Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The River and the Bridge

Down by the ancient river
Its silver boards shine with the age of time
clear water trips over river stones
chattering merrily as it goes
beneath the covered bridge.
Is this new water or old
flowing over these stones?
Does it remember Time
and all that has happened here,
before there was a bridge,
before there was a road,
before there was a forest?
Does this water remember the glacier it came from,
or when this bridge was built?
How many horses and buggies passed over
before cars came this way
sputtering exhaust into blue sky
proclaiming a new way and a new day?
Are the bridge and river friends
or enemies in an endless battle?
Does the river want to be free?
Does the bridge want to hang on just a little longer?
This bridge is a tie to the past
and a road to the future.
This river is the measure of Time
And the depository of memories,
Life Blood to the world.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 29, 2015)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I Just Want to be Outside

I have been so busy

The words bottled up inside

Like a dam

Built across my brain,

Holding back the tide

Bogged down by responsibilities,

I am lost inside

I must be outside to find release,

I must be outside to find my peace,

I need to go outside,

to find my inner calm,

I just want to be outside!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 25, 2015)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Questions by the Restless Sea

Standing on the silver shore

by the shining sea

Seabirds fly

and seabirds dive,

Like thoughts inside of me

as ocean waves toss and roll

so my heart heaves inside:

Will I go or, will I stay

Here by this restless tide?

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 27, 2015)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Seaside Goodbye to My Son

It was just a
walk to the bay, where
silver water shines, and
steel wool clouds cover the sky
perfumed with the scent of the salty sea,
today it is the fragrance of parting.
You are my son,
Tall man and strong,
I see my son,
I see my boy,
in the man you have become.
I am content with who you are.
My heart swells like the sea,
inflated by this tide of love,
these few moments together
before you fly away from me again,
a free bird.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 25, 2015)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

No Time to Write

I do not have time to write a poem,

To do it I need to be alone,

It has been such a busy week,

I’ve had no time for what I seek!

The words and images just won’t come to me,

No metaphors or similes,

I’ll have to write another day,

When words and I have time to play!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 25, 2015)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hallelujah Forest

I've been waiting for the music of this dark night,
warm on an evening in April
Spring peepers singing from dark, wet woods,
vernal pools alive
with the Rites of Spring
I stand in the darkness listening
as the chorus swells and fills the air
rising like a tide from the forest—
Handel's Hallelujah,
Beethoven’s Ode to Joy,
this is the music I hear
in this woodland cathedral,
rising from the vernal pools
with croaking voices singing,
and all the peepers peeping,
Majestic voices of
Amphibian Angels.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 16, 2015)

NaPoWriMo 2015 / 30 Poems in 30 Days

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Nana's House

The white Victorian on the edge of the green
gingerbread lace hanging from the eaves
veranda on the corner
neatly tucked in.

Enter through the red front door
you are welcomed,
wrapped in love, embraced by time,
these old things that once were hers:
that old rug, faded and worn,
that certain floorboard that squeaks and sets the tea cups rattling
in the china cupboard
when you pass by.
There is her rocker, empty now but still, I hear its distant music.
I know the yellow paint is peeling off the kitchen walls,
and views out these windows are wobbly from antique glass panes,
but, this room holds her presence,
—cooking at the stove
—feeding grandpa at the old gray Formica table
—preparing holiday dinners
—grading student papers in the evening.

Nana’s house is where we gathered
as a family clan so many years ago.

Now everyone has moved on
far and wide and involved
In their own lives
Yet we all have threads trailing behind us
and tying us back
to this old Home.

 ~Kathie Adams Brown (April 13, 2014)

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Vanity of the Smug

You would not think a man would be shot
For a simple broken taillight.
You would not think a police officer would
shoot a man in the back in cold-blooded murder.
I did not know that broken taillights and running away in fear
were crimes punishable by death
and carried out by one man
as judge, jury and executioner, but
apparently in some parts of this country this is so,
especially if the officer is white
and the person who was murdered commits the crime
of being poor and black.

And the Smug Man Stands
over the dead man with his hands on his hips
and a shield on his breast,
and lies once again.

But this time,
This Time
His shield does not protect!
His shield does not keep him from the consequences of his lie,
because of an ordinary man
and his video camera
Which records the truth
and reveals the lie.

And a nation rises up and says, NO MORE!
And the people rise up and scream, NO MORE!

I do not want to see what I see.
I do not want to believe what I see.
I want to turn away.
I do not want to watch that man being gunned down.
I want to turn the channel and see something nice.
But therein lies the problem.
We need to LOOK!
WE need to see!
We need to see IT!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 10, 2015)

NaPoWriMo 2015 / 30  Poems in 30 Days

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Don't Know Whether

I don’t know whether
It’s the weather
That moves me to wrote poetry,
Or moves me to climb a tree!
If I had some feathers
I would not mind the weather.
I could perch outside in a tree,
Or fly above the canopy!
And I would not wonder whether
It would be snow, or rain, or sunny weather,
I’d just take flight with all my feathers
In whatever weather!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 10, 2015)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Monday Morning Aubade on a Spring Day in Maine

You wake me and I bandage your toe,
me in my night gown, you already dressed,
I put my glasses on, and shake cobwebs from my brain.
It’s a cold, mostly gray, spring day,
and the sparrows are filling the yard with song.
With my brief glance out the picture window that overlooks the bay
I see the tide slipping out.
It is as if a great silvery silk curtain
with eiders embroidered on its surface
is slowly and steadily being drawn back.
But back to your toe, the infected one,
I clean and bandage it
You dress your feet,
We have a brief embrace at the kitchen door,
then off you go to work
as the lemony sun slides up from the horizon only to disappear
in the shrouded sky,
while I grab my pen to write.

This is our morning good-bye—a tender routine after 38 years.
Tomorrow the details will be different, but the love will be the same.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 6, 2015)

aubade-music suitable to greeting the dawn or morning; a song about two lovers parting at dawn.

Prompt 6 from the NaPoWriMo / 30 Poems in 30 Days website

Saturday, April 4, 2015

At Last

At last the warm air drifted in
after a long, cold and bitter winter
a day when birds landed in droves
and fresh warm air filled the land.

I, breathing the scent of that warmth,  
cast off my chores for the day,
and stayed outside.

All day.

It was as if I had been released from a long imprisonment.
I walked through mud that sucked at my shoes.
I listened to the trickle of melting snow as it formed puddles around me.
The music of song sparrows drifted over the wet, melting earth
—a song of joy to me!

And then in the evening, as dusk settled like a fawn to the ground,
the peenting of woodcocks was heard
and the winnowing of their wings in an eager mating flight display
and I stood in the yard, my mouth agape,

Listening to the music of spring—at last!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 4, 2015)

Friday, April 3, 2015

The Old Red Barn

There is a place of dreams,
an old red barn with memories
of my grandfather who was
and now is not,
Buried beneath a granite slab
with Nana now by his side.

How do I recall the days that were?
With him walking the earth
With him feeding the cows
With him cutting the hay
With him in his chair silently puffing his pipe
With him fishing along the banks of Black Ledge Creek
With him rushing out the door during Christmas dinner, donning his fireman’s hat as he went.
With him that one and only time he let me help pluck the feathers from the warm breast of a pheasant he had shot—a task usually reserved for his grandsons.
And we stood behind the old red barn
Where his fishing boat stayed in the winter
Only to be towed back to Moosehead Lake in Maine the next summer
To the place of his dreams and deep desires,
the place he brought his bride to all those long years ago,
the place that he loved,
the place of his being,
the place that he died one summer.

But the old red barn is empty now
Save for his memory
or his ghost.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 1, 2015)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maine is Not

Maine is not Arizona.

It does not have saguaros and ocotillos and cacti
You cannot wear flip flops all year round.
You cannot grow oranges in Maine.
There are no nectar feeding bats in Maine,
and the fragrance of creosote bush does not perfume the air after the rain.
There is no song of the desert toad singing its wild mating cry during the monsoon.
In Maine there are not ten kinds of hummingbirds flying around.
In fact, in Maine, only one species is found!

Maine is not sunny, day after day after day.
Maine is not flat and dusty and dry,
Maine is not landlocked.
Maine is not predictable,
Maine is not tame.
Maine is not crowded or bustling or boring.
You cannot escape nature in Maine.
You cannot drive very far in a straight line,
and in Maine, “You can’t get there from here.”

In summer you cannot stay outside too long because of humidity, mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks.
In winter you cannot stay outside because of snow and ice and below zero temperatures
with high, gusty winds to drive the point home.
Maine does not have rattlesnakes, scorpions, or tarantulas.
Maine does not have Spanish style houses.
There is no place else like Maine.

Maine is not Arizona.

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 1, 2015)

Messalonskee Lake in Maine 6-23-14

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona 8-7-2010

I guess it’s too late to be a ballerina, lithe, graceful and pretty.
I guess it’s too late to own my own horse and ride wildly over the fields.
I guess it’s too late to build a log cabin, all from scratch with my own trees and on my own land.
I guess it’s too late to live in the mountains, far away from anyone or anything.
I guess it’s too late to live in Idaho, a place more wild and beautiful than I could have imagined.
I guess it’s too late to be an Indian princess and live in a teepee and wear a buckskin dress and moccasins.
I guess it’s too late to become a doctor and practice in some faraway place where I am most needed.
I know it’s too late to save my poor dog, the beautiful Irish Setter—poetry in motion. I let him down. He was my friend. He was my heart.

But it is never too late to sing my own song, or write my own story.

It is never too late to love, or forgive,
or to dream.

~ Kathie Adams Brown (4-1-15)