While Humans Built

while humans built towers
the meaning was in stars
and the petals of flowers

spun on an orb weaver’s thread
sparkling with dew,
tapped in the fertile soil
by the tree’s persistent roots,
tossed by the brute wind
like the dead leaves of autumn

flowing like the cool, clear waters
of the ground-sprung creek

cleansing like the rain
warming like the sun
blanketing like snow stores undone
flying on the wings of birds and butterflies
churning up the earth like worms
standing firm like rock
eroding like sand

and

like the great willow
ever growing toward the sky
still, cascading to the ground
sheltering life
in its tent
of leaves
draped
around

while humans built towers
the beauty was in stars
and the petals of flowers

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Trace the Edges

I lie in the grass
like I did as a child
and look up to the sky
trace my fingers along the edges of the clouds drifting by –

a ship with tall sails
cuts through the deep blue

a girl dances
in a billowing skirt

a hippopotamus sticks its head out of the river,
its mouth gaping,
or is it the mouth of a crocodile
lurking under the surface of the Nile

the egrets on the bank don’t look worried
they will grab their meals
and then take flight

there,
the canopy of a forest

there,
the mountain peaks

there,
a strange system of planets
in an alternate universe

there,
the little stone I skipped in the pond yesterday,
it went farther than I thought it could possibly go

like my dreams
of childhood and today,
soaring – these clouds –
stories I long to tell

to be seen by others
as they lie in the grass
and look up to the sky
and trace the edges
of me

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Devour

devour the writer

taste the words
savor them on your tongue
chew
swallow
allow them to digest
until their nutrients
absorb into your cells
feeding you

let ink –
the layers of metaphor,
narrative,
plot
and
construct –
dissolve

there, the writer –
stripped bare
to
soul,
will be
inside you

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Honey Bees

bees
calmed by smoke
allow the theft
gather the honey
in pots
melt the wax
add the wick
light the candle
it smokes
and
calms
the
bees

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Like Children

we play like children
on a landscape of letters
grains of sand
we form into forts
the waves crash over
and scatter our word creations
we build again
remembering the moat, this time
we dig it deep around the palace plot
then add tall-tale spires
and carve out balconies and archways
to give it character
with shovel pens
and paper pails
we build word castles
like children,
digging our bare toes in the warm grains,
leaving our footprints
on the beach,
splashing in the waves,
adding on chapter layers
by the bucket
we play

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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She Sings

why does she sing?

she turned 91, the old bird

her life’s mate was just caged in the nursing home
he can’t remember why
his once lengthy repertoire has been reduced to a few, sweet notes

her handicapped son still lives at home
needing her patient care
all he could ever do was chirp

the last of her friends died years ago
their songs now silent
she takes her coffee with younger generations
their noisy squawks sometimes give her a headache
but she never complains

she goes on singing, the old bird
and smiles and laughs
and shares a story
or ten

she sings
not because her life’s bird landed on a beautiful branch
in a flawless tree

she sings
because
as a bird in life’s tree
she can

~

for my Granny, who still tells the best stories and is an avid bird-watcher

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Crimson Ink

I respond to the beats
deferent
the pulse of life carries
oxygen
to
organs
limbs
finger tips
and
toes

when my pounding heart
echoes
the movements of my soul
my poised pen
forms
words
in
crimson
ink
flow

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

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Kiss

lips kiss in embouchure

fingers dance over open holes

the French Flute sings

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse

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Imagine

imagine ~

if the obese worm
of bigotry
could be contained
in a chrysalis
there
forced to change
or starving die
might emerge
life’s
liberated
butterfly

~

Words and Photography ©2018 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse

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