autumn was forged
on the crest of bare hill

my ancestors
ate bones for breakfast

rolled skulls downhill and
named them boulders

i sit on the shore
of borrowed time

listening for home and
waiting for whispers

knitting stories with wool
gathered from the vines

on these ice carved hills

a cradle of lakes strung together
by the unraveled skein of impermanence

and history warms my skin as the sun
slides down between grand houses

built for wide-eyed strangers

once, in winter
i walked over this water

a solid white surface laced with holes
left by disappointed fishers

and my father caught my hood
just as I slid into the calm crest of frozen

saving me with love and quick reflexes
on a morning filled with grey-solid echoes

a memory of almost ending

lost beneath the bleached white
surface of ancient fealty

crackled feathers floating down
through tributary motion

slipping silent from a pocket
left behind long ago




19 Responses to “autumn was forged
on the crest of bare hill”

  • Sooz W Says:

    I loved the opening lines, “my ancestors ate bones for breakfast” …

  • Grace Says:

    Opening lines are stellar Kelly ~ These lines though resonated with me:

    saving me with love and quick reflexes
    on a morning filled with grey-solid echoes

    Vivid imagery all throughout ~ Lovely to read your lines ~

  • brian miller Says:

    yikes….can you imagine having not been saved and slipping under that ice…we used to play on the pond…and never thought about it then…i do now though….i like the subtle nod back to the beginning there in the end…

  • claudia Says:

    i like the feel of that space between history and the now… the shore
    of borrowed time.. a great image and almost sliding into an ice hole…ugh… glad your dad had good reflexes..

  • Gabriella Says:

    I like how your mind glides from the landscape and historical memories to your personal memories in a very natural way. Beautiful photo too!

  • Mary Says:

    I really like this poem, Kelly. Wonderful progression from the ancestral up to the present, and it flows so naturally from one to another…for stunning effect! This one is a ‘keeper.’

  • Björn Rudberg (brudberg) Says:

    The nightmare of slipping below.. yes that follow me since childhood.. still it’s part of the thrill of skating too… I loved this poem from start to end.. how you wrote your stories from the landscape and blended them together.. superb.

  • Kathleen Says:

    Kelly, loved the rhythm of your words – the lines
    ‘i sit on the shore
    of borrowed time

    listening for home and
    waiting for whispers’

    are particularly powerful to me.

  • Truedessa Says:

    I sit on the shore of borrowed time..indeed and so
    glad you were saved. In the opening I could sense foreboding of some sorts.

  • Roslyn Ross Says:

    This has a light soulful touch to it and some wonderful images.

  • ds Says:

    bleached white/surface & ancestors eating bones, yes, this poem circles back on itself, but beautifully. I too like the shores of borrowed time. Scary scary to slip through the ice..wonderful work. Thank you.

  • wolfsrosebud Says:

    knitting stories with wool gathered from the vine… do like the weaving of this piece… one step after another we are walked through this slice of time

  • Glenn Buttkus Says:

    Yes, striking, beauteous imagery, where I discovered that geology is also ripe with emotion, that memory can bubble up at any time, that being introspective while in the lap of nature is a pleasant dramatic significant ride; really enjoyed the lines /knitting stories with wool/gathered from the vines/on those ice carved hills/.

  • Abhra Says:

    Reading your poetry after some time – but loved it all the same, serene, calm and beautiful use of metaphors..
    “history warms my skin as the sun” love the effect…

  • Matt Spence Says:

    Groovy piece. Love the first four lines- and the form.

  • Ginny Brannan Says:

    This is lovely. The word choices and images you paint feel almost haunting; and yet, but for the memory of the ice on the lake, they feel familiar—these tales of ancient mountains, but in my case, frozen river. Lovely image also, reminds me of my childhood views in Vermont along the Connecticut River.

  • Laura Says:

    “slipping silent from a pocket” makes me think of the countless joyous hours spent hiking when you stop to pick up a feather, a rock, any piece of Nature that you’d like to carry with you for a while…thank you for your words.

  • Justin Lamb Says:

    This is a great poem. So many striking images. The flow is nice, too. I especially like these lines:

    “listening for home and
    waiting for whispers”

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