loss is
the Christmas card with photos
of her life so far removed from mine.
The greatest loss is
the formal letter from her grieving husband,
I'm sorry to have to tell you that my wife--
Loss is
in the words; my wife,
Could he not have said instead,
. . . your dear friend has passed away?

The memories of all the good times
come tumbling from the lockbox of my memory.
I live again the carefree times, before
our lives led us on separate paths.
Loss is
the little bit of dying we must do every day.

Vi Jones
©April 2005

Monday, April 04, 2005

Petals on a wet, black bough

1972: Ezra Pound is dead
I stand behind a slick yellow lectern
To lecture on Ezra Pound
I am younger than anyone in the room
I have pulled my hair back so tightly
That my eyes are slanted
I wish to speak of poetry and not of politics
Of this man’s ideas of imagism,
Lucidity and thrift of language
Chinese and Japanese language, moving figures
Concrete images without excess commentary
Physical analogies that exactly convey his meaning
Hard, clear, potent poetry, free of stilted and artificial
Language, meter, and imagery
Regard: the musical phrase,
And not the tick of the metronome

Either move or be moved.

Genius... is the capacity to see ten things where the ordinary man sees one.

Music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.

The book should be a ball of light in one's hand.

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough . . . and here I stand

Ezra Pound was born in Hailey
He died in Venice

My hair has come undone and has fallen in my hands
And all I want to do is dance

©Edwina Peterson Cross


I desire you
I want you
to notice
I want you to show me
I want you
to remember me
I want to see
myself reflected
in your eyes
I carry to you
all those others
who loved me
You give me life
and I bring
all that I am

I am all that I have been
I am all that I have touched
and you
are mine for I have touched you

Voices, Language, and Dialect

Voices, Language, and Dialect

I thought little about the voice of language or of dialect …
the millions of individual dialects
that identify with home and nurturing.

I had thought little of it, that is, until I returned
to Britain for a holiday after a twenty-six year absence.

The thought of a jet lagged induced nap sent us to bed when we arrived in London
in the middle of the day and after an all night flight from the West Coast, USA

I found myself on top of the bed,
in that luxury twilight zone, halfway between sleep
and wakeful consciousness.
It happened that day that there were a group of workman
outside our ground floor room,
and their voices carried--

It was music to my ears … this English English,
a far cry from the American English I had become accustomed to
during those twenty-six long years away.
The language and dialect heard that day
became the most remembered experience of my two week stay.

The dialects were London, Cockney, Liverpuddlian, Midland, and others.
Not yet the Welsh of my family upbringing -- that would come later.
The music of those mixed dialects, strong yet gentle British sounds,
stayed with me long after my holiday had faded into just one more of life's experiences.

What kind of man or woman cannot be moved by
the language and dialect of the land of his birth?
There is no sweeter music than that heard after so many years have passed.

Poetic nuances glided across the stage of my memory
as ballet dancers emerging from the wings of sound.
All this while I rested after a twelve hour flight.
I knew I had come home, if only for a short time.

Vi Jones
©April 3, 2005


I am a dark well.
A clear spring.
A running river.
A broad sea.
I am a tree
on the forest floor.
The red crumbling
of heart wood.
The new bud,
swollen with hope,
and the bursting
flower or leaf.
I am the silence
that follows the call
of a bluejay or a goose.
The noisy traffic beside the forest.
The stuttering of new leaves
in the first wind.
I am fallen words.
I am something new.
I am older than myself.
I am sleep in its solitude.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Widow's walk

If I could climb to the pinnacle
see across the yellow plain to waters edge
I ‘d to walk on white sand and dig
my toes into holes crabs leave
I want a sand dollar to take home
I want to stand beside you
and watch a bright sail cross the horizon

Someone has blocked the way and you are gone
You will not come again
I wait
I will wait for you until the last tide
washes your footsteps into the sea

On Truth and Beauty - Drinking Irony with Yeats

I like irony
It’s rather full bodied and rich, with a smoky note
It swirls ruby in the cup and smells of humor,
Albeit a little sour,
Kirsh/licorice, fruity and incongruous

There they stood this morning
Having nothing whatsoever to do with each other
Two words, two concepts,
Too universal, too pandemic
To relate in any sentient way
“Truth is Beauty, Beauty truth.”
Ponderous. Pedantic.

Then there was a sensual touch of thought
Breath on my skin; tangible and clear
Once again your woven words
Have brought everything
To a piercing point
Of recognition

Ah, Mr. Yeats, reach your hand through time
And join me in a cup of rich ironic red
Your words have lit and mapped my heart
Let us drink to the black beauty of this pale truth you tell
The sheer white truth of beauty’s deep, dark spell

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Earth in beauty dressed
Awaits returning spring.
All true love must die,
Alter at the best
Into some lesser thing.
Prove that I lie.

Such body lovers have,
Such exacting breath,
That they touch or sigh.
Every touch they give,
Love is nearer death.
Prove that I lie.

W. B. Yeats


Feeding Spring

Winter waxes and swells, until it becomes brimming full
Ravines and canyons swell to bursting
Bushes and boulders become nothing but vast, smooth mounds of white
Drifts of diamonds sift against a stretched scintillating skin of snow

But just at the fullest, most surfeited, mounding winter moment
Suddenly . . . comes a small soft relaxing sigh
Followed by a sweet shivered whisper of release
That first tingling thrill; the let-down of the enchanting flow of spring
Soon there will be surge and stream and gush and flow once again
As land wakes up hungry

But for now
There is no difference to be seen
The frozen shadows still lie blue on the silent snow
The cold wind still whips snow devils through ice engorged arroyos

An opulent moon rises like butter above a world of spun sugar
Suddenly, a white lynx, with eyes that mirror the moon,
Runs swift and silent across the empty, milky, moonlit snowfield . . .
A streaking shade of ghostly ground fog; a pale liquid whisper across the snow

In the dark of the pines at the other side of the meadow
She lashes herself with her tail and smiles
The hard, unyielding snow has turned to dreams of softness
The adamant ice has inhaled a short quick breath of green

The thaw has begun to let down
And soon a thankful world
Will begin again to

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Friday, April 01, 2005

Happy 1st of April from Midsummer, Gordon, Will, the Otter and me.

The Day of April's Fools

I bring you my Salon de Bebe Couch and my Hide and Seek Poem, in honor of it being the 1st of April. You know. I also send them out in true homage to the two terror’s who absolutely NAILED me with a April Fools Joke over at Fantasy Cove.
Gwen & Shiloh - Here’s to you! Just don’t get into the habit of these little tricks . . . I have a chicken and I know how to use it.

Hide and Seek Poem

There's a poem right behind my eyes
I think I almost caught it
If it hadn't slipped so slithery
I know I would have got it

One minute it is there
All bright and full and round
The next moment it is gone
Sucked up without a sound

If I could just get hold of it
My words would spin and sing!
But, are my fingers quick enough
To catch this cunning thing?

I will sit here untill midnight
With a bare, blank, empty head
And the dratted poem will pounce on me
As soon as I'm in bed!

©Edwina Peterson Cross

Life of the Party Posted by Hello

Life of the Party

I stood and I watched you that night from afar
Life of the party, the bright evening star.
Sweet innocent smile for a killer in jeans
Our own small town cheerleader, our own dancing queen.

Every word that you spoke seemed to linger on air,
Boys brought to their knees with a flip of your hair.
Bright social butterfly just flitting around
Had to take the dare that night, they couldn't be let down.

So I stood and I watched you still from afar
Life of the party, a Hollywood star.
The more that you drank the freer you were
So I sat back and thought, 'Oh I wish I were her!'

For all things seemed possible if I lived in your world
At just a glimpse of your smile opportunities unfurled
Slurred speech and flushed cheeks just could not cramp your style
Your friends stood right by, cheering you all the while.

They stood and they hugged you as you left the bar,
Ever the life of the party you got into your car.
With a smile and a wave you hurried home late
Not another thought given to your drunken state.

I stood and I watched you the next day from afar
Miss Sweet Sixteen, now a dim lightless star
Braindead and scarred when all was said and done
Another statistic of kid's wreckless fun.

Oh beautiful butterfly so broken you were
That I sat back and thought 'Oh, I'm glad I'm not her!'
Sweet innocent face not knowing this means
There will be a new cheerleader, a new dancing queen.

For it wasn't but days till the whole town would cry
As our own evening star fell down from her sky.
It was with heaviest heart the news had to report
The life of the party, came off life support.

Happy National Poetry Month

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

—from "Eating Poetry" by Mark Strand

The Fever Bark


Jungle fever
Dulls the brain
Weakened by exhaustion
I lie, wracked
Pale, emaciated
Red blood cells infected
By the protozoans of
dappled winged parasites.

Medieval catch all mercury
Leeching, purging
The horrid malevolent spirit remains
The blood-sucking parasite

Dressed in Cinchona’s laurel like leaves
Wearing a crimson gown
The fairest of Peruvian hand maidens
Harvests the Jesuit bark
Methodically grinding seeds
Into a bitter, colourless, amorphous powder
Amounting to the weight
Of two small silver coins

The fine bitter tasting
Popish powder
A powerful antipyretic
Given as a beverage
Mixed with lemon and lime
Soothes the blood-sucking parasite
And words flow

In Melbourne as in Lima

Heather Blakey April 2005

My Daughters - In Lithia Park

Darling Daughters

Clear, clean, ceaseless lights
In a world that has gone
So dark
Brilliant scattering of stars
Still you blaze
In strong, single constellation,
Though you are
Swept far and wide
Across a hungry
Star swallowing sky

And you are
The change
This dark world so needs
To see . . .
And you are
My reason for believing
In tomorrow

Darling Daughters . . .
The sweet shapeless sound
Of your mingling laughter
Fills Joy
To overflowing
Like wine into water
It has changed the color of

©Edwina Peterson Cross
March, 2005

My Mother's Purse

I feel a kind of shame
I shouldn’t speak out loud
In the face of horrors I’ve heard of
This shouldn’t be allowed

She spread the paper on her knee
Read the misspelled words
A smile lit her blithe blue eyes
Like Shelley’s skybound birds

“How beautiful your words are!
They fly! They dance They soar!”
Then she handed me new white paper
And urged, “Oh! Write some more!”

My poem would go inside her purse
And I knew just what that meant
She would take it out and read it
Every where she went

“Listen to this!” she would say
As she’d unfold it once again
“Can you believe the composition?
And the child’s not even ten . . .”

And I, with a white piece of paper
And thoughts of a thousand hues
Happily climbed the stairs again
To the arms of my waiting muse

Now she is nearly ninety
Her eyes still blue as birds
And still she is the greatest fan
Of my misspelled, wandering words

Would I weave them with such joy now
If she had sighed, “just go and play . . .”
If she had ever been too busy . . .
If she’d thrown my words away?

As it is, beware of saying
That you are interested in verse
Or you’ll see my mother smiling
As she opens up her purse . . .

©Edwina Peterson Cross