by A.R. Ammons

You came to see me one day and
as usual in such matters

things grew significant–
what you believed, the way you

turned or leaned: when
you left, our area tilted, a

tile, and whatever
opposes desolation slid away.


by Marilyn Darley Williams

(for Valene)

The Holy of Holies is found
between the reeds and bulrushes
of the fresh water marshes.
The yellow-headed blackbird avows
his adulation in song,
while she skitters from reed
to branch. Pelicans glide by in pairs.
Avocets and black-necked stilts,
with long spindle legs,
cut through water like cross-country
skiers. And there, beyond the parting
water, a single post looms.
A lone cormorant perches,
his ebony neck elongated,
his massive wings extended
like black vestments.
These are holy waters
over which he takes flight, his dark
shadow bestowing a benediction
in the language of the earth.


by Marilyn Darley Williams

Summer evenings, at dusk,
moose are found in the marshes
north of the cabin.
They stand neck-high in water,
their pendulous heads submerged,
all but those mule-like ears,
twitching above the surface
like radar scanners.
Up with the heads! Throwing
water and moss, racks draped
with sedges, mouths chewing
water lilies like cud.

We heard how a bear came upon
a cow with her calf
at the crossroads. The moose,
ears laid back, mane erect,
charged into battle,
her slashing hooves bringing

One night a bull moose,
antlers three arms wide,
blindly stumbled into the garden.
From the screened porch,
we watched in horror
as the giant bull crumpled
in a patch of purple flax.
Massive head jerking,
his wait cut through the stillness
like a scythe. Moose sickness.

A tiny worm, the size of a hair,
digested with marsh weeds
had worked its way to the brain.
A shot from Father’s gun
robbed the parasite
of victory.

Summer evenings at dusk,
moose are found in the marshes
north of the cabin.
They stand neck-high in water,
foraging lilies and eelgrass,
antlers draped with sedges
and innocence.

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by Marilyn Darley Williams

unbuttoned its overcoat,
unhooked winter’s inhibitions
and hung them over the back door.
Earth’s essence
oils the hinges,
loosens the squeaking
of the mind.
Frenzied arms of forsythia
orchestrate a meadowlark’s song
cartwheeling over the trees.
The deliciousness of spring
sprouts in every pore


by A.R. Ammons

Radiance comes from
on high and, staying,
sends down silk
lines to the flopping
marionette, me, but
love comes from
under the ruins and
sends the lumber up
limber into leaf that
touches so high it nearly
puts out the radiance


by A.R. Ammons

I’m to go see you tonight:
birds that know where to fly
are loose under my ribs:

your eyes fly here to my mind’s
eye: I dwell in them:
What if I’m frozen

When I see you; what if I burn
completely up: the birds
may break out and go

too soon; or, too bad
if my self flies to you
early, and I can’t follow.