Monday, December 24, 2012

The Christmas Monkey

One special Christmas
so long ago,
but fresh in my memory,
like new fallen snow.
One little brother
I loved so dear,
one Christmas toy
to bring Christmas cheer.
Cutting and sewing
and stuffing away--
One special monkey,
One special day.
Christopher opened
that happy surprise,
he squealed and a light
danced into his eyes!
Tears were then rolling
down his cheeks and mine,
I'd given something
that made his eyes shine.
One Christmas Monkey
so simple--and Yet!
It made for a Christmas
I'll never forget!

~Kathie Adams Brown (December 16, 1986)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Mountains

Seek the highest mountain
run upon the hills
Let the trees surround me,
I leap the rocks and rills.
To breathe fresh mountain air,
as an eagle to fly free, 
to glide in air, to glide in time,
to live and to be me.
While leaves will laugh and sing and warn,
wind whispers secrets low,
Listen to the sound of living,
being where I want to go.
Fulfilling dreams around each corner,
to rest in Nature with a sigh,
Never take me from the mountains,
here let me live, here let me die!

~Kathie Adams Brown (November 11, 1975)

Original Title: My Dream, My Wish

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reflecting on the Bride to Be

I only have one daughter
so this is new to me
the flood of memories that came rushing back
when she told me she is getting married.
Why is it that this grown girl
makes me remember the babe
all pink and new and squealing?
I put a dress on her right away,
My little girl with eyes so bright,
The day you were born was filled with promise
Of this day, this future,
This letting go,
This remembering of birth,
This aching love in my heart.

(For my daughter, Renee.)

~Kathie Adams Brown (October 24, 2012)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In the Desert Now

I am in the desert now,
In the soft low light of October,
But every now and then
I catch a glimpse of autumn color,
The remembered rainbow
Of the forest’s last fling,
And I think I hear the sweet autumn song
Of the white-throated sparrow,
Or the crunching of dried leaves beneath my feet.
Is that the scent of apples carried on the wind?
Can I really smell the memory of  
The first wood fire on the hearth?
But these are gossamer threads
Pulling me back to a place I have left behind.
I am in the desert now
Learning new rhythms to life and seasons,
I am learning new scents and sights and sounds,
The kestrel calls to me, the thrasher and the phainopepla,
It is the Say’s phoebe whose voice I hear at dawn.
I am learning a new melody,
Soon I will sing the desert’s song.

~Kathie Adams Brown (October 24, 2012)

Friday, October 12, 2012


I am just a scarecrow dancing in the dark,
No one wants to play with me,
When I’m at the park,
It seems I am not like them,
I have a funny face,
I walk a different way,
I think at slower pace,
My stuffing’s always falling
Out upon the ground
And though my face is smiling
Inside I wear a frown,
Not because I’m angry,
But because I’m sad,
I only want to be included
In the group so bad,
So off in darkness is where I dance
Upon my secret stage
Where no one can deride me
For the games I play,
No sees the dance I do,
No one hears my song,
Still, I keep on singing,
In hopes that I’ll belong.

~Kathie Adams Brown (October 12, 2012)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Song of the Say's Phoebe

I awoke to the song of a Say’s Phoebe
Calling me out to the dawn,
It pumped its tail while on the tall vent pipe,
It lifted its beak to the gray monsoon sky,
And as the sun broke through the wooly clouds
Suspended over the Rincon mountains
A single sunbeam reached out to caress
The soft gray breast of the bird who sang
with such a plaintive voice:

A plaintive voice,
--a  two-note sigh,
 I heard its longing
Fill the sky.

~Kathie Adams Brown (September 12, 2012)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Return to Tucson

It is so quiet here
in this desert city
under this pale blue sky
where lizards creep across my yard
drawing warmth from sun-heated stone.
I have hummingbirds in my backyard,
and pigeons overhead.
In many ways it is like any other city, yet,
it is so different too.
I have returned and I am new,
new to this part of town, this neighborhood, this house.
The desert wind that caresses my face is familiar,
and I know these lungs have breathed
the scent of creosote bush that perfumes the morning air before.
I look out to the circle of mountains surrounding this city
and I feel their embrace
as a stony hug.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

We all Move On

In the end we all move on
None of us is here
As a permanent resident.
We take up space
We breathe,
We eat,
We love, we change, we grow;
We live here, or there, or many places
But in the end,
We all move on.

Kathie Adams Brown (July 28, 2012)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How Can One Heart be Two

How can one heart be so torn in two,
--between two places,
--between two children,
--between two loves?
How can one heart survive
This rending,
This tearing,
This ripping of the tissue
So tender and filled with blood?

~Kathie Adams Brown (July 28, 2012)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Red Cardinal Bright

The red cardinal, bright
on a steamy summer's day
offset by gray,
gray sky, gray birds,
like nuthatches and titmice
fighting at the feeder
for the best spot,
and the dull brown of house sparrows
filling the blank spaces,
offset by green,
but there is the red,
red cardinal,
bright as it is on any snowy day
in winter. ~KAB

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Robins Were Not on the Lawn

Sacred Heart Park in Andover, MA
The robins were not on the lawn,
They have all flown away,
the robins are gone,
the robins are gone,
on this hot August day
when the temperature rises they live in the shade,
until evening comes when they take to the sky
the robins are flying home.

Kathie Adams Brown (August 2, 2012)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Catbird Eyes

Catbird eyes are black and curious,
Shining like coal and,
Full of soul.
Catbird eyes are friendly eyes,
Little gray bird, so quick and lithe,
It makes me wonder if I…
Can have catbird eyes,
And see the world as you do.

Kathie Adams Brown (May 23, 2011)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Phoebe in Maine

In the shining green of damp leaves
In the liquid gray of summer rain
The small, gray bird landed
To the bark of a tree
It flew to a wire
--and tried to shade itself
It flew to the woodpile
--and pumped its tail,
And then while I watched,
With wide eyes and pumping heart,
--it flew away.

Kathie Adams Brown (July 11, 2003) Livermore Falls, Maine

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Mulberry Tree

I watched each leaf unfurl in springtime
and then each blossom with bees nuzzling into
each delicious throat,
and as the berries ripened to red,
and then deep purple,
the catbirds came,
dressed all in gray,
with fine dark berets,
and cinnamon breaches,
they feasted and fed,
filling their beaks and bellies
with the ripening fruit.

But the fruit has gone by
and there are no birds in the Mulberry Tree;
only the groundhogs that have grown fat in its shade
waddle around beneath the tree as it leans out over the yard
reaching for the sun.

And while cicadas whine in the woodland,
the fledgling blue jays flutter and fret,
begging the adults to still feed them.
there are no catbirds in the Mulberry Tree
because summer is half gone

~Kathie Adams Brown (July 17, 2012)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Walk Among the Fireflies Canto III

Firefly Questions

I took a walk this evening
Just to stretch my legs
And clear my head
So on this summer’s night
Thick with the promise of a thunderstorm
I walk the streets of my neighborhood
Past familiar houses
With lights and families inside
Past the old meadow
Which remembers a long gone farm,
Past the tree-lined bog
Now silent for the night
Save for the infrequent croaking
Of a bull frog.
Around the bend I go
Into the newest neighborhood
With houses big as mansions
Painted every shade of a muted rainbow,
Meant to make them appear different,
Yet unable to hide the fact that
they are pretty much all the same.
Along the edge of the park I walk,
Where fireflies flash between the trunks of an oak wood,
And a small bunny rabbit scampers across my path
And into the rose thicket
Presenting me with an evening’s delight!
And I can’t help but wonder
If the children in these monstrous homes
Watching TV, playing video games,
Or texting their friends realize
what a wonder is waiting for them
right outside their doors?
And I can’t help but wonder if they even care,
Or if their will even be fireflies 20 years from now
And will the next generation even know what they are?

~Kathie Adams Brown (June 22, 2012)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Walk Among the Fireflies Canto II

A Firefly Waltz

In the muggy, humid air of summer
I watch the fireflies dance
Above the soggy, boggy swamp,
Where green cattail spears stand tall
And point their fuzzy cinnamon spears to the sky,
I watch the insects flash and fly
And listen to the bullfrog chorus
Croak a song more ancient than
The surrounding trees,
And still the fireflies blink and flash,
A primitive dance, a primal thing,
Of earth, and skies and seasons,
The pulsing rhythm of life,
The mating rite of summer.

~Kathie Adams Brown (June 22, 2012)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Walk Among the Fireflies Canto I

Firefly Delight

I saw the stars fall from the sky
Into the bog and rise
As fireflies!
And the earth sighed with pleasure
At the glory of the sight
And small children danced in the meadows
With the light of the fireflies dancing in their eyes!
It was a merry time,
A long ago time,
A simpler time of life.

~Kathie Adams Brown (June 22, 2012)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Birding is Fun Wherever You Are

Brown Pelican at Lakeside Park in Tucson, AZ 2009

Birds are around, in the sky, in the air
With birds on the ground there are birds everywhere.
Birds in the water, birds in the trees,
You can see birds wherever you please!
There are birds at the pond, and birds at birds at the beach,
Birds in your yard and birds out of reach,
But sometimes the birds are off at the mall,
And sometimes you only know birds from their calls!
They are down by the river, or off at the park,
Nesting in bushes, or climbing up bark!
Birds are nature come close-up to meet,
With feathers and beaks and funny bird feet!
So look out your window of your house or car,
‘cause Birding is Fun wherever you are!

~Kathie Adams Brown (May 3, 2012)

Original post with additional photos can be seen at Birding is Fun

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Hate Dust

It is easier to complain about dust than cancer
It is easier to see
And easier to remove.
I can be angry about the dust.
I can wipe it clean and it is gone.
The dust will not ravage a body
Like cancer can.
I can tell if the dust has returned
Before I know about the cancer.
Both are silent things
One floats through the air,
The other slides through the blood stream.
Both alight somewhere
And start to accumulate,
Clogging up the works
Making the house unclean.
Just a little lemon oil and a dust rag are all I need
to remove the dust, but,
I wonder how chemo smells
And if everything glows and sparkles inside
When it is through.
I hate dust.

~Kathie Adams Brown (4-19-12)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Early Spring Walk in the Evening

Shawsheen River 4-7-2012
It is a peaceful occupation to walk
In the woods by the small pond
As the sun sinks low
And red-winged blackbirds call,
And Grackles whistle and click,
While wood ducks float lazily preening,
And all the world is hushed
With the clear blue sky an empty vault
Above the greening grass
As the lazy river glides by quietly
From lack of rain
And robins serenade the evening twilight
And bid good-bye to this day.

~Kathie Adams Brown (March 27, 2012)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

There Are the Dead

 There are the dead
Standing in the bog
While a flicker laughs behind me
At the slowly creeping green,
The first sign of spring
Here among the dead.

Geese are busy nest building,
The wood ducks paddle
between silver stumps,
and tall snags
like up-ended bones,
stark, bare, and beautiful,
engraved by wind,
carved by bird beaks
with nest holes that now provide homes,
these silver arms reach to a springtime sky
blue as a robin’s egg,
strong arms that serve as perches
for the kingfisher and his mate
laughing their rattling call,
 a sound like dry bones,
while tree swallows glide by
on metallic blue wings,
building nests filled with life
among the dead.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 3, 2012)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In the Last Days of Winter

In the last days of winter
hungry hawks hunt my bird feeders,
the bog  thaws and refreezes
and grackles return to the north.
Red-winged blackbirds call from the swamp
their “konk-a-REE” calls trilling over calm waters.
A late February snow starts to fall
with flakes as fine as stardust.
Soon they grow to the size of feathers
white and drifting to the ground,
forming a lumpy blanket on the still brown grass
before they obscure it completely.
Outside my window the gray sky is fractured by the
limbs and twigs of oak trees, maples, and poplar.
How is it that this fractured gray world filled
with drifting snow and downy flakes
can feel so peaceful and soothing?
I am mesmerized by whiteness
and the muffling of the snow,
but the blackbird’s konk-a-REE
as he flashes his red epaulettes reminds me
that under this white blanket the bulbs are warming,
and fine green points will soon poke out their faces
to greet the light of spring.

Kathie Adams Brown (February 29, 2012)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Robin's Egg Blue

Though it is February first, it feels like the end of winter
My woodpile is getting low and the temperature is rising
Down by the Shawsheen River the robins flood the banks
Red-breasted and bold, digging in the forest duff,
kicking and picking with their beaks,
they are a sure sign of spring in this warm rain,
and now the rain clouds are breaking apart
become tattered fleece in a sky as blue as a robin’s egg,
then even the clouds are gone and all I see is blue,
robin’s egg blue
and I wonder how long it will be
before I find a Robin’s nest with sky blue eggs nestled inside?

~Kathie Adams Brown (February 1, 2012)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Poem for a Winter's Day

I watch the steady fall of rain against the dove gray sky
Outside my window a few snowflakes fall like tiny pearls among liquid rhinestones
And in the hedgerow the sparrows gather with juncos hopping
Like slate colored shadows
The cardinals shyly watching are the only flash of color on this stormy day.
Here inside from where I watch the fire crackles on the hearth
Its warmth pressing against my back.
It is a pleasant place to be, inside looking out
And I feel the primeval need of this moment
In this technological world I now live in.
I pour myself another cup of tea, and settle in.

~Kathie Adams Brown (January 12, 2012)