Friday, October 12, 2018


We can’t hear the song
The world sings
As it spins—
Only birds hear it—
Crickets, frogs
And whales in the deep.
Mankind has fallen asleep.


Just before dawn
Song birds join together in a chorus
While night birds turn their heads
And dream of Eden.
We have forgotten Eden.
We are asleep.

High Noon

Bright green and black damselflies fly over
Bright babbling streams—
Spotted brook trout fan their tails
in deep cold holes—
They know the song of Planet Earth—
As it turns each day, they
Knew it from the moment of birth.


On the salty reef certain fish harmonize—
Fish elegant in shapes colors patterns
In harmony with seasonal cycles.
I would like to return to the sea
To follow its ebb and flow
And know the Earth’s song
After the sun has set.

Beyond Thule

Queen Asa and her slave girl sail
On a dragon ship
The steering paddle starboard
Guides the noiseless ship
The long low Viking ship.

Only yesterday they passed cave bear
Elk and reindeer carved into
Rock faces along Norway’s coast—

Then human figures, horned and dancing
Then Bronze Age sun wheels, trumpets
And phallic weapons of war.

Iron hammers, magic runes
Stone grave yards shaped
Like ships with treasures in their holds:
Rich brooches and silver vessels—

Then she passed an age of gold--
Entwined dragons
Set with precious stones
Ornaments for people and horses.

Now ahead see Queen Asa’s dragon ship
Flowing like water that purls below.
An ancient world dragon
Hisses under her keel
The water clear and the air pure
As she passes over beyond Thule.

                                                                                            --Barbara Spring

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Fox Gloves

Fox Gloves

Go to the meadow in the morning
And see fox gloves dancing
 on a hot breezy day in August.
Fox gloves will
Cling to your memory it seems
 And live forever in your dreams
Of red foxes wearing
White fox gloves.

--Barbara Spring

Tuesday, October 2, 2018


As we flew near Tikal on a small plane we saw 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 only larger 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 saw 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.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Hunters' Moon

Hunters’ Moon

Clear sky: full moon
wearing her ivory wedding dress
she rises on the east
above black filigrees of trees--
her veils cover the night.

Moonlight glances through crystal on
my window sill
and her light strikes the glasses
of a hunter who drags a kill.

A small eclipse tonight --
 many elk spirits hang between
Earth and full moon.

Hunters sleep on the mountain
while elk herds browse all around.

 --Barbara Spring

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Summer Nights in Michigan

Moon flowers open
Cicadas and crickets sing
As a barred owl hoots in the dark--
Flies on silent wings
Hides in a white pine.

The moon shines bright tonight
Mars blinks red over the lake
And Venus shines her light
And Lake Michigan reflects it back.

Orion strides with his bright belt
as his hunting dog tags behind.
I delight in these sights and sounds
On August nights in Michigan.

Sunday, August 12, 2018