Tag: Time of Singing

The Paul Brandt School Forest in Boscobel, WI

The Paul Brandt School Forest in Boscobel, Wisconsin

For Paul F. Brandt

Another death
a sudden death
this autumn of
winter in October.

Condolences pour in
your service strengthens
and your body is laid to rest
in beloved Wisconsin land.

Now the grief begins
and how else could it be?

Surely a few people
will remain with us
in our loving sorrow
like the golden leaves
left on the tree
outside my window
that will turn green again…

Paul, my cousin, died suddenly in 2006.   His significant contribution to conservation and education in Southwestern Wisconsin continues to grow.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Bauer.

 Poem published in Time of Singing (Fall 2008).

Mourning Dove – Poem By Margarita Engle


On the eve of my grandmother’s burial,
I remember a story she told me
about her father’s funeral
in a wild part of Cuba, long ago.

When the family returned to the farm,
the scent of incense from church still fresh on their brows,
they found all the cows tied to trees,
cattle rustlers on the run,
alarmed by the return of the mourners.

Now I picture my grandmother’s spirit gliding
through coffin, soil and sea,
back to the farm
of sugarcane and stargrass.
All the cows are still waiting,
while green-fringed palms
sway and soar, everything winged.

By Margarita Engle

 “Mourning Dove” was also published in Welcoming Hope: Poems for those in Need (2007, Elin Grace Publishing; with Time of Singing).

Ancient Words by Margarita Engle and Ellen Olinger: Haiku Sequence in English and Spanish


reading ancient words
stones in a field
left by glaciers

flor de memoria
mi abuela

flower of memory
my grandma

silent grace
with friends

wishing well
my penny
in sunlight

letting go
daffodils bloom
in the compost pile

camino al monte
un sueño
de paz

mountain road
a dream
of peace

*The Spanish name for “pansy,”  which also means “thought.”

“Ancient Words” was published first in Time of Singing (Spring 2010), which is edited by Lora H. Zill.  Contributing Editors for this issue:  Darlene Moore Berg and H. Edgar Hix.

* * *

Margarita’s biography (July 17, 2010):

Margarita Engle is a botanist and the Cuban-American author of young adult novels in verse, most recently The Firefly Letters.

The Surrender Tree received a Newbery Honor, the Pura Belpré Medal, Jane Addams Award, Américas Award, Claudia Lewis Award, and Lee Bennett Hopkins Honor. The Poet Slave of Cuba received the Pura Belpré Medal, Américas Award, and an International Reading Association Award. Tropical Secrets received the Sydney Taylor Award, Paterson Prize, and an Américas Award Commendation. Engle’s next novel in verse is Hurricane Dancers, the First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck, forthcoming from Henry Holt in March, 2011.

Chapbooks include Word Wings (Elin Grace Publishing).

Engle’s first Henry Holt picture book is Summer Birds, the Butterflies of Maria Merian.

Margarita lives in northern California, where she enjoys hiking and helping her husband with his volunteer work for wilderness search and rescue dog training programs. Her next picture book is about search and rescue dogs.

Here are some of the daffodils from the compost pile.
Photo by Karl.

Three Irises: Poem About God’s Love


Gold, rust, you remind
Me of the Father’s rich love:
So many flowers
All from one single tall stem
Love upon love upon love.

Purple, you remind
Me of the Son, Jesus Christ:
“This is my body
Broken to break sin and death
Love upon love upon love.”

And peach, you remind
Me of the Holy Spirit:
Sent to glorify
The Son, do what we cannot
These colors are amazing.

Three irises stand
Fragrant in the front garden
Father, Son, Spirit
Sing “Holy, Holy, Holy
Love upon love upon love.”

First published in Time of Singing.
Image: wpclipart.com.


Easter Dinner



The background is red
Her hair has become silver
And her dress is rust.
Her smile these days is pure gold
And her eyes sparkle anew.

 Time of Singing (1993).

Post updated on April 11, 2013.
The tulips are courtesy of wpclipart.com.