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Pics and Poems

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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


 Light Comes In (Published In Poets Domain 2018)



Ocean Sunrise

Rosy horizon

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.


Bay Sunset

Cobalt, peach, pink, gold


float to sleeping – chill ripples;


 three hikers linger.


                                  Anne Emerson, May 2019;

                        revised August 2020

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Ikebana Class


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

to intoxicate


Peach, dianthus stems –

 for artist friend this vase is

  almost Japanese


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

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A Visit

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

animation everywhere

Queen Vic lunch

lavender fields climbing wall

goodbye again



                             Anne Emerson, 2009;                       revised Jan 2020

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Margaret’s Gardens

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

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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

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The Gardener

“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 help?"

“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

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