Pics and Poems
Home Again (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
Light Comes In (Published In Poets Domain 2018)
heralds earth’s primeval light;
sleeping waves catch fire.
Walk on the Beach
Wearing coats; sun’s bright
on wave, gull, and scattered tracks -
worlds unknown, at home.
Cobalt, peach, pink, gold
float to sleeping – chill ripples;
three hikers linger.
Anne Emerson, May 2019;
revised August 2020
Like the ancients, cut
with reverence, bowing heads
to art transcendent
Un-needed blooms fill
seven vases, moving hearts
with long-lost harvests
Jade-like leaves adorn
a wine-red lily – maybe
Peach, dianthus stems –
for artist friend this vase is
Gold and blue, in bowl –
too lovely to abandon
on weekend away
Those we could not take
were marched through frosty fields, for
“Mommy loves flowers.”
Anne Emerson, March 2017
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
See many easels standing
among gay iris beds,
and camera-holders crouching
near peonies’ drooping heads.
Bright oriental poppies
perform their yearly fling,
for flower-lovers’ sorties
to Herndon every spring.
Yes, Margaret’s shared her gardens
for more than forty years.
But now for many reasons,
it’s time to sell, she fears.
There’s talk of County buying,
but can it meet the cost?
Is haven ever-living,
or will it soon be lost?
Anne Emerson, revised 2020
Dandelion Seeds (Published in Poets Domain 2015)
To a Child
It stands, strange misty globe, above the green.
With round eyes beamed to it, you kneel beside
the perfect, star-filled sphere. In time you lean,
bewitched, to touch its gentle, giving side.
It's gone. Look, there's another--downy grey--
a tiny techno-sculpture, sun-suffused.
It waits for breaths of wind to lift away
a dainty cargo, seeds--like cat hairs--loosed
at last, to sail the cloudscape, light as thought.
Let's help the breeze. Hold carefully, and blow
to see the fairies gambol and cavort.
You watch in awe, your second spring, although
someday there'll be no mystery at all--
you'll romp here and ignore the fluffy ball.
Anne Emerson, March 1995
“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 –
too vibrant to toss –
and shade’s extra impatiens,
to planters out back
under fresh-leaved trees.
Soft soil’s gentle on hands,
plants in pots, cheerful palettes;
but not on bending back.
“Does the gardener need some hel
“Yes, thank you – water and clean-up
so, I can rest my back.”
He trashes empty flats, small plastic pots;
composts weeds; unwinds a hose; sweeps.
He sprays a deer-proof scent on plants
that have had a haircut.
She muddies in her multi-colors,
sits on steps, feels the joys of work and rainbows.
A dragonfly flits by; a ruby-throat hovers
at Fothergilla catkins.
A scarlet nectar-holder joins the picture.
The yard is dressed.
Anne Emerson, May 2017