Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Singing Sands

Singing Sands

Singing sands speak of people
And in a high pitched key
Lake sands sing secrets—
Sing me to sleep.

Waves sort myriads of quartz grains
That sing of glaciers that crunched hard
Stone and sing of cities buried
Under the dunes.

I dream of First Nations
And flint spear points
10,000 years old buried under

 The singing sands.

                                 Barbara Spring

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Dynamic Great Lakes

The Dynamic Great Lakes is about changes in the Great Lakes.  Some changes happen naturally and some changes are caused by the hand of man.

Available as an e book or paperback  Click the link.

Lake Effect Snow

The lamp post wears a tall chef's hat
juniper branches bow low under deep
white weighty snow.

Wind pirouettes, now west, now north
northwest, southeast
in treetops, shakes down waterfalls of snow--
drapes sinuous shapes on eaves
where icy daggers grow.

With still more snow in its maw
the wind moans low.
Frost flowers sparkle my window panes
and still more snow.

--Barbara Spring

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Paiute Shaman


His long thin braids have deerskin fringes.
He wears silver and turquoise talismans.
Sacred datura, ceremonies, 
sweat lodges, let him see
several worlds with eyes
that penetrate the darkness of caves
in canyon walls
where many old ones are lain.

He knows worlds within worlds
from Utah to Viet Nam
where village elders tell similar stories.

The Paiute shaman knows
guiding spirits will emerge
in the end when
fires and floods ravage
this world.

Then red haired guides
will take us by our hands
as we walk into time and space
and lead us out. 

Leave Them in Peace.

                                        --Barbara Spring

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Dynamic Great Lakes by Barbara Spring

Everything you wanted to know about this planet's greatest freshwater system.  Available at Amazon.con, and many fine bookstores world wide.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ice Forming on Lake Michigan

Ice is starting to form along the beach in Grand Haven, MI.  Lake Michigan usually starts to freeze by Thanksgiving, but the lake water has been warmer than usual this year.  Today the wind is very strong and an ice ridge is forming and building up.

Read more about ice in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.  The book is available on, and many bookstores and libraries.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


What we had seen from the plane were the tops of tall temples poking up above the jungle. Now in a mini bus we passed through a countryside where men carried machetes on their way to fields and women carried water jugs on their heads or dried beans on cloths in their yards. Wild turkeys crossed the roads. The minibus stopped at a roadside stand-the driver seemed enchanted by the beautiful girl selling a few snacks-and we were told we could use the bushes if we needed a rest stop.

When we reached Tikal we asked if we could have overnight accommodations for there is more than can be seen in one day. We sat and waited until finally we were told that we could have a room in a jungle lodge. We were lucky. If we had not stayed overnight, we never would have heard the haunting sounds of jungle birds and monkeys that surrounded us after dark. Also, there was to be a full moon, and we wanted to see Tikal 's tall temples in the moonlight.

We joined a group touring the ruins. Tikal is layer upon layer of temple pyramids. The Mayans just kept building on top of former temples. I had a strange feeling as we viewed nine stellae dedicated to the nine underground gods. As we followed our guide we saw that Tikal was once a huge metropolis with broad causeways and squares designed for pageantry on a grand scale.

The square with its great temples on each side is filled with sounds of flocks of parrots, monkeys, toucans and the voices of the Montezuma oro pendula birds. Their woven nests are like an oriole's and their bell like voices echo off the temple walls. The big beautiful birds, lemon yellow and rust, nest in groups around the ruins each year. The temples face north, east and west but never south. Strutting around the temples are wild turkeys that make a deep drumming noise to show off.
As we walked through Tikal, we saw temples that had been excavated and others that were still overgrown with jungle trees, vines and soil. The jungle is filled with trees cultivated by the Maya; kapok, balsa, cork, rubber trees, nut trees, allspice tree used for embalming. Chocolate was considered sacred. Spider monkeys and howler monkeys drop debris down at us from the tree tops.

We wondered at the limestone pyramids carved with masks, the ball courts where life and death games were played, aqueducts, market place, and coliseum. We visited the museum that contains a burial, a tall skeleton surrounded with shells, food jars, jade balls, jade anklets, necklaces. It is the burial found in a pyramid.

Tikal means the voice of the spirits. In the main square, the acoustics are astounding. What spirits are here? We saw carved bones in the museum, a jaguar with a human face, a serpent with a face emerging from a dragonish serpent's mouth. By day we walked carefully through jungle paths following our guide. Poisonous snakes, the fer de lance and coral snakes are found here. We were careful not to step on army ants marching in formation on the jungle floor.

We had no guide at night but we decided to walk through the jungle to see the temples in the light of a full moon. The fragrance of night blooming flowers filled the air and a musky smell-was it a jaguar or a fox? Something was near. Maybe the mythical jaguar man. Then through an opening in the jungle, we sew the glorious sight of Tikal's temples splashed with the clear light of a huge moon--the place of spirit voices. We heard them all around us.