Sheila-Na-Gig online


Ellen Lager

LagerMy work has been published or is forthcoming in Encore, The MacGuffin, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies Anthology, Talking Stick, Thresholds, A Cracked Walnut Anthology, The Moccasin, Crossings, and the Banfill-Locke Chapbook. As a member of the League of MN Poets and the Federation of State Poetry Societies, I have won several awards. I have attended classes and conferences at the Loft Literary Center, the League of Minnesota Poets, the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, and the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts. I have a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Education degree from the University of Minnesota.

Hour of Grace

For a time I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.
                                                   –Wendell Berry

Seed heads bowed in reverence for a morning moist
with the breath of catmint, lavender, an overnight rain.

Deck sitting, I watch the resident chipmunk
slinking the retaining wall at the edge of the garden,

assessing threat from a red fox or coyote,
common sights in our neighborhood.

There is freedom in an hour.

Away from congestion that ties up the days,
freeway exhaust and the knot of construction,

the angst of political rhetoric and a restless wind
that worries the electric hunger of clouds.

From a distant balsam, the soft coo of a mourning dove
inflates the day, floats skyward.

A ruby-throated hummingbird sips opportunity
from the nectar feeder
hung with the assurance of a shepherd’s hook.


At night the stars throw down their postcards of light.
                                    –Mary Oliver, “In the Darkness”

Somewhere, a portent,
some unpopulated planet confiding its genesis.
I am powerless to look away.

Beyond this lake of stars,
the snarl of cosmic dust—an abyss of dark matter.

Do I need to acknowledge physics
to explore immortal wanderings
through the Milky Way of my imaginings?

Somewhere, the vacuum of black holes,
what remains of ghosts
the farthest light-years away,

galaxies bathed in amethyst light, stars reborn.
I imagine them gems, ancestors scattered

along celestial passageways, the solar wind
an insinuation of passing laughter.


%d bloggers like this: