Spring on the Wing



Red Willow River

waters are rising.

Sea green waves

wash whittled

beaver sticks

against pebble strewn shores.

I bend,

filling a

miniature vessel

to hold her song:

Water Is Life.


Spring is on the wing.

Bird migrations,

wild winds,

leave – taking,

these are the

elements of seasonal change.

Prayers for rain

may be answered.

Pale green desert rosettes,

toothed scorpion rounds,

purple filigreed ferns,

swelling Cottonwood buds,

all create a chorus of rain chants

sweetening the night.

Blackbirds trill from

tallest branches,

flash crimson

in morning flight.


March is the month

of the seed moon…

I found a soggy bean pod

She held three seeds.

Three old women called out

as I plucked that shriveled husk

from the river’s edge.


Three swollen capsules –

I held them tightly.

Would they

sprout a bean tree

flowing with fragrant flowers,

converse with Iris?


Frog woman?

Three faces of the

Goddess of Spring.

Just in case,

I dug them in.


I have scattered many seeds…

Few have taken root.

This is the way of the desert.

She withholds spring planting,

sometimes for years.

And who am I

to decide what grows

or not?


On the first of March

my passionflower

dropped tender leaves and died.

Twice death has taken her

this vining heart of mine

in exactly the same way

to make her point.


Nature makes no exceptions

for a soul that wonders

too far from her roots.

And mine belong to water.


Caught up by others’ needs

I forgot to tend the garden

of the vining heart of me.

My dreams grew dark.

I suffered from absence –

unable to capture my own attention –

even through poetry.


When plant death intervened

suddenly it dawned, the golden eye…

Her Light grows ever stronger

the moment I turn inward.


Forgive this foolish meandering…

I must turn back to me.



Working Notes


This poem was written for, and is dedicated to my friend and scholar Dr. Helen Hye Sook who reminded me that I needed to follow my passions…


In Greek mythology Iris was the Goddess of the Rainbow. She represents the daughter aspect of the Goddess manifesting as bridge between Earth and Sky. Persephone is also a daughter who spends half of her life in the Underworld, returning to the Upperworld when the first crocus blooms in spring. Frogs spend the cold months buried in the earth in a state of suspended animation and only emerge to breed after the Earth thaws and the rains come. According to Gimbutas, the goddess has a frog aspect, and frogs have been associated with Rebirth since Neolithic times. All involve spring transitions, which are rarely easy. I am struck by these faces of three daughter – like goddesses who also act as bridges from one world to another. Each births something new and each is related to water or the underworld.