Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Two Faced

Autumn is a lovely word
that lingers on the tongue
full and round as a pumpkin.

Fall is quick
lean as a stick.
An imperative
not to be denied
no matter the richness
of the harvest.

Bridget Harwell

The End of October

Bushels of leaves
hang on the trees
with not a wisp of wind
to shake them.
Like paratroopers
on the edge of plunge
they wait

Bridget Harwell

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


I spent a summer day
in the vast garden of Altamont,
long past its time of sculptured yews 
and tended flowers.
Free to roam, roses and azaleas mixed
with daffodils and bluebells
and rhododendron ran wild down the lanes. 
A different, fallen beauty.
But I minded the lake.
Overtaken by lilies,
it could not move in the breeze.
The house, too, was enclosed,
choked by moss and vines, 
its windows shuttered.
On a side veranda,
perched upon a parapet,
a peacock stood alone
waiting, perhaps, for a larger crowd
that did not come.
It spread enormous wings,
opened a wide throat and brayed,
an eerie, high pitched call.
I fancied it missed its fellow creatures
and the sweep of their tails over cut green fields.
Knowing well the call to better days,
I turned away.

Bridget Harwell

*Altamont is a garden in Ireland 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On a Rocky Beach in Maine

evergreen air
lapping water
evening sun
we searched for shapes
and colors.
My eye caught many,
yours but one.
You pressed into my hand,
closed our fingers round,
a heart shape stone
I meant to keep forever
... but lost along the way.
Dormant half a century,
that still frame moment
returned to me,
woke me in the night
like the snap of a branch
or the call of a loon
over water.

Bridget Harwell                  

Monday, June 27, 2016


He looked up
at the moon,
golden threads
spilling through
black branches
of a tree.

Only he
had this view,
this beauty
spun in his soul
of his

Bridget Harwell

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My Beef With the Dalai Lama

Ok, it's not really the Dalai Lama. He is such a powerful force for peace and kindness and plain ole goodness. It's really the notion of happiness I stumble over and happiness seems to be one of his key concepts. I fear that for most of us, we imagine that there is a place called happiness; a place we can work hard to get to and, maybe with some luck, settle in. Happiness as a destination. But, like any other emotion, happiness is mutable. I know that I have never been able to lasso happiness and lock it in to place. It comes and goes, just like sadness and anger and fear. Plus happiness is almost always derived from external sources i.e. the woman you like agreed to go out with you; you got a promotion; you won an award. How about the word JOY instead? Joy is not contingent on anything else happening. For want of a better word, it's a spiritual state that resides within. In fact, I can be feeling sad and at the same time experience the joy of a blazing sunrise. Maybe it seems like semantic nit-picking, I don't know. It's worth thinking about, though. We all have the capacity to cultivate joy any time, under almost any circumstance.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Death in the House

As I sat reading
late into the evening
shadows gathered
round the single lamp.
One, darker than the rest
crept across the floor
exited down the hall
and disappeared.

At three
the hour of random thoughts
I woke
pictured the chipmunk hiding
somewhere in the house
longing for his place
his burrow deep beneath the ground.

Was his mate waiting there?
Would I find him
weeks from now
behind a chair
or in the basement
his errands run
his smart striped coat
a pile of dust.

Bridget Harwell

* Chipmunks mate for life.