Blossoms, Laced with Snow
Marooned in shadows of frost,
dogwoods blush with bloom.
The bluebird's throat unrusts,
song spinning across the dawn,
pouring through forsythia branches
tipped with gold.
Tufts of daffodils spark the yard.
Like a whirling compass needle,
Spring's gift, chased by snow clouds,
blend into sullen shadows.
Crocus and violet taste the brittle air,
hide their buds in crumpled leaf scatter.
Soon this white weight, winter's last song,
with sigh under the sun, days lengthening,
hopeful and warm.
Written in Water
-- Connemara, Ireland
Taste the ocean on your lips.
Wind scorns the sun, tosses
your hair till you can't see,
can only feel June's raw bite.
Foxglove curves on the cliffs,
purple bells summoning the dawn.
Moss dimples, water faeries
flirting in the spray.
Here, in the half-light, shadows dust
the stones and highlight fussing gulls,
conceal the rooks, their cawing demands.
Breathe the salt, the Burren
gray and hazy across the bay.
You can't remember the last time
you cried for beauty.
Two boys and a girl plunge onto the sand,
chase clouds, kelp that laces the shore.
Sprites vanish into tidal pools,
wind frothing the waves. Sun whispers
across the gathering blue, plovers
hopping in and out of the surf.
Rush and foam calling, calling.
Until the Raven Comes
The eye of the hummingbird delights
in bright, bold color--petals and stamens
of fuchsia, long throat of honeysuckle
to sneak, to tongue--beak parted,
devouring the solstice song of summer.
Sun and moon share this day,
gather the luster of the hummingbird's
wings, green shimmer pulsing the sky.
Wrens fold their melody into the wind.
Squirrels chuckle in the chestnut oak,
dashing above kayaks drifting
on the river's swell. Downstream, dusk
crouches on the horizon.
KB Ballentine's fifth collection, Almost Everything, Almost Nothing, was published in 2017 by Middle Creek Publishing. Two collections, The Perfume of Leaving and What Comes of Waiting, won the 2016 and 2013 Blue Light Press Book Awards. Published in Crab Orchard Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, among others, her work also appears in anthologies including In Plein Air (2017), Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017), In God's Hand (2017), and River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015). Learn more about KB Ballentine at www.kbballentine.com