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Morning Earth Healing Images

January 2013

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Snow paints white contours on a crazy
quilt of mossy alder branches green,
blessing moss and fern with wet
as fugitive white melts below sun.

Note: Olympic rainforest, January



A tiny spleenwort fern reaches up
from last night’s snow,
its green and perfect patterns
life’s rite of jubilation
that collapses the perfect patterns
of crystal flakes of snow.

Note: Hoh River, Olympic Rainforest, January



Sparrow’s hungry eye fixes bright
on movement in the grass.
Cold intensifies the hunt,
hot-blood bodies burn to warm.
Eat today or fall from perch tonight.






Two sea otters pose
in the Elkhorn slough.
Mother prone, child floats on its back.
Mother curves her arm
around her child’s neck,
Mother is so awake, so vigilant:
Mothers with milk: Earthwide the same.

Note: Moss Landing CA



Driftwood boneyard dusted with frost
smoothed by weeks in the rollers,
a dawn turmoil of slippery trunks.

Looking tingles the soles of my feet.
Give my bony ankles to the mercy of the logs?
The shore lively with gulls is miles away.

Note: Kalaloch Beach, Olympic Nat’l Park, January


When morning sun strikes last night’s snow
where it whites the top of the branch,
water seeps dwn through green moss
draped in shade still holding night cold
where it freezes into pendant mossicles.
Each pulses enough with growing light
to glow this day into one called holy.

Note: Olympic National Park, January



As sun slumps crystals into release
snowmelt races down channels
into temporary ponds rimmed white
with night’s unmelted snow.
In a narrow gouge, water shows off
quick-grown muscles shaped in
furrow and ridge, the oldest
plow carving the forest again.

Note: Olympic National Park, January

1.11.2013 Invite to Write #48 and Responses to Invite #47

This is a photo of thin jagged ice that formed overnight on a small stream. When I look at the photo, I see music, and hear some of it as well. Music may be a useful direction for your writing, or not. But such shifts in normal sensory experience can be useful to break perceptual habits and discover expanded meanings. Or maybe not. Please contemplate the photo and see where it takes your writing.

New Subscribers: Invite to Write is not a competition. Instead, it is a sharing within a community. All poems received will be published. Writing by children is encouraged—give your kids/pupils a publication credit.

Responses to this Invite are due Wed, Jan. 23, and will be published Friday, Jan. 25. Email to

Responses to Invite #47 are powerful evocations of the universal mother/child connection among mammals. Thank you, writers. If a piece especially pleases you or seizes you, let the writer know. Build some community. Send me an email and I will pass it on.

Known by touch,
we nuzzle ourselves into gasps
of oxygen.
Blue Planet,
light and heat
from our mother's palms
surrounds us as we come,
waiting to breathe the breath of life
in which you abound.
Teach exhale, inhale, silence, rhythm,
moon in her cycle,
journey around the sun.

~~Judith Mosby, Virginia


for the sealions
who said there wasn’t time
in this crowded cluttered morning
to bathe in the breath of mother-child connection
these moments that hold us
in the remembering
that we belong
~~Bev Reeler, Zimbabwe

Two Poems

Never lost
always found
in the presence of life
all around

Intimate touch
bonds sea to shore
mother to child

~~Marcia McEachron, Minnesota


Mama ‘Nose’ Best
Fear not my sweet for Mama’s near.
Just edge your furry body here.
Up from the deep, thar she blows.
Snuffle air, find Mama’s nose.
Now dive and dip in sea go play.
Then sniff me out at end of day.
Among the silky colors same
I’d find my boy, I know his name.
I will always, always know his name.

~~Linda Leary, Colorado


Some Things About Noses

  How love passes
  Nose to nose
  My nose to dog's in greeting
  Cold nose of cat to nudge  bare foot
  To walk toward cream
  ("pure whipped"
   Pressured from the can)

   I have smelled things
   Late at night at my computer
   In winter
   Garden smell of lilac
   Or smell of coffee, dark and hot
   When there is no coffee in the pot

   What neurological trick is this?
   Is my first thought
   Does nose remember lovely things
   As truly as mind recalls
   Transfiguration  of first love
   Or watching the bare breathing
   Of a just-born baby

  THIS Mother's touch of nose
  To child's
  In a sea of fright and grief
  A moment brief
  To mark the sign of love

~~Peggy Osborne, Montana



A Mother Knows Her Own
By a sweet wet smell,
By a new yet ancient,touch,
By a cry that rises above the world's commotion,
By liquid eyes that tell the story of Deep Time,
By the riddle of the Self divided, yet extended
By the urgent need to nourish and serve
This One,
This small warm body,
This luminous soul

~~Sara DeLuca, Georgia


Two New Responses to Invite #46

Light and reflected light,  aglow.
Water mirrors these lanterns, softly.
A light breeze drifts through the canes;
It ripples sky.
White snow icing on green ferns
crept to the water’s edge.
The sun glimmers through trees
and the stream flows.

~~Michael Burnett, Minnesota



Crouched at the end of a log
above the water's edge,
a man-like creature sits amid
the beauty of nature, unbowed
by the uncertainty of existence.
In nature there are no rewards and
punishments, only consequences.
All life lingers within uncertainty until
it is time to make room for new life.
The grand scheme of the universe
is always present,
but its beauty cannot be grasped
until we surrender to uncertainty.
~~Brucedavidpeck, Minnesota



A contrast of forms in white
Mounds of hummock grass
defined by low sun and shadow
create a globular terrain, rounds
intriguing to eye but not ankle.
Sapling birch crowd the open
edge of hummock marsh,
verticals straining toward sun.

Memory stirs: eons ago
when I kept postage stamps
I cherished one that showed
the Trylon and Perisphere
from the 1939 NYC World’s Fair,
a spire and globe recast now
in cold birchbark and snow.


By day the frozen marsh
is empty of the animate
except chickadee and nuthatch,
a pheasant here and there,
no mammals to be seen.

By day hungry furs sleep,
In dark they walk to feed.
Where a culvert bridges
a country road, paws converge
and spatter a week of nights.
Fox here, weasel and mink,
ear hunters repeating trails
to bountiful mouse and vole
tunneling heedless under snow.



A doe heavy with fawn or fawns
roots with her nose in snow for
any food left in the cut hayfield.
She carries low, blocky now, not
the frisky sprite of summer or fall
when the stag took her or she him.
May sweet aspen twigs droop low,
May all luck of the season be hers.


Beneath the pall of winter
a bit of summer survives,
a bouquet of flower bones,
all the strong aster sepals
standing in for petals.
How fine for the winter eye
to discover color in a field,
even faded, even paled,
against the growing dull of snow.


1.18.2013 INVITE to WRITE #48 and Responses to INVITE #47

This photo is © Kit Day. These birds are in Africa, Little Bee Eaters. After chasing bees all day they roost together on thin branches. Four are facing east, three are facing west. They make my heart leap with joy to know they share the Earth with me. Is it the robbers’ mask that charms me, or is it the dark bib between breast and golden throat? What a happy confluence of color and pure alertness. Contemplate this photo and see where it takes your writing.

Subscribers: Invite to Write is not a competition. Instead, it is a sharing within a community. All poems received will be published. Writing by children is encouraged—give your kids/pupils a publication credit.

Submit your responses by Wed., Jan. 30. They will be published Friday, Feb 1. Send to

The photo of jagged ice on a stream yielded fine writing. Thank you, writers. If a piece especially pleases or seizes you, let the writer know. Build some community. Send me an email and I will pass it on.

A FreezeThaw Portrait

So delicate,
edges sharply frozen
thin over languid,
peaceful and treacherous.

I could breathe you into my reflection,
a wobbling molecule mosaic

but I’ll watch till the sun
softens when it touches, 
subtracting the arabesque outline 
like a lace cookie,

sharp as this reflected illusion of me.

~~Linda Jensen Hansen, Minnesota


The painter’s brush is stolen
by the hand of nature.
She flourishes colors
shapes into  exotic relationships
the human heart can only ponder.

Is it the past or the future
calling from these
 primordial  colors?
The fortune teller 
scans the tea leaves,
looks up in wonder.

~~Marcia McEachron, Minnesota


I have painted this sight before,
never replicating,
scratching through layers,
erasing with cloth,
honing the image
down to glass,
and always the voices appear,
as if from nowhere,
deep inside,
who I am.

~~Judith Mosby, Virginia


At the Byre

Not Music
Nor smoke
But the widow's joke
Lace to hide pain
A face of stone

In the background
What moans?
(ten years of dying
leave little bone)

Grief, like ice
Will melt in sun
And the promise of Spring
Is just begun

The near past fades fast
The far past will arrive
With bird song of memories
Fresh and alive

~~Peggy Osborne, Montana






At five below,cardinal rests in a basswood.
Red leaf buds extend his feathers and beak.
His black mask and bib, his black eye bright.
See his claw mirror the round of his perch.
The buds of two twigs close to him
have been beak-plucked and swallowed,
the woodland’s largesse for locals.



I think the night was warm
more or less, above zero.
The tracks look casual,
curving here and there
as if punctuating paws explored
without cold’s straight urgent lines
that say “get in, find food, get back.”


Close up, spruce branches
reach out with snow fingers
trying to touch the green
life held in needle memory.

But conifer needles adapted
to survive winter’s worst
to give up no water and still
gather some attenuated light.
The rest is romance,
but I do like the reaching fingers.


Color is only in the bud,
all else is white or dun.
Though a remnant crown of snow
tries to cap the red of life
swelling now toward spring.
Snow bud is bold and names rebirth.


Hoary redpoll puffs out
the original down parka
to warm his quick heart and mine.

Arctic finch down from the tundra
to winter Minnesota, where today
it’s climbed to fifteen below.
His choices awe this inside creature
who dos not wish to go outdoors
to fill the feeder but will,
wide with down and blowing on fingers,
wondering where went his red wool hat.


At dawn on the Olympic coast
a dead tree hosts half-moon’s sweet arc
in its black and ragged curve



A brief thaw startles a stream
into briefly letting go
of all that was fixed solid ice.

As air hovers at freeze
it paints ice on leaves
and gives old wood a tongue of ice
to dip into the flow.


A pod of whitetail does
walk their trail in cattail snow
some afternoons, most nights of moon
to reach the meadow where
hooves can scrape out weeds
where saplings can be browsed
high while balanced on hind legs


River stones white with light snow
surround a little mountain rapids
that churns glacier water into brief milk,
as ice and time grind mountain to the sea


































































































































































































































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