Bio Note: I live in Mays Landing near the Jersey shore. After my husband Bill Higginson died in 2008, I moved here from North Jersey to be near my daughter and family. I have been writing poems for decades and am grateful the muse is still finding me. I have been blessed to "meet" many fine poets in this V-V village, some of whom have become good virtual friends, and I cherish the memory of Firestone Feinberg who started our Village. My three most recent books are A Prayer the Body Makes (Kelsay Books / Aldrich Press, 2020); The Resonance Around Us (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2013); and Recycling Starlight (Mountains and Rivers Press, 2010).
Mid-January Dream of the World Without Us
On the greening grass, two scarlet leaves, fused by a smudge of leaf-mold at center, glisten with a trace of last night’s rain. In the cerulean sky, more clear than we remember, the sun bathes the Earth—announcing nearby star, provider of all life. We were negligent—foolish not to contemplate the heavens more often, or cherish fallen leaves in the ready chalice of our palms. Now a skein of blackbirds wheels and wheels far above the naked trees—a single bird-mind flinging it against the plum horizon. And water cycles through the clouds and seas, feeding forest life and fallow fields, carving canyons in ancestral hills. These have all endured, though we are done— these, and whatever else survived our blind meddling in their communal lives; survived our hubris in believing we alone were destined to inherit the Earth and the fullness thereof— we who now have lost the primordial garden.
Originally published in The Resonance Around Us, Mountains & Rivers Press, 2013
All the soarings of my mind begin in my blood. —Rainer Maria Rilke Toward dawn last night, my left ear on the pillow caught the slow beating of my heart, a calm, persistent whooshing in my skull. I shifted my position to lessen it a bit but still that steady rhythm kept me awake, tuned to the organ that began its work long months before my birth. Night thoughts, some call these visitations that find us in the dark— memories stored in the heart’s brain cells, each cell holding its own. I should listen unafraid to this companion who keeps me living while it can. Whether curled around another whom I love, or pulling close the covers for their warmth, I honor the bloodlines that have brought me here, this faithful heart that lets me fall asleep again, wake again, stretch to greet the morning, breathe deeply, and rise.
Originally published on Facebook 2020
©2021 Penny Harter
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