I'm a poet and writer living for the past six years in the South Jersey shore area. I moved here from North Jersey in 2009 after the 2008 death of my husband William J. (Bill) Higginson, author of The Haiku Handbook, to be closer to my daughter and family. I'm a mom, grandma, and sometimes poet-teacher for the NJSCA. My work has appeared in many journals, and in twenty-some books (including chapbooks). I read at the Dodge Festival in 2010, and have enjoyed two poetry residencies at VCCA (January 2011; March 2015). Please visit my website:www.2hweb.net/penhart and my blog: http://penhart.wordpress.com New books: Recycling Starlight; The Resonance Around Us http://mountainsandriverspress.org/TitleView.aspx
The great clock of your life
is slowing down,
and the small clocks run wild.
I am running again through the woods next to
my childhood yard, my small legs dodging fallen
branches, thick brambles, maybe even poison ivy,
as I gallop through some summer’s sticky heat.
I am running like our small beagle Berry,
named for wild blackberries, who dashed
headlong into a tree upon our return from
a treeless, sun-blind shore—and lived.
I am running wild although it’s darker now
here in this new time zone where the hours
grow hallow beneath the mirror of the moon—
a moon inching further from the Earth each year.
A great clock ticks on the horizon, but small clocks
pulse within me, giddy with urgency, as I dodge
trees and leap streams, trusting my feet to find
firm ground beneath the flickering stars.
Published in US 1 Summer Fiction Issue, August 2014.
Dolphins leap in the dawn,
their silver backs shedding
sparks of foam, their rhythm
a heartbeat beyond the breakers.
Welcoming the sun,
they raise salt into the wind
as they follow schools of fish
into the morning.
Tonight when they rest in the swells,
swimming with half-closed eyes,
blowholes open to the air,
they will listen for one another
and for the turning Earth
whose moon sounds the tides
that rock them;
they will dream of the stars,
pale phosphorescent ancestors
whistling faintly to them
from the distant currents
of the sky.
From Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth (Sherman Asher Publishing ©1998)
©2016 Penny Harter