Anne Emerson-Photographer, Poet, and Writer
Pics and Poems
(First published in NoVA Bards 2018)
City of Roses, how have you been
while I slept far away, forgetting
the touch of my homeland?
Misty rains adrift
on ocean-sweeping westerlies
descend to form your character -
restore for me an echo of my youth
in cool clean air and rain-rich greenery;
in long June days - dew-daisies underfoot -
and roses all summer.
No, I say - no to earthquakes; to volcanoes -
you're no healing home for me, nor haven for my child.
Instead, a subterfuge
or shifting floor beneath a seasoned heart
whose bargains ever slide apart.
What solace now, those long-missed English daisies
that I delighted to discover
at my feet again
in your green gardens?
Nevermore beguile me - hopeless hope
childhood's tea and cakes.
Anne Emerson, summer 2017;
Revised 2020, 2023
Light Comes In
(One Version Published in Poets Domain 2018)
heralds earth’s primeval light -
sleeping waves catch fire.
Walk on the Beach
Heavy coats; sun’s bright
on wave, gull, and scattered tracks -
signals we're at sea.
Cobalt, peach, light air
floats to sleep its chilly wavelets -
three hikers linger.
Anne Emerson, May 2019;
revised 2020, 2023
(Published in NoVA Bards, 2015)
Nominated for Pushcart Prize
With clear, dry air and dusky grass behind,
and mountain vistas in our senses yet,
we catch an airport taxi home to find
the work of life returns: vacation’s debt.
It settles down like dew, that humdrum mood—
mow lawn, make beds, get larder shelves restocked;
for no-one’s sharing home-made beer and food,
or places new adventures have unlocked.
They feel so close: a campus, floral walk;
Dushanbe tea, unruffled Echo Lake;
and friendships from our youth engaged with talk.
Another parting brings its belly-ache.
These scenes will soon be lost like wave-washed prints
whose contours smooth beneath the rippling tide.
Alone, my words and images give hints—
creations whose first urgency has died.
Anne Emerson, February 2014
Atlantic crossing – childhood home
town and country stay the same
red-brick buildings patchwork fields
tennis watching Wimbledon
extended family nurturing
with conversation, food of June
sweet English strawberries
new potatoes salmon, wine
careers advance children grow
hillside walks and verges wild
with elderflowers, cow parsley
foxgloves medley tangled grassland
public walks on farmers’ lands
they take for granted all of this
open studio cream for tea
paintings delicate and bright
I see a snippet of her life
which carries on apart from me
Losely House well-tended gardens
river strolling, fish and chips
Encaenia Keble Somerville
traditional but cutting-edge
my parents often need to rest
Minster Lovell Ringwood Farm
cottages with rose and thatch
Oxford-Macclesfield by train
stone walls hill views windy Teggs
he knows my past not my todays
birthday barbecue for all
Queen Vic lunch
lavender fields climbing wall
Anne Emerson, 2009; revised Jan 2020
“Does the gardener need some help?”
She has planted six tubs
with burgundy petunias, carmine fuschias;
golds, whites, and blues.
She has moved October’s pansies –
still living, can't toss –
and shade’s extra impatiens
to planters out back
under new-leaved trees.
Soft soil - gentle to hands;
plants in pots - pretty palettes;
but bending back - less sweet.
“Does the gardener need some help?"
“Yes, thank you – water and tidying -
I have to ease my aching back.”
He trashes empty flats, small plastic pots;
composts weeds; unwinds a hose; sweeps;
sprays a deer-proof scent on plants
that have had a nibblers' haircut.
She muddies in her multi-colors,
sits on stoop, and feels a joy in work and rainbows.
Dragonflies flit by; a ruby-throat hovers
at Fothergilla catkins - so
a scarlet nectar-holder joins the flower-party.
Now, the yard is dressed.
Anne Emerson, May 2017;