Bio Note: I stretched the theme a bit to include the things we gather up in our arms and embrace—the experiences, connections, and memories that we harvest. I make mention of crops as well. I have been the editor of the online poetry journal, Blue Heron Review, since 2013. My latest collection is The Sound of a Collective Pulse (Kelsay Books, 2021).
The Gathering of Sustenance
Inspired by Claude Monet’s painting, Lunch Under the Canopy Light streams like ribbon on apple slices, a pat of butter glistens on a baguette, an outstretched hand offers both on a folded napkin. We lean in closer, share the intimacy of space and words in between bites. We gather up our lives, offerings in spoonfuls, cups brimming with details of the everyday. It is the sharing that sustains us— the phone call from your son, the postcard from my friend in Prague, the walk we took by the water this morning with the dog. Our host unfolds a cloth from an abundant basket, revealing still warm banana bread. He carefully places thick slices on a blue Chelsea patterned plate, ensuring that every person has a portion before taking one for himself. The canopy of shade frames our gathering like a painting. Our colors blend into one another, a palette of afternoon sun and sustenance.
Hay Bale Awakenings
An empty field transformed, became an oil painting framed by golden light and the halo of dawn. The walk I had taken every day bloomed into something new. Giant, concentric circles of calm appeared just past the wooden fence where sheep used to graze and horses once stood by trees. The hay bales called to me as if singing the day into existence, a chorus of wheat angels beckoning the morning, teasing us all into an awakening of limbs now moving with grace, minds now open to every new flicker of thought sprouting through soil. These are ancient beings, unmoved, unruffled, mountains showing us the way, with the patient steadfastness of mother love.
Sea of Yellow
In a yellow sea of goldenrod, turkeys hide in the wind created waves. The air smells like sun. A brown-speckled fan occasionally appears, like a fine feathered, lace accessory at a Victorian dance. Eyes blind to all other color, the sky is a flood of blue ink. The road goes on forever.
©2022 Cristina M. R. Norcross
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to say what it is about the poem you like. Writing to the author is what builds the community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL