Fragile Beauty

Fragile Beauty
A Tribute to Poet, Jane Kenyon

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto

In the darkening June evening
I draw a blossom near and drawing close
search it as a woman searches
a loved one’s face.

Jane Kenyon
“Peonies at Dark”

As night approaches
we sit in silence
sipping beauty in our garden.
Sparrows feed greedily
as hummingbirds circle our heads
before approaching the nectar, descending
to drink deeply in the waning light.
The heavy mood forgotten
we look to new beginnings
in the darkening June evening.

You turn to me.
I sigh and take your hand
and in the taking release fear.
You are there, and in the night
you remain my light.
The answer to my questions, no one knows.
So now we trust in new beginnings.
You lead me to a fading flower,
lift up its fragrance to my nose.
I draw a blossom near and drawing close

inhale its dying beauty
breath deeply of its tenuous life.
What lies ahead will surely hold our deaths,
another reminder of fragility,
nature’s stunning beauty.
Throughout our lives we live as learner,
probe the center of a flower as though
it holds truth’s secrets, and it does.
I pull the blossom close now and in the shadow of our birch
search it as a woman searches

to know the love she shares,
the lives she touches day-by-day.
I think of Jane, a poet who observed
the details of each moment, giving birth in words
as though a child to live its own life.
Too short her own, and harsh her earthly race
to happiness. Preoccupied with death, like her,
I turn to whom I love and cherish all I know
of gentleness, of care. And in the space
(I find) a loved one’s face.


It’s hard to believe that it’s been 3 years since Brian and Claudia opened the doors to dVerse Poets Pub and invited me to join them as a team member. These have been poetry-drenched years–an invitation to write more poems than I ever thought I was capable of, an invitation to drink deeply of the inspiring work of poets from all over the world and an opportunity to learn so much about the art and craft of poetry through the thoughtful work of my fellow team members and the reading/self-education that hosting compelled me to pursue.

Yesterday,  we were invited to write an ode to a poet.  For this second post, I’ve cheated a bit, following neither the proscribed form for an “ode” and by choosing a poem I posted a while back, based on the work of Jane Kenyon–an American poetess who died too young and who has mirrored for me the power of close observation–observation of nature and of everyday life.

Jane Kenyon, 1947-1995, grew up and lived her early life in Michigan, moving later to New England. Her poetry is simple and emotionally evocative. In the reading, one discovers a story of her too brief life, told in exquisite detail. Kenyon battled depression off and on, lived for her family, and died of leukemia. The theme of death weaves through her work. She was also a proficient translator of Russian poetess, Anna Akhmatova.

In this poem, I’m not always sure where Jane begins and I end. It goes without saying that, along with Mary Oliver and Stanley Kunitz, Kenyon has been a huge influence in my own writing and my own living.

We hope you will join us at dVerse Poets’ Pub for the week-long celebration of our anniversary. It will be a “Ball”

Ready, Set—Let’s Party! Monday Meanderings

This week, the poets who frequent dVerse Poetry Pub are gearing up to celebrate an Anniversary–3 years! Brian and Claudia have lined up all kinds of fun and inspirational virtual events. I won’t give anything away but instead invite/beg you to head on over and see what they’ve cooked up for us. The Invites will be posted today at 12 Noon, EDT, HERE.

Photo: Allison Jardine for dVerse Poets Pub

Photo: Allison Jardine for dVerse Poets Pub

Being part of the team since the beginning has been a huge privilege for me. It’s true–at times it’s demanding (LOTS of preparation and commenting). I even submitted my resignation once and immediately regretted it but Brian and Claudia gave me the option of taking a LOA for a couple of months to ready my next novel for publishing. (If you want to know more about the novel, The Sin of His Father,  check out my Website.)

The community of poets who frequent “The Pub” are from many countries, diverse backgrounds and belief systems, as well as varying levels of poetic experience and skill. Accepting the various challenges offered by the team, we write in many forms from the most structured to unique free forms. It’s fun to see how a poet’s work develops, how we grow as poets and persons. Being a part of the pub offers a glimpse of new ways of looking at things and acceptance of one another in spite of our differences.

I better clam up now, since I will be posting Saturday’s Anniversary wrap-up and don’t want to use up all my insights here. But if you do stop by for that, you will, no doubt, experience some deja-vu all over again, to quote the inimitable Yogi Berra.

As you may have guessed, the purpose of this post is to invite you to join us. For the poets among you, I hope you will contribute at least one (or more) of your own poems. And, everyone else–read one or many. Who knows? You may catch the poetry bug and give it a try yourself. Perfection not required. It’s a process.

Have a wonderful week, and Happy Anniversary, dVerse!