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Pics and Poems

This page contains poems and photos that appear in Annie's "Pics and Poems" photo books. We could call them ekphrastic poems, except that not everyone knows what that means.

 Portland, Oregon

(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

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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


Lavender and Lime


We take our picnics onto cliffs of chalk

in wartime, though no bluebirds flutter there

as shadows fall on sterling spoon and fork

and alpenglow consumes once-storied fare.


Return to us, oh sweetly fading calls

of lavender and lime from younger days – 

your sunset-world that built these ivied walls attracts no more, in half-distorted ways.


It's caught within an other-making loom –

in fabric folding on itself through time  

to strangers breathing lavender perfume –    

and sipping liquor, laced with Rose’s lime.                   


To weave again, behond old myths and dreams,

a shadow has to breathe, and break its seams.


Anne Emerson

August 2022, revised July 2023

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 Light Comes In

(One Version Published in Poets Domain 2018)


Ocean Sunrise

Rosy horizon

heralds earth’s primeval light -

sleeping waves catch fire.


Walk on the Beach

Crisply cold - bright sun

on wave, gull; with scattered tracks -

worlds unknown, at home.


Bay Sunset

Cobalt, peach, light airs

float to sleep on wintry waves - 

 three hikers linger.


                                  Anne Emerson, May 2019;

                     revised 2020, 2023

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