I began writing poetry when I retired from teaching in 2006. We moved from a suburb into a country setting surrounded by seven acres of forest, an ideal location for meditation and writing. After our forest was devastated by the June 1st tornado, I collected twenty of the nature poems I had written and published a book, JUST THIS MORNING. My friend Virginia Carlson Midyette, Class of 1942, did twenty-one watercolors to illustrate the poetry. A copy of our book rests in the Smith College Poetry Center.




Just this morning

I have decided to sit still for awhile
at the kitchen window facing the woods,
beyond the brook, over the pond,
and the garden buried in snow
to the land hilling west.
I am not concerned to name the trees
- oak, birch, maple - or remember the rough,
the smooth of their bark,
whether squirrels are chasing squirrels
into their leafy rounds of nests.
Nor will I care about tap roots or inner rings
or shapes of leaves or where they've come from.

What I do is point my gaze slightly upward
where the trunks being to fork into vees
and not beyond where they touch sky.
I want to be deliberate, still, keeping
my eyes straight, accepting
into view only branches, heavier ones with twigs,
flaring upward, out, over and through one another
lacing geometry into air,
framing the blue sky into jigsaws.
These tangles of beginnings and endings
stretch wide in the arc of woods, into my mind,
definitions blurring, unraveling to calm.