Along the dark wet avenue,
plying your way with other pilgrims,
your radio on morning news,
I reach out to you from this window,
the small rectangle you won’t notice
as you pass a thousand others
in brick and wood.
Through thin glass I see you,
know a portion of your travail,
even your joy. I wish you life
my unknown friend.
May your headlights guide you
to something like the place
we once called home.




The Mummers by Rima Staines


The longest night of the year passed
noiseless except for choirs
praising light’s return.
I’m out of step once more,
like bear, devoted to winter dark,
the quiet of snow,
how ice holds the river,
the path to root.
Iris and daffodil
would have no color
except for the soaking soil
and waves of rain.
As salmon smolt begin
their long sea journey
toward the taste of salt
and back to bear’s belly,
beneath fur and claw
in a dry lightless cave
hunger eats last summer’s fat
while bear sleeps, letting old winter
have it’s slow, deep darkening way.






Maybe its the way the cards are dealt –
some take the high road,
others down into the fray,
yet no matter how improved or battered
your unadorned self is still the one
the world desires.





Unwrapping the Message

The message you failed
was schoolyard normal,
your sense of self
pulled down to the pavement,
ground like chalk.
You recover, create someone
who faces the world
in the way you admire
yet even if you fool the world
you know who’s behind the mask,
who you were told you are.
Some appear not afflicted,
others cured more easily,
but there in the dark
no amount of make-up
can hide the broken visage.
This is what the world says
on the tape inside your head.
There’s another message
the earth holds for you
when you’re ready to unwrap it.
It tells you of a kit fox,
a yearling deer, an old stag elk,
a river falling white and cold
and in her wholeness
a place for you, unadorned,
edges fading into tree bark,
rising mist your companion.
You weren’t broken after all.
She’s known it all this time
and now, so do you.





photograph by Eilish Hynes


Maybe This Morning

Maybe this morning
as darkness thins
with light slowly approaching,
words will fall like rain
to feed the root of trees.
Maybe the trees will forgive us
and take this nourishment,
showing the way once more
to the deep cache of winter.
And maybe then we will know
the way forward through this night,
holding close the faceted promise
of earth’s true love.




encaustic painting by Eilish Hynes