Forum Activity for @nancy-e-wright2

Nancy E Wright2
10/14/18 08:07:17PM
17 posts

Lent 2018: A Grateful Reflection

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018


                                                                 Seeing the saints go marching in,

                                                                 Saint Valentine decides to fall in line

                                                                 Slight ennui in heaven makes earth appear divine,

                                                                 As his namesake day of romance is about to begin.


                                                                 Aiming to see Cupid with his bow and arrow,

                                                                 He fails to see the purple, gold, and green,

                                                                 Rex and Consort, Comus and Queen,

                                                                 And all but the purple fading in sorrow.


                                                                For until now, not for seventy-three years

                                                                Have courtly love and penance converged in this way.

                                                                Saint Valentine, amused, proclaims at the seeming insanity:


                                                               "Feed your desire, and fast with tears,

                                                               With roses, chocolate, and ashes honor the day.

                                                               Thus confused, you shall most affirm your humanity."


One month later, and a few days more,

With Lent's last lament comes a knock at the door.


"Spring! Is that you?"

You are early! And what is this?

No buds or blossoms,

No honeysuckle's fragrant kiss.

Not even a crocus petal;

Or did they come and go?

Can this be like any Springtime

I am supposed to know?

So shocked that I forgot

That "go" rhymes perfectly with snow?

With no visible sun or moon,

Where are equal day and night?

The announcement was for a quarter after noon,

On the twentieth day of March.

With coat and gloves in hand

Most thought it none too soon,

But not this way . . . 

Never mind! You are here!

But in such strange array!

No tender grass, no ladybugs,

No caterpillars at play,

No frolicking sunbeams

To tease my eyes,

No buds or blossoms . . . 

Just a snow-wrapped surprise!

Guess what? I love it!

For I am loathe to leave

Winter's icy tingle.  My shoe soles

Want to cleave to frigid glistening ground,

And the frosty edges of my sleeve

Love the brick wall's snowy mound.

I relish the way that snowflakes mingle

On my tongue and eyelids,

While, like a scythe, the gale

Rips assumption from its roots,

And my presumption makes me chew

As I wait for summer's fruits. 


Thus such a riddle of a season

Graces the year with no explicit reason.

Nonetheless, for the blessing of grateful reflection

From sonnet to nonet we praise the Resurrection.


Had the first Easter been April First,

Would the angel beside the tomb,

Gloating at death's death, glibly

Quipped, "April Fool!"? Faith in

Life is life's foolish

Miracle to

Know that death

Is no



updated by @nancy-e-wright2: 10/14/18 08:37:23PM
Nancy E Wright2
09/13/18 07:32:52PM
17 posts

Presque Isle

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

The still leafless trees

Stretched full- bodied, 

Their tips pointed to the parchment firmament.

They would have been giant pencils

But their carbon dioxide did not solidify

Into carbon pencil points.

Besides, that firmament evaporated into endless sky.

The trees were rooted and could not fly

Unless a windstorm had surprised the peninsula on all three sides.

Not likely with this canopy of seamless blue

Past the season of ice breakers

And too soon for the cottonwood blizzard.

They are the poems.

I am the pencil and parchment.


Nancy E Wright2
09/13/18 07:28:47PM
17 posts


West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018



Turns blue eye

Toward the sky

And sees a jet plane

Fly to Katowice

With delegates who will try

To agree on measures to stop

The worst effects of climate change like

Rising seas and drought and melting glaciers.


Commitment to carbon neutrality

Clothes elected select who convene

And strive to see the earth is greened

More than before, while the poor

Struggle another day

To grasp a morsel

And a droplet

Of last night's 






Turns green eye

Toward its own

Shoreline, smaller now,

For the island itself

Is smaller than it had been

No more than six years before when

Doha was where the delegates met

And magnates pledged to turn oil to sunshine.


Some said, how strange to hold the meeting there

When oil is the problem, when in fact

Doha would have been a good choice

With the oil rig workers there

And the Gulf fishers, but 

They weren't invited.

Just delegates 

In Doha






And island

Know that humans

Aspire beyond 

Air and water and food.

Doha has Pearl and Corniche.

Katowice is Poland's hub--

Premier art, science, business, culture,

And Radio Symphony Orchestra.


It all started when coal was discovered.

Furnaces turned iron ore to steel

That glittered and brought bright money.

Doha and Katowice 

Are hubs for delegates

To stop climate change,

But the problem 

Is that they

Need the



updated by @nancy-e-wright2: 09/21/18 04:33:17PM
Nancy E Wright2
09/13/18 07:20:04PM
17 posts

God's Larger Autumn: A Pentina for September-October 2017

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018

Sunbeams and raindrops pelt and pound in praise

The pavement and temples of Durga Puja's glory.

The warrior goddess awaits her honor--

The parade of stunning floats--her devotees' creation

For her victory over evil the Hindu gives thanks.


In the same season a New Year warrants thanks

From Abraham's line, but with different forms of praise.

Once near, now from the diaspora the shofar signals the year's creation​;

Honeycake and apples signal the coming sweetness and glory.

Another heir, still near, abstain​s in the New Year's honor​-


For Muharram, at the first new moon commands the honor

Of Mohammed's disciples, a time to give thanks

Through fasting, mourning, and remembrance comes the glory.

Penitence, not revelry, is the emblem of praise;

Reverence for the martyred marks time's new creation.


Still another line of Abraham celebrates earth's whole creation.

St. Francis is this feast day's guest of honor.

All creatures of Genesis receive blessing and praise.​

​Thus through feasting and fasting, Abraham's children give thanks;

Temple, synagogue, mosque and cathedral celebrate autumnal glory.


Soon comes yet another sign of God's glory

When Ambedkar, author of India's legal creation--

Her Constitution--turns to Buddha and for enlightenment gives thanks,

Chooses Buddhism as life's truest path of honor,

As Jew, Christian, Muslim and Hindu culminate their praise.


Praise and glory that God's larger autumn

Gives honor to God's creation---for God's larger autumn, give thanks!


Nancy E Wright2
09/13/18 06:08:01PM
17 posts

The Crossing

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2018


I balance downward on the wooden steps

Clutching the sturdy gnarled rail

In darkness with no flashlight.

Somehow I find the path

And wait for the two headlights

That signal the jeep with the driver and guide.

They arrive early but late for my anticipation.

I hoist myself into the jeep.

Patience gradually envelopes me,

For the entire day is ahead,

Expanding into a lifetime.

The heavy air lifts with the light

That delineates the firmament,

A New Eden with species of flora and fauna

Too abundant to name.

They dart, hasten and fly through a pastel

Not quite Paradise the angels had begun

But not finished the night before.

I sway blissfully through the unfinished,

Relieved that I can Google the names 

Of the birds and beasts identified.

To write them now,

I would need to release my clutched camera

And risk its dropping from the bouncing jeep

As I scribble notes that the bumpy road

Will render unintelligible.

My pupils search for the miracle

But not intensely, for the afternoon is yet before my gaze

And the monkeys' chatter pleases me

Even if they are anxious about what is not a miracle to them.



The afternoon is covered with a muted balm.

Hoisting myself into the jeep is easier now with practice.

We start on the same road with the same bumps.

Suddenly we spy the miracle,

Robed in amber and onyx,

Courageous stoic and solitary on all fours,

Cloaked in drowsiness to our advantage,

Sated and now satisfying our hunger.

“Silence please,” I whisper,

Then motion so as not to be a hypocrite.

The guide and driver nod politely

And continue to murmur.

My eyes are daggers, one thrust into each murmuring mouth.

The miracle in amber and onyx ambles into the grass,

Deep and deeper by the shallow stream,

And collapses into a sweet sleep in the soft emerald

Amid eager and agitated shutter clicks.

“Why,” I seethe, “were you not silent

For this most reverent of moments?”

My angry tears seep into the tumbling raindrops.



Drenched, we jolt and bump our way to the riverbank.

“Will we see another?” I snarl through gritted teeth.

“Maybe,” they answer with dubious and guilty faces.

“We had better...but will a miracle cross the road in the rain?”

Slight and sympathetic shaking of heads incenses me.

The jeep lurches closer to the river.

The rainfall intensifies.

“Will we see one at the river?”

They do not answer.

I strive for gratitude

At seeing monkeys

And the pride of elephants under the banyan

For which they had been quiet

At my wrathful insistence.



We turn away from the river.

“Is there any chance we will see another?”

They do not answer.

Their faces are blank.

The guide in the jeep ahead signals.

My driver and guide motion that the miracle is crossing.

“Now you two be quiet,” I hiss.

They nod. We advance.

Amber and onyx again traverse the road, gleaming with raindrops

And are gone.

They ask if I am happy.

“Very,” I reply. “Thank you.” 

They sigh. We all smile.

updated by @nancy-e-wright2: 09/13/18 06:16:14PM
Nancy E Wright2
11/30/17 10:49:12PM
17 posts

20/20 Vision

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2017


Wildflowers grow in the most barren places.

Boulders balance on the smallest of rocks.

Clara Brown, her ancestors left on some African shore,

Her family ripped from the fabric of her heart,

Sewn into another field, anonymous property,

While the lark bunting spun freedom’s song over blue columbine.

Boulders balance on the smallest of rocks.

Emancipated, manumitted at the death of her master,

Mandated to leave Kentucky, lest her freedom be set free,

Her mandate: to find her scattered family.

Once housecleaner as a slave, now housecleaner for hire,

Cleaning her way to make her freedom pay.

Clara Brown, her ancestors left on some African shore,

Hired on a wagon train of men bound for gold,

For her the gold was to find her youngest daughter.

She cooked in Colorado for prospectors and miners.

She cooked in abundance accidentally on purpose,

And gave what was left to the territory’s homeless.

Her family ripped from the fabric of her heart,

Now scattered like remnants in the torn quilt of the nation.

Clara opened a bakery, a chapel, and a laundry,

While praying and waiting for the wildflowers to bloom

Visible and beckoning, like sun—washed linen in the wind,

Hotter than gold fever, more brilliant than the gold.

Sewn into another field, anonymous property

No longer, the family planted themselves

While Clara sought their loosened threads,

Watching from the store, from the altar, from the clothesline,

Launching in Central City Colorado’s first laundry,

At fifty cents a bundle, making her freedom pay.

While the lark bunting spun freedom’s song over blue columbine,

Clara Brown earned her money then returned to Kentucky,

Seeking family she did not find, but bringing strangers she did,

Paid their way to Colorado, telling them to make their freedom pay.

Found her daughter in Iowa, together returned to Colorado

As the boulders found new balance amid the lark bunting and blue columbine.



Wildflowers grow in the most barren places.

Birth son  of Eirinn, adopted son of the Waxhaws

From Tennessee frontier, newcomer to a planter's life.

Victorious hero over the offensive British in the Battle of New Orleans,

Villainous destroyer of the defensive Creeks and Seminoles 

Challenger of corruption? but are you, and who are you?

Boulders balance on the smallest of rocks.

The first US President to pay off the national debt,

But what a spoiler! No happy ending,

Sorrowful termination on the bitter Trail of Tears

For Chickasaw, Cherokee, Choctaw, Muscogee,  and again the Creek and Seminole.

Paternalistic and perilous, strange rescue through removal.

Clara Brown, her ancestors left on some African shore--

Andrew, might a less distant one be slaving in your Tennessee fields?

Perhaps you can search when you bring Lyncoya home,

Lyncoya, the sole Creek survivor, Lyncoya, the now orphan babe.

Did you rescue him because you were once an orphan too?

Or did he rescue your conscience from a bloody drowning?

Her family ripped from the fabric of her heart,

Harriet, the one called Moses, escaped twice, the second time alone,

A new conductor, led and leading by the North Star through winter's longest night.

Daughter, sister, mother, wife and widow,

Abolitionist, nurse, scout and patriot,

Her train never jumped the railroad track.

Sown into another field, anonymous property

No longer, with emancipation grounded in law,

She sowed new seeds into the wounded field

To become blossoms of women's suffrage.

She designated yet another tract

To be a home for African-American aged.

While the lark bunting spun freedom's song over blue columbine

Harriet was honored on postage stamp and asteroid

And as she dances in heaven

Perhaps she will see her countenance on currency

With her back to Andrew's and his back to hers.

The common, the uncommon, the extraordinary that is America.


As the boulders find new balance amid the lark bunting and blue columbine

At fifty cents a bundle, making her freedom pay,

Hotter than gold fever, more brilliant than the gold

Giving what is left to the territory's homeless

Cleaning her way to make her freedom pay

While the lark bunting spins freedom's song over blue columbine.

At fifty cents a bundle, making her freedom pay.

She, the laundress finishes forty bundles

And her customer hands her a twenty dollar bill.

On one side is Andrew, on the other side is Harriet.

Clara's hands hold both faces of the currency,

All three and all who follow were and are America.​

Hotter than gold fever, more brilliant that the gold

Shines freedom's sun on an emerald meadow,

Where sun-washed linen dances in the singing wind.

Andrew and Harriet and Clara together

Pull a linen from the line and spread it

For a feast in that meadow. 

Giving what is left to the territory's homeless

A territory no longer, but the homeless are still there

In the land of the free, beloved sovereign republic.

The questions, the wounds, the scars and the boulders:

Monuments of hope from soil becoming rock,

Wave-tossed, eroded, slammed into wisdom.

Cleaning her way to make her freedom pay,

Digging his way to make his freedom pay

Are the laborers, men and women.

The free unkempt frontiersman faces the landed elite.

The escaped slave faces her master and frees the still enslaved.

The freed slave faces her employer and leads the newly free.

Wildflowers grow in the most barren places.

Boulders balance on the smallest of rocks.

Slave and master no longer in that feast in the meadow,

Challenger, entrepreneur, friend and compatriot,

The vision enables the scribe to change past to present,

While the lark bunting spins freedom's song over blue columbine. 


updated by @nancy-e-wright2: 12/03/17 08:35:34PM
Nancy E Wright2
11/30/17 10:00:11PM
17 posts

Joy's Journey

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2017




Begins with

Not knowing or

Musing, just living;

Seeing, hearing, tasting

Sunbeams, music, sweet fragrance,

Delight in sound flying from soul

Suspended from heaven, not grounded,

Unbound by thought or deliberation.


One grows and learns of worlds beyond one’s own,

Galaxies, planets, suns and deep seas,

Metropolis, mountain, and plain,

Forest and desert and moor,

Of cavern and seashore,

Flowers and gemstones.

The eager one

Thinks plans to

Touch them





And struggling

Without watching

The moon safeguarding,

The sun lighting the path

That supports determined feet

Running to edges of oceans

Bringing dreamer, seeker, achiever

To wave’s crest, until glancing back at shore,


Wonders if something was left there in haste

And eagerness to venture far from

Shores whose music is forgotten.

Then journey starts with return

Home, cherished memory,

Future’s mystery






Nancy E Wright2
11/29/17 07:12:49PM
17 posts

Thoughts from the Solar System on the Centennial of the US National Park Service

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2017

For a century we have watched your institutional embrace

Giving glaciers, forests, lakes and mountains their distinctly human face;

And while we, the galaxies, comets, planets, meteors, and such

Would defy any imprints of this interventionist human touch,

We honor your wisdom, foresight, and your acuminate earthly skill

In curtailing and preventing the effects of rampant human will

To build and to bulldoze seemingly fallow, void terrain

In the name of economic development for sheer financial gain.

The parks of America speak wordlessly of sustenance and beauty,

Of firmaments' astounding grandeur and of patriotic duty.

From the pathways of the Natchez and the trails of the Cherokee

To the mangroves of Saipan's Pacific wartime memory,

From Hawaii's lava rock our meteors could claim as theirs,

To Sequoia's, Kings Canyon's and Yosemite's great black bears,

From Acadia and Cape Cod where the eye for sunrise waits,

From Chesapeake and Cumberland to Alaska's Arctic gates,

From Arizona's Tuzigoot to Florida's Dry Tortugas,

The declaration of America's parks has brought reassurance to us.

For we have monitored your earthly life from our extraterrestrial sphere

(Defined as such by earthlings, since only to you are we a frontier).

We understand your crowding, your resource limits, your need,

And who knows how many that food grown on another planet could feed?

But we have observed that wilderness takes root in the human spirit

Only when its endangered status draws people to come near it.

Thus wilderness, like extraterrestrial, is a motif of the human mind,

Born of the imagination that wants to protect it, to be kind.

Thus the wild is so defined by that which has been captured,

And inherent value named by the heart that is enraptured.

Indeed, at times quite heedless of human lives already in place,

Other humans declare a park a tribute to nature's grace.

But a preserve of flora and fauna for some is to others their root subsistence,

In a world where humans and non-humans dwell in balanced co-existence.

"Indigenous" they may call it, once more defined by its antithesis,

Thus creating yet again a wild proprietary synthesis.

To leave it wild you must encircle it, and declare it as your own,

Then gaze into the galaxy that in the future may be your home,

While we, the solar system, smile brightly in our deep, deep dark,

To fathom that our infinity could ever be declared a park.

Nancy E Wright2
11/29/17 07:11:05PM
17 posts

Sonnet on the Gregorian Calendar

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2017

Three centuries before the edict of esteemed Pope Gregory,

That would restore the Eastertide to early Church decision,

Giacomo da Lentini, Guido Cabvalcanti, Dante Alighieri

And perhaps more yet unknown were poets of great precision.

Creating the sonnet for which Petrarch is credited with such symmetry.

Then sonnet crown and redouble spilled in creative collision

While tectonic shifts in time jolted Europe's reverie.

Nature still joined day and night in equinox division.

The sonnet lends itself  to write the history o this mission

That led  to how a twelve-month calendar became the year comprising.

The redouble gives ample space for each month's exhibition,

With three more left to fret the mind with endless analyzing

At how and why the year became subjected to this scission,

While Nature's timeless cycles human fission nullifies.

Nancy E Wright2
08/25/17 07:09:12AM
17 posts

Appalachian Torch: A Tribute to Helen Matthews Lewis

West Coast Eisteddfod Online Poetry Competition 2017

Just a comment on "Appalachian Torch" . . . . Dr. Helen Matthews Lewis is a Georgia-born sociologist who has researched and written extensively on mountain mining communities, beginning with her Appalachian home in Wise County, VA, and extending worldwide, including Wales.  She is a pioneer in identifying such communities as impacted by what she has called "internal colonialism" and in recognizing and presenting the cultural uniqueness and autonomy of these communities even in the wake of oppression--I wrote this poem for a memory book that was presented to Dr. Matthews in March of this year. I myself had the honor of studying with Dr. Matthews for part of two summers during my high school years, and also staying on her farm.  Thinking of those days definitely evokes a Proustian memory---early morning birdsong, pristine mountain air, and the taste of mint tea with leaves fresh from the garden!

Nancy Wright