POETRY  by the PenHouseInk Guild



The Importance of Water and Ash

by Alexandra Ellen Appel 

from The Importance of Water and Ash
PenHouseInk, Volume 5
ISBN 1-931002-66-0
PenHouseInk Press, 2007
page 22


The Importance of Water and Ash: cover

and, in gratitude to the light
the meticulous wish of leaf and mold, the dark green
stem of reproach and yearning
the bringer of all things,
the molecular structure of matter, a question of DNA
and belief
or, how the darkening clouds carry rain: an old wives’ tale
hidden among the brambles, raspberries gone wild
in the tall meadow grass:

“I was left, a widow with a small boy
staring at the coldness of the Peak, holding on...
my two draft horses hauling in the wood,
the huff of breath in the frosted air, so
cold ice held
my hands cradle the small child, the warmth
alls’ I needed the long winter after the old man
died. listen, the wind
come up the north side of the slope, busting
through the cabin
and the snow, till break-up”

so much water carries the stories. Delicate, blue veined,
the cold trace along the old lay lines
where the spring surfaces, becomes
a bog, soft and mushy ripe for
Jack-in-the-Pulpit and yellow Marsh-Mallow,
the broad stroke of Solomon Seal, a brook
and then a Well, where a rusted bucket waits
from which we drink and are forgiven
moss covered granite and quartz marking our boundaries,
the bloom on lilac gone by from grief and abandonment
and hope
rotting marsh and memory, the insult of free will
and a thousand times yes repeated to form a mantra
released to wind,

prayer flags
a simple act of faith
a bead of sweat
the long forgotten hush of our bodies
the trill of a hermit thrush in the deep wood
no less than twilight, or water, no less than ash.

© PenHouseInk Press, 2007



judi goldberg:

leslie hoffman

Dixie Lewis:


The cover for The Importance of Water and Ash is 80-pound Mansion White (25% cotton, recycled). Text pages are printed on matching 60-pound Mansion White with a printed Tarragon flysheet. To see an enlargement of the cover, click on image above.

64 pages, including fly sheet


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