Evergreens And Carnations

one month ends

another begins

evergreen branches

frame the night sky

trimming the stems

of carnations

and giving them

fresh water

October sun


I posted the first poem–an image I see again in the early morning, as the sun rises later– on Poems From Psalms And Nature last year.  http://elingrace.wordpress.com.  The second poem is new today.  The image is a free sample from Art Nouveau: Second Series (doverpublications.com).


…continues to amaze me.

Yesterday, on the way home from Mead Public Library in Sheboygan, I remembered the day this time of year, in 2003, when my mother’s last illness began.  The day that, looking back, was the time that a major shift occurred.  I didn’t know “last illness” at the time.

It is good to write last, for she suffered many illnesses.  I recover from losses slowly, but know all is well.

Autumn 2003 was mostly spent in Milwaukee, staying overnight at the hospital with Mom, and then visiting her in the nursing home.  Simply spending time together.  Reading, resting, watching the news.

I remember the local colors I did not see that year, but they were every bit as vibrant there.  Especially in my mother’s soul.  She knew she was being called Home, yet she worked hard to stay with us as long as possible.  Unconditional love flowed.  Her spirit kept growing.  She never stopped growing. I hope I can be like that as I age too.

In her papers, I found a news clipping with a young photo of her.  She gave a speech in a school–it must have been in a school–in the neighborhood of the library.  Mom was an English Professor.

So I wonder at the passing of time as I travel the same roads.  I also marvel at God’s grace and that new chapters, with their own special beauty, grow in time.  One day at a time.

The Gift Of Another Autumn

once again memories of Mom’s spirit
still growing stronger and ever more loving
during her last illness

leaves showing all their
radiant colors
before they must leave

for a time…

“Fall scene in a circle” courtesy of wpclipart.com.

ROSES – Short Poems And Photos

A collection of our poems (by Ellen) and photos (by Karl)


from this blog and print journals.




only now beginning

to find my place and poems

late-blooming rose

from the bush

planted long before

we came here

turning the vase

of flowers


there are

more roses

(Also published in Bell’s Letters Poet.)

old roses

now in bloom

a few petals fall

from the blue vase

caught by a poem

(Published in SMILE, 2011.)

Full Circle – An Old September Poem

This is a poem both young and old!  It was published first in PEGASUS (Summer 1994).  I have lost touch with this publication, but am honored to have it among my credits.  My 40th birthday, that I was looking forward to in this poem, would be spent in the hospital.  The decade ahead would include many passings of loved ones. I was 50 when my mom was called Home in 2004.  Now I have learned–though the grief was hard–in a deep everyday kind of way, that love lasts and keeps growing and changing.  New chapters grow, and have their own unique beauty. 

I have also reconnected with friends from my teaching years.  Their careers grew beautifully; they add so much to the lives of others.

I honor the teachers, in all their various settings and programs, today. 

And as I always say, I always feel as if I am just beginning…


It is September
My first not in school
Since Kindergarten
And I will be forty
In December.

Thinking over the years…
I remember driving through
Montana one vacation
We were in a small town
Looking for a gas station.

What you do
Becomes part of you
The town had a large school
I don’t even remember the name
But I’d know what to do just the same.

Now I’m turning more of my intensity
To poetry, and I’m far from teacher there
This time, though, no degree
My study both school and playground
Nurturing my creativity.

I sense I’ve come full circle today
As I look forward to this birthday
My hair brown and grey and bleached by the sun
Back now in Wisconsin
September 1993: in search of poetry.

Image courtesy of doverpublications.com.
From A fanciful gallery, filled with the beauty of nature.