One never knows, withe the Poetry Muse — when she’s going to be with you; when she’s in elusive mode.  And sometimes, when she’s taken herself far, far away — and you begin to be certain she will never return.

Despite all worldly, chaos, the Poetry Muse has been intensively present lately.

I’ll share a few new ones with NJWILDBEAUTY readers — for whatever is wild in these words, and whatever beauty they may convey, they definitely unfurled in New Jersey.  No one has heard them, nor seen them, but you.  May they generate voyages…


In this tumultuous time of America’s turning its official back on people of other nations, I find this one written on last year’s Summer’s Solstice, startling, even prescient…




in the fluttery darkness

of childhood Westerns

my sister and I were always

set apart

hugging to ourselves

our terrible secret –


as Indians spilled over

the crest of any hill

each of us silently




to ride off into sunsets

with our true brothers




Mary Oliver is my forever catalyst.  Once, in Princeton Hospital for hip replacement (so I could get back OUT on those TRAILS!) I took only Mary’s collected poems for post-op, then rehab reading.  Many of my own were triggered by her electrifying consciousness and attentiveness, to say nothing of always stunning excellence.  Recently, I suffused myself anew with Mary.  Her very personal interaction with bears brought this into being:


INSIDE                                 after reading Mary Oliver on Bears…


you live within my being at all times

your paws curling my own hands

strong feet propelling my too-slender ones


our legs

go on forever


your heart

the larger


you know

absolutely everywhere

where you are going


such large eyes do not fit

within my small ones


there is scarcely room

for your fine head

–emperor’s on coin


ah, but our wondrous grin

that remains





I never know where the Muse wants us to be.  Two recent poems demanded mental transport to Hawaii:




I see us along Hana’s highway

–you at the wheel I last wielded alone

curving from waterfall to waterfall


their long thin threads

like spider floss

or glycerine spun out

by some Hawaiian deity

we can feel, not see


plunging in virginal straightness

into alluring dark pools

mist captured in tropical branchings

of ginger, plumeria, ti


one-handed at the wheel

you’re laughing at this ceaselessness of curves

and so many misleading one-way signs


we dip into inky ponds

up to and over our necks

laughingly dwarfed

by towering verdant damp ferns


you reach both hands

to guide me out of each fall’s sacred water

leaving double footprints

on black sand




…or, what time-frame the Muse may require.  This goes back to early childhood, visiting my favorite uncle (actually, my favorite person — rarely equaled), Donald E. Graham, my Uncle Dutch.  He had been an ambulance driver in World War I, because he would not kill.  One time, the sergeant ordered him to steal a horse.  My very honest uncle was devastated, as he obeyed.  Picture that weathered flag from something like 1918…



was anyone tender
with me, save Uncle Dutch?

swinging me high
onto so-broad shoulders

marching the two-but-one of us
down steep wooden stairs
into their plain concrete cellar

where his thick broad flag
from World War One
did not have the right
number of stars

still, we honored it
singing “My country, ‘tis”
at the top of his grown up, and my
very little lungs

just before turning
to re-mount the stairs
I, with my small hand
and he, with his huge
would very smartly salute


Words, not pictures today.  A different kind of journeying toward various forms of wild beauty…









8 thoughts on “POEMS OF THIS NEW YEAR

  1. Carolyn, these words are worth a thousand pictures. I was especially moved by Hana Yearni g.

    -Debbie Hill Sent from my iPad


    • Debbie, your response is always paramount, where poems are concerned. I am really touched by your swift answer. I’ll send you another couple of poems privately. Thank you, always, for our poetic connection. Keep on with YOURS, and find that like-minded group! love and light c

    • Lisa, thank you for your strong swift response. Means so very much. Have had some knee challenge out of the blue the last few days – diagnosable Monday, we hope — somehow had to prove I’m still me, me with a cane?! NO! YES… whole no matter what, as all powerful women, such as you, continue to be, and growing… best c

  2. You are so very gifted Carolyn. Intrigued by each of your poems. Magnificent as always! Your knee challenge has given you time to reflect. One bright side, but get well soon so you can be outdoors on the trails again! Thank you for sharing your talents.

  3. Dear Angela, I deeply appreciate your loyalty and your enthusiasm. It intrigues me, how wide-ranging the Muse is just now. Glad each journey intrigues you. Feeling much better tonight, despite too much walking in stores, with kind friend sparing me as much as possible. Arnica Montana, sub-lingual, turned the trick about sundown. Walked (by accident, forgetting) without cane back here for awhile. Grateful for any evidence of surcease. And our Muses, Photography/Art some of the time; words some of the time. And, for us, fellowship, no matter what! c

  4. Dear Franklin, Thank you so much for rejoicing with me at the return of Mlle. Muse… she’s a saucy one, a forceful one, a feisty one… Yes, poetry would matter to you above all, for that is how we met, before I moved to France, no less. A magnificent day up here — not doing what had been planned, but making the most of a challenge, with a very loyal friend. As are you, all these years. Blessings, c

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