Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Days Like Honey

In sultry Missouri I was drenched with orchard orioles fruit colored song that tasted like the cream on the bottom of a bowl full of sliced peaches.  I was only nine when we moved away from there, but I still remember large moths by night and butterflies by day.  Flowers sprang up among the furnace clinkers on the end of the driveway and I breathed the intoxicating smell of tough green walnut skins that stained my hands brown as brown as grasshoppers tobacco juice they spit when I caught them.
My father used them for bait when he fished in Hinkson Creek.  The days were as sweet as honey then.  I played on Ross St. with Sally and Nancy.  We made necklaces and bracelets from the clover we picked.  We wanted to play war with the boys, but they said we had to be nurses so we went back to our more feminine pursuits: playing house in the back yard, with long poles we laid out  for a floor plan, creating plays where the bad one was always named Madge.  We investigated dragonflies and lightning bugs.  I had a turtle named Winchester and a puppy named Penny.  I miss those day.

Monday, October 22, 2018

The Great Lakes Rock


LIMESTONE Wisconsin Alvar on Lake Michigan

The Great Lakes Rock

From the round surf-polished rocks of Lake Superior’s shore to the sand dunes of Lake Michigan, I have roamed and picked up stones: agates, pudding stones and some bearing copper or fossils.  

And I hiked the alvars on the Door Peninsula and Ontario’s Bruce with their layered limestone shores bearing fossils of ancient salt seas.   Lake Huron’s green waters pour into Lake St. Clair and its silty marshes and then to Lake Erie teeming with birds and fish. 

The waters pick up speed in the Niagara River to take a tremendous plunge over Niagara Falls.  The rock underlying the falls will wear away in time I am told, but not in my life time.  Lake Ontario’s flat shores have good soil for vineyards and farm lands. 

  Sailors and sports fishers enjoy Lake Ontario’s riches and the lake flows out through the St. Lawrence River with a myriad rocky islands. 
Full Moon

The moon this morning is
A great symphony
A large rolling marble
A reflection of me.

I can see
Ragged mountains
And a hungry rabbit in
The full moon glow.

Down on the beach below
White moonlight shines
On the ice--
Silver black tarnished glow.

Now the sun rises
And the moon in the west
Rolls down below
A circle of burning coals.

The moon is down but still
Trembles in me--
 A Bach symphony.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Homeward Bound
The salmon run—
Hoped for slippery salmon
Silver, Chinook, pink, pinook
Swift to escape net and hook…


Slick swift silver salmon streak
Upstream from Lake Michigan
They find their bed in the river
Where they were new born
with yolk sacks bulging their bellies.
Now mature they leap and flash
Colors of auroras high above them
They leap and splash
past hooks and nets and whirling blades
of boat motors…
homeward bound salmon
to spend it all
their eggs and milt.
                                    --Barbara Spring

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