A Different Spring

Hello from the land of grass and clay.

Like the flowers reaching for the sun, I’m reaching for some light. Shaking off the last bits of snow and ice, I’m looking forward to fragrant lilacs and brave squirrels finding their caches of last autumn’s harvest.

It seems that upheaval and abrupt change are in this spring’s scope. Things that used to be hostile are now looking for peace. Things that were silenced are now crying out from the ground.

My world is no different. There is school ending and beginning. There is a tent that needs to be checked and cleaned for camping. There are financial decisions; what to buy or not buy is a moving target. The youth are looking for employment. Families move out and move in throughout the neighborhood.

There seems to be a pulse about spring, though sometimes it’s more like tachycardia. Choices are made quickly and there is too much haste, putting the eggs in the basket only to have them fall and crack open. There were appearances of the sun, only to be hidden with heavy clouds and the drips of rain. People cram the mall only to find that the stores are closing and not a lot is taking their places.

More of my acquaintances are starting to feel spring fever. It may mean a simple happiness or it can be full-blown mania, but only their minds will know the difference. For me, it’s a relieved exhale, to walk amongst paths dodging the newlyweds and prom goers and the expecting moms, all wanting to have their pictures taken under the blooms of the trees. Robins are finding bugs and sparrows gather grass for their nests. You can’t move slow these months because Nature’s creatures are knocking themselves over for the chance to carry their DNA into the next generation. Runners move faster and walkers talk louder, all in a hurry to somewhere and nowhere all at once.

Sophie is now looking outside and chattering because there is a bird on the front yard. In a little while I’ll feed her the same food and she’ll look upon it as if was new again. I’ll look outside to see the wind blow last year’s leaves down the street, while the faintest hint of life is extending from the branches of the sugar maple. I haven’t missed it all yet; there are new things coming forth in the next few months.

Happy spring!


Rehearsing For Spring

My mind has been rehearsing for spring

Spent the months hidden in the snow

Like tender flowers emerging to the sun

Unrolling leaves and blossoms follow


Babies cling to mothers for warmth

While fur and feathers line their nests

Singing, springing, and stretching their necks

For the worms and bugs, they will digest


Butterfly from chrysalis and I from my home

Find beauty and food, its raw glory now shown.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Dandelion 2

Whirligigs whizzed in the garden

Squirrels scuttled swiftly past

Flowers unfold fringed petals

As bees busied their bodies at last


Nectar handed off to the hummingbirds

Lilacs luxuriated in a lavender glow

Roses rise yawning to greet the sun

Tulips are poised for lips unknown


As the mowers come to mow them down

As the shovels scrape beneath the soil

As the pavers pour a new parking lot

As the black asphalt bubbles and boils


Silent shrieks pour out from below

The garden disappears for some man’s “need”

But they forgot in their frantic departure

The obstinate tenacity of a dandelion seed


©2018 Valerie Hathaway




Fae woman, charmed in her hips

Swept her dirty feet around the fire.

Earth woman sighed as another email

Blasted itself on the computer screen.


Fae woman holds a bowl to her brow,

Blessing the spirits that reside within.

Earth woman picks up the black phone,

Listening to more anger, pride, and venom.


Fae woman puts the potion on the fire,

Feeling the flames rise into her body.

Earth woman drinks another cup of coffee,

Trying to keep her brain functioning.


The skies crack and the world is spilling,

Water falls all over parched ground.

Both women cry and fall down,

Embraced by a force well beyond them.


Earth woman wakes up to the fire,

Relieved and thankful even in fear.

Fae woman gets up and grabs her purse,

Flipping the finger as she walks out the door.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway



To The Great Gods

To the great gods and the Universe:

Humor us for our little woes.

Give patience to our little souls,

Travelling as spirit comes and goes.


Be clear for the water we drink;

Be nourishing as we pull our roots.

In pain and silence light a candle,

Guiding the sun for leaves and shoots.


Do we ever listen to your blessings?

Do we stay still for the tiniest breath?

Do we forget for lights and metal,

Our lives captured only in death?


Listen to the winds, to the chatter

Of all beings, because they matter.

Hold a tree in your heart, a flower in your soul,

A rock for your feet, in your ways we go.


We sleep for a night, or for a lifetime

We awake to the dark, or not at all

We find the fire, the rain, the water

And like ashes we perish, new food for the soil.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


Her body inflates, puffs of hope rising

Kiss the ground, kiss tree and flower

She expands to hold all the world

Across creation her figure towers


She is death, she is rebirth and life

She is the petals gracing your cheek

The first bird in the morning light

The crickets and fireflies, all to seek


Her limitless abundance becomes rot

Her little gifts pierce the dirt

She is pain and the giver of pain

She exhales, and releases the hurt


Why should we let her struggle

When we become hers in the end

Life after life, over and over

Eternal rotation, our foe, our friend


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway




It’s not a thing to be realized anymore

I am caught up in stasis, not moving forward

I have cotton candy in my brain, tiny holes

In the sugar fibers letting my thoughts in


I’ve driven in the snow, the ice, the rain

Washed out rivers and riptides in the sea

I’ve been drowned, hit, kicked upon

And yet I’ve been held open in the water


I was a mermaid, a whale, a hagfish

I was part of the deep raised to the surface

Now I am a collection in a museum

Placed behind glass, sterile yet breathing


My brain was dissolved into light

But my bones are for all to see

Look at how big I am, people

How majestic I would have been


I roll onto the elevator, inhaling

Stale urine and cigarette smoke

I go to my cell block apartments

And stare out the window, seeing nothing


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway





If you wandered in the ruins

You may see the purpose

Of those broken-down towers


You may see a fireplace

Where everything is centered

The light of the castle’s heart


You look through the walls

Where joists used to be

Holding it all upward


Or you may see a pile of boulders

Covered in lichen and moss

Reclaimed by nature’s army


If you wandered in the ruins

You may see what was

Or you see what is


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

The Winds Carry The Crosses

The winds carry the crosses

Across fields and prairies

Through concrete canyons

Up the summits of mountains


They are for everyone

For the birds and elephants

For snakes and for whales

For every beating heart


They are not afraid

Except for us; we fear them

And try to get away from them

They drain our money and our blood


Stand up to those crosses

Embrace the cold realm of eternity

And when all is completely done

They were never something to fear


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

I Walked

(From a weekend writing challenge by Sammi Cox:)

Weekend Writing Prompt


I walked amongst the office buildings

Like concrete trees, resolute in their stature

I walked amongst the row houses

Containing fortitude for the people within

I walked amongst the trees in the park

No epiphany, but a gradual unfolding

I walked to the end of the journey

And the next journey begins

And it ends and begins again

And it ends and begins again

No journey is ever the same


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway