Swallow Me Whole

a poem of Contemplation

Image from Pixabay

Beneath this earth
so many souls. In this ground
right where I stand,
my bare-heeled ache on the grit;
do they linger here?

Do their solemn hazes pass me by 
as my breath drifts me
one day to the next?
Am I aware of
that chill, that pressure in the air
shifting, disturbing,
a moaning whisper to my
human ears?
Does it shift me?

I turned on the light
I asked you to leave

In the pierce of afternoon sun
an oak; a bleak, towering,
ivy-choked oak.
An angular ghost.
The last leaf fell long before
I appeared, a shifting soul, 
nowhere to go.
I contemplate its lean.

When comes the terrible fall?
When comes the violent creaking
that will rip me from my sleep?

Sudden noises — squirrel-gray 
antics on maple boughs,
on living, bending boughs or dead
bark-bare and bony limb; 
no difference to them,
with their inexorable ramblings
all toenail and chatter.
They gather and they gather.

How soon will I sink into 
worm-foul and rot?

They will scurry across my grave.
They, or their generations of they.

The dead tree refusing to fall…
These wiry-tailed rodents’ gatherings…
These shadows of souls carried quietly by…
and I?
Barefooted, sore-footed I;
standing in the dirt
left to ponder it all.

How soon will this earth
swallow me whole?

Ladybug Journeys

a poem of a quiet afternoon

https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photo-of-ladybug-on-leaf-during-daytime-121472/

A ladybug journeys
 up Hawkweed stem
 searching for another

Dark-spotted red bug
 with which to fly high
 the ladybug labors on…

A squirrel scampers
 through leaf litter and soil
 searching for another

Nut she had buried 
 some time ago Spring
 the squirrel labors on…

Chickadee and titmouse
 nuthatch and goldfinch
 searching for another

Black sunflower seed
 or millet or worm
 the birds labor on…

I absorb the sun 
 I notice their sounds
 each searching for another

While creatures toil and fret
 and summer besets
 I, thankful, rest on…


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The Waters Run Clean Through Me

a poem about the North Carolina Mountains

https://www.pexels.com/photo/bench-cascade-creek-environment-355321/

Deep in the North Carolina wood
 nestled between steep mountainous 
 rises, a gorge, through which run
 waters, crisp and cool and clean.

A bench waits there for my soul.

The waters run clear, cross rock
 and moss, with dribbling sounds
 and meandering thoughts of the
 distant seas. The canopy hangs over.
 
 Shady oasis of quietude waits
 for me to climb into its folds.
 A genteel hug whispered through green
 to wrap me up in wonder once again.

A hike for a day, I must go.

I’ll climb on the rock, spread 
 my wings to gather the sun
 rub my toes in sphagnum
 hear the cool-water melody flow…

Oh, Carolina, you are good to my soul.

Let the breeze sway and creak in the pines!
 May the babbling waters find their gentle way
 and the mockingbirds ramble song to song,
 let your nature carry its secrets on.


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On Dappling Pond

a poem about the beautiful Mandarin duck and the not-so-beautiful Muscovy duck

Mandarin duck, Pexels.com

On Dappling Pond

White, crisp half-moon,
  the blue crested melt
  to ruddy hind swoop.
Tawny wings tucked under,
  belted by royal blue.
Sleek chest, brazen
  blue as ocean-deep.
Neck ringed in
  maple majesty lace.
     Enlightened, resplendent,
         spectacular.

All nature’s paintbrushes!
Were they hog hair
or badger?
Were they
rinsed clean in muddy
waters encircled by sawgrass;
sandy-fawn stippled?

The Mandarin navigates,
whisper-smooth and waggle,
the Carolina grasswort; rising
variegated greens
wind-bent and skyward.

Mucsovy regards the
radiant fowl,
disturbed at such
     reckless abuse of color…
for one dappling duck?
Pinkish beak dipped under,
up with a snail? Asnail!
Vexed, perturbed,
Muscovy waddles, plops
with a splash and a glide,
     nature’s sculptor’s pride,
     its gnarly head held high.


I hope you enjoyed On Dappling Pond (I am quite fond of this one) and will stick around to read some more of my poetry. I have made it easy to find ones you may like and you can find links to poems on the poetry tab, or use the navigation menu and search features on the homepage. Thank you again…what did you think of On Dappling Pond?

Muscovy ducks are widely varied in blacks and whites–but the red bumpy face is usual. This is a snippet from a picture on All About Birds website.

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The Calf Song — a poem

The Calf Song

From the backside of a smile
I rise, discontented.


Inside my eyelids
a dream sleeps
between measures
keeping the beat,
each a credulous mark
upon my heart song.


The calf lies waiting,
wobbly legs unable
to bear its load upon its
hoof and foot.


It stands, behind my eyes
rising in ignorant content.


It cannot sing my song
or read my notes
or match my steps through
crescendo,
staccato,
and pause.


The calf accepts
warm milk waiting,
without thought
of the rain.

by: Christina Ward

If you enjoyed this, you may also enjoy:

https://fiddleheadsnfloss.com/2019/02/16/cornucopian-dream-a-poem-for-my-fellow-earth-lovers/

A Stunning Prose piece, Recurring Dreams Of a Happy Child

Of Water and other Dreamy Things

I  had the BIGGEST IMAGINATION when I was a child. One recurring dream I had was that our house was full of water and I could swim all around in it like a big aquarium. Now, I am sure there are all kinds of interpretations of this, but for me…it sparked this lovely piece of prose. Enjoy!

Water Bubbles Under the Sea

Of Water and Other Dreamy Things

 

          I used to dream of water. Not the kind of water that winds down hills, shifting itself, a great endless slinky stepping across land to a vast and hungry sea, but a strange, floating, weightless water that filled our tiny house from wall to wall, window to door, toy box to floor. Iridescent blue, glowing, breathing, holding great bouncing bubbles in its belly, it welcomed me. Moonlight crept in the windows, wrapped its arms around each bubble, and danced a quiet waltz down my arms, across my back, and into my floating brunette spirals.

          I swam from room to room. From my bedroom I swam, down the quiet hall past my brother’s room with the great clown walls, past my parents ’room with the drawers of pencils and paper and the gray flat table where Daddy drew lines that made buildings grow up, to our white-flushed simple bathroom. There I’d float before the mirror, a tiny princess. I’d brush my teeth and get ready for school; my jeans legs pulling on easily without the usual tug and jerk. Jeans weren’t heavy in liquid dream. Mom didn’t have to shove her arm up the pant legs to tuck in the extra length., knuckles scraping knobby bone. My sleeves hung like moss, a velvet hug on cool skin.

          I used to dream a lot of things and not always in my sleep. I used to hear monkeys in the woods. They sang to me as I sailed on wooden swing, feet stretched toward sky, waiting for the night to bring its firefly dreams. A crimson sky would yield once more while toads tucked themselves safely under stone.

          I used to dream. I was a magical child.

If you enjoyed this, please like and comment, and check out these prose pieces as well:

“Clarity,” Winner of the Arrowhead Awards Best Prose Work, 2004

Today~

Horizons

A poem Inspired by the Green Lacewing – Your garden Helper!!

Green Lacewings are a delicate insect with intricate lacy veining on their wings. You may have never noticed them before. If you see them, be happy! They are a very beneficial insect to have around your garden because of the garden pests (insects and larvae) that they predate. So munch away at those pests dear Lacewings…today we celebrate you through this whimsical poem…

See the source image
Green Lacewing

Green Lacewing

See the source image
Alpine Asters

The delicate smile
Of a green lacewing
Landing there, on
An aster reaching
Toward Heaven.

A union made
By chance of the breeze,
Nature’s own, entwined,
Tickled with the soft,
Cool dews of April.

If I could become so small
As to land upon flowers!
To flit about in that freedom!

If I could climb into
your copper eyes,
Would I remember
How it tickled me so?

If you could please,
I’d like to visit the garden.
I need to feel the whisper
Of your wings
As we dance among
The bees.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoy the poetry here at Fiddleheads & Floss,  please be sure to like and follow. Have a wonderful day!

~Christina Ward
poet / blogger / nature enthusiast

A blog suggestion for my fellow nature enthusiasts: https://ncnaturalist.wordpress.com/

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer ~ a poem

 

Black and Brown Frog Sitting on White Concrete Floor

I don’t know about you but when I was a child the summers were magnificent. Long hot days spent out in the yard, playing in our sand box and on the swing set my daddy built. He also built our sandbox which had a second floor with a tire ladder to climb up. There was also a circular arrangement of logs he stood up on end and held together with a chain that made a spiral staircase. He painted the tops of them different colors. We’d play “Cops n Robbers,” chasing each other through the tall grass, June bugs slapping against our shirts. We drove our Hotwheels in the sandbox, wetting the sand with the garden hose so we could build things out of the wet sand. We chased butterflies, followed ants, captured caterpillars and begged mom for a Styrofoam cup or a jar to put them in. We rode our Big Wheels, our bikes, and our scooters.  The sun set late. If we were playing down the street, we’d come home when the street lights came on. This later time of the day was the perfect time to find what we called hoppy-toads. If you’ve never gone hoppy-toad huntin’ in the waning of a summer day, then I implore you to take up your bucket and give it a try. Enjoy this ode to the hoppy-toads that lived in our yard and brought me great joy as a child.

Hoppy-Toads in the Summer

 

Hoppy-toads grow fat
tucked behind cool gray
stones and fragments of brick.
A yellow bucket nestles
there, waiting. 

Determined,
I take up my bucket
The white plastic handle
Digging into my arm.
I set out.


I lift each rock carefully
Disturbing the grass
Unveiling worm and cricket.
I search for them
In the cool, dark places.


The edge of the driveway
No stone unturned
But to no avail.
I set my eyes on the
Row of bricks beside our house.


Finally, a fat one leaps
But I am fast.
I scoop him up and
Plop! He squats into
The corner of my bucket.

Hoppy-toads like friends,
I think, and search for him
A mate. A companion.
The third brick hides her.
Plop! Into the bucket she goes.

Desperately Seeking Oblivion

pexels-photo-1292838

Desperately Seeking Oblivion

He wants to taste it,
quick on the tip of his tongue
sliding with ease
down into his gut…

Someone should tell him to stop
swallowing it whole.

A strange enigma,
[oblivion]
tasting like nothing,
encompassing, delivering, numbness…
a capsuled oasis in vast desert
to which all will dig and crawl
our tongues in our hands.

Sometimes the depth to which he thinks
is too deep for him to take…

So he swallows down, an
emptiness that won’t settle.
Again and again it rises
hissing in the back of his throat,
an esophageal argument
without victor.

He swallows it down again.

Thank you for reading my poetry. Be sure to follow, and check out my other poetry posts. 

Christina