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


Bear Knows

The longest night of the year
noiseless except for choirs
praising light’s return.
I’m out of step like bear,
devoted to winter dark,
the quiet of snow.
Iris and daffodil
would have no color
except for waves of rain.
Back in bear’s belly
hunger eats last summer’s fat
while bear sleeps, letting winter
have it’s slow, 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 a way you admire
yet even if you fool the world
you know who’s behind the mask.
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.
She’s known all this time
you weren’t broken after all.



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 roots of trees.
The trees will forgive us
and take our nourishment,
showing the way once more
to the deep cache of winter.
Maybe then we will know
the way forward through this night,
holding close the faceted promise
of earth’s one love.



encaustic painting by Eilish Hynes