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Madelon Bolling

BollingMadelon Bolling: My poetry has been published in Boston Accent Lit, Duckabush Journal, Chambered Nautilus, Bellowing Ark, Midwest Quarterly, Seattle Review, and Floating Bridge Review. I hold doctorates in musicology and clinical psychology and have edited and contributed to academic and professional books and journals in various fields. After having taught and performed classical music most of my life, I became a psychologist and began studying poetry with Nelson Bentley. A long-time student of Zen, I currently work as a psychologist in Seattle.

After Thanksgiving

Yesterday’s warmth floated out
the open night eye full of stars.
Roofs and lawns stricken with frost
shine inarticulate with dawn.

Pigeons, juncos, and flickers
forage in the frosty grasses.
Little beaks and feathers shift
earth and bugs and millet seeds.

The cold air opening as snow
forms and tumbles and slips apart.
Dear shapes dissolve—hummingbirds
and robins, our own old bones.

Oh this, complex and alone.
The sense of company frays
and vanishes at a touch.

The near grows nearer with loss.

The Scent of Light

Late afternoon, billowing clouds in a blue sky.
Bright yellow strips on the fence warn:
electrified! A cat patting leaves
for something that will run, the breeze
lifts one strip, moves along, flicks another.

The heady balsam scent of spring poplars
rises from dropped bud sheaths:
drab, unassuming tokens
brighter than imagined gems.

How these packed stones
and deep clouds lift my swallow wings
in gratitude for the scent of light.

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