Marjorie Moorhead: Summer 2021 Poetry Contest Winner
Marjorie Moorhead writes from northern New England. Her work addresses survival, adaptation, appreciation, and concern about the way we live with one another and the planet. She has two chapbooks, is included in many anthologies, and several literary journal sites. Happy to have found the poetry community, Marjorie meets with poetry and prompt writing groups as well as attending as many author readings as she can. Zoom has been a silver lining to the otherwise horrible pandemic year we’ve all had.
Let This Day
after Annie Lighthart
Let this day,
begun in stiffness and pains,
be transformed by song
of the black birds
who sit in the top-most branches,
with shining eyes and shimmery feathers,
glinting blue-necked in a strong morning sun.
Let this day turn cartwheels and be stood on its head,
come up shining, with benevolence and the unending
grin of an exuberant child.
In the trees, black birds, like teammates in a huddle
cheer each other on, take turns puffing up, ruffling out
as they chirp and tweet, perched high together, feathers
flashing rainbow colors as sunbeams find them.
The chorus is clear, insistent, melodic, floating
in seamless blue of a no-cloud sky.
Let me be relieved of complaints this day;
become saturated with camaraderie and song,
find ease with these birds as we join morning,
aglow in harmony and peace.
Moon, Deer, Mountains, Stars
When moon masquerades
as a whisp of cloud…
hiding in plain sight, shying
from earth’s troubled faces, avoiding
that walker below, whose eyes pry, searching
heights for escape…or signs of hope
and a young deer appears at sidewalk edge
—gazes lock; walker, deer—frozen in a moment
of recognition. A flick of white as, in flight,
cloven tracks disappear into a scrim of nearby trees;
whose leaves flutter with a sigh of release.
Walk and walk now, upright one, until
skies purple with dusk, mountains blue
on distant horizon; vessels afloat in darkening tide.
Stars line up for tonight’s debut…set to twinkle,
sparkling silver, like pin heads pushed into black,
as soon as night’s curtain rises
Moon over rooftop,
under tree branch leaves,
colors our evening
Pallet of grays, blue, white.
Green crowns tickle the edges,
raised by old-world trunks barking
chimney level high.
Watch as the day’s sky transforms
Bay close; its harbored
boats big and small.
Ocean on the other side, stretched
long, with sandy shore.
Shark-flag flutters announce
near this thin, hook-shaped curve
home to flowers abundant,
butterflies and birds.
Patio balcony metal chair painted white
displays tide-gifted rocks and shells.
Sun-bleached cedar shingles everywhere
line narrow alleyways
to the anywheres
in our mind.