Thursday, December 16, 2021

The Unheard Cry

   “But ask the animals, and they will teach you,

or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;”

Job 12:7


In the hours before the sun reveals

The stains of our assaults upon the earth,

I pause and listen to the silent sky 

Listen with me to the unheard cry


The stains of our assaults upon the earth,

The grief of honeybees and mother wolves:

Listen with me to the unheard cry

Of innocents in bondage to our greed.


The grief of honeybees and mother wolves

The lonely calves in their darkened crates

These innocents in bondage to our greed

Wonder when the sun will shine again


The lonely calf stands in a darkened crate

Silent but speaking to us all

He wonders when the sun will shine on him

Like it did when he was new and free.


Silent but speaking to us all,

Their blood washes through the floor, 

Conveyor belts carrying what’s left

In the hours that the sun reveals.


(c) Judith Evans 2021



Saturday, February 16, 2019

Acts of Kindness

We pass the light,
Candle to candle,
On Christmas Eve.

Much the same as God’s love,
The light is not diminished
But grows bright and bold
When we share it.

We leave offerings of
Encouraging words,
A hand to hold,
A warm meal,
Much needed laughter.

The candle glow
Travels row by row
On Christmas Eve.

Acts of kindness
Fill the room,
And give us sight
To see ourselves anew.

Judith C Evans  (c) 2019

Shared with Poets United Midweek Motif  — love

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Heart’s Ease

Viola, generous and humble,
I could harvest your sweet-smelling blooms forever
And never run out.

Heart’s-ease, violet, pansy, Johnny jump-up,
Your names are as innumerable as your gifts.
Spoonfuls of syrup strengthen our hearts, nourish our blood,
And quiet our coughs
Through every season.

You generously provide a colorful show,
And then your true flowers,
Pale green and hidden beneath heart-shaped leaves,
Do their work to guard your future.

In the garden I wait beside a shaded corner
As the morning dew disappears into a shaft of sunlight,
Grateful for one more day with you,
Purple, white, blue and pink
Protectors of our hearts.

(c) Judith C Evans 2019

Monday, January 21, 2019

Shamelessly Growing Sideways

Beside the ancient, sprawling honeysuckle bush,
A young apple tree leans in
And fights for her share of the sun.
Of all the trees in our backyard orchard,
She is voted least likely to succeed.

Her trunk nearly parallel to the ground,
She strains toward the sun.
Branches that should spread from side to side
Instead soar skyward.

We fret about this state of affairs.

What a shame, we sigh,
As we consider corrective measures
To help her grow properly.
Stakes and twine are put in order.
Websites are consulted.
We trim the honeysuckle branches to no avail.

Maybe best to cut down the twisted tree
To make way for a better fit?

Nevertheless, her trunk presses sideways,
Tearing up well-meaning stakes,
Sending boughs skyward, shrugging off our dismay.

Months later, the little tree puts our concerns to rest.

After shamelessly growing sideways,
Chasing her beloved sun,
This misshapen lady,
With horizontal trunk and vertical branches,
Bears more fruit than all the others combined.

(c) Judith C Evans 2019

Shared with Poetry Pantry #439 at Poets United

A Summer Well Spent

The potted thyme,
After a summer well spent,
Sleeps through fall and winter holidays.
Its tired leaves turn half golden,
A quarter bronze,
And the rest crisp brown.

I trim the stems in mid-winter
And can’t help but notice
A supple green leaf
Looking lost and perplexed.

I glance at the rosemary,
Evergreen yet dormant,
And back again at the thyme.
I see spring,
With aromatic oils that heal and refresh,
Within view yet just out of reach,
Drawing us ever forward.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Like Mary’s Heart

We first heard of Him
During a time of persecution,
When all seemed dead or dying.

His name was first engraved
On Mary’s heart,
Before she understood
What God had asked of her.

The last rose of our garden
Surprised us this November.
Surprised us all,
Amid bare trees and
Discarded leaves.

Like Mary’s heart,
The rose unfurled each petal,
And reached for the dwindling autumn light
Until our expectations
Could no longer contain it.

(c) 2018 Judith C Evans

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Jewel of the Garden

Two backyard planting beds,
A few half barrels,
And four fruit trees
Was all it took
To ignite her imagination.
“This year we’ll put up
Heirloom beans, crookneck squash,
Amaranth, garlic greens,
Rhubarb and zucchini (remember zucchini for future reference),”
She announced, setting cases of canning jars
On the kitchen counter.

She pored over web pages
Of native seeds,
Open-pollinated and bee-friendly.

She composed her garden in her head,
Much like her sonnets and haiku,
As if she could craft it
To end in so many syllables.

The plums came first:
Jams, first runny and then rock -solid.
Then the zucchini.
Remember the zucchini?
One or two or many more every day,
Until the neophyte farmer burst into tears.
So many zucchini and not much more.
Barely a purple bean or garlic green.
Frozen zucchini, shredded, pickled, wrapped in bacon.
Banish the word zucchini!

Who would think that this gardener
This permaculture wannabe, this homesteader on a mission —
Would end up delighting
In ornamental flowers?
“Rose of Sharon jelly,”  she read on a favorite blog.
Half-pint jars of delicate pink glaze.

She doubled down and harvested
The red and white hibiscus blooms,
As worker bees hovered all around —
Ladies in the last weeks of their lives,
Who would work themselves to death
For the sake of the hive.

The next morning, the would-be farmer
Stood at her kitchen window and
Held up a jar of fragrant pink jelly
That prismatic jewel with
A perfect, delicate texture.

She wondered how many worker bees
Had survived the night,
And she left the best
Rose of Sharon blooms
For the ones who returned.

Judith C Evans (c) 2018