Ruth’s Poems


The Other Way Around

There is an Elven World where dark is light
–the other way around, perceive–
and flowers are my stars
so that the silver spots in the sky
are dotted on The Ground of Earth
in not one color but all, especially yellow and red.
And blue, oh blue of course.
Violets, yes, yes there must be violets of all kinds in my nights,
about my feet and sticking up between my toes,
swirls of colors flowers galaxies of flowers
flowers in my Elven night
where the light is rainbow
and I walk around in gold.
Sundust is honey in my throat
and the mist in my eyes is the haze of color color color.

Driftwood and Doppelgangers

I find tree bones half buried in the fragrant floors
of the pine and oak forests of The Hills
or find them stark in the sun or rain
on the shores of the lakes of The Hills.
The trees themselves are dead –I suppose– but
these bones live
with many lives.
That, I know. I take them home.
With my body’s bones beneath the flesh and blood
of hands, lips, tongue, eyes, nose,
I follow the uncanny turnings of the tree’s bones,
learning blending flows and flowing blends of multi lives.

Oh ho, the gnarling, forever sweetsmelling
pitch heart of The Pine
is also The Horse,
The Dog,
The Dragon,
and The Map in vivo:
waytrails of commingled power
blazing themselves to the way of my being.
As one they fly the ages,
saying Come. Saying Union.
They take me in, those true teachers
who wait hungry in the wood
of this manifest side of The World.
With true teachers’ hunger for true learner
they welcome me quick as a missing atom
and I fly with them.

Easter Blessing

Some poignant spring
when blooms are held in buds
and fragile-growing things
bring to you old rememberings…
think of me.

Take something off.
Allow the damp and young impatient wind
to touch
–to be–
your skin.
Surrender prone to tender blades of green.

Let new sun lie on you
as once I lay.

On S’s Birthday

I’ve made it at last
out of Storybook Land,
to the state where I finally see
Rapunzel’s hair is my very own
and the Shining White Knight is me.
The Awakening Kiss, I deliver myself
when my Beauty’s asleep in my Tower,
and Good and Bad Fairies are nought but me
and I am the source of their Power.


The Women say the Witches’ Creed:
…Harm none, and do as you will…
and a Woman said what I would add:
…Take care not to frighten the Horses!

My Tribe, My Coven

And who is of my tribe, my coven?
She who can will
to be
at the heart of it all
with me.

If briefly only,
if only on occasion
still she is of my tribe.

We are not many.

The Crusade of St. Louis

Names of the fathers
and of the sons
and of their ghosts.

In the City of St. Louis a gargoyle perched
on a pier in the Second Largest Park of the World.
He may be there still.
I tell you
there are gargoyles everywhere;
most ordinary to be seen
amid lofty spires
of Grand Cathedrals
such as the grand Cathedral of St. Louis.

Hideous    piteous
accurate    haunting
fixed excretions of stone unholy,
preemptive placed, they
herald, sing with twisted tongues
contorted echoes of Our Fathers turned to stone.

In truth I love them still.
And how long will? Always.

Oyez. Oyez. The gargoyle of St. Louis leered and grinned.
caricature thing with wings,
he sneered identically at sin and sanctity
and derided my compassion which, though defeated, lived
to fight this ungodly war
in other days.

Old Dogs, Old Rules

Old dogs, past guardians of the home,
lie pampered, petted, at the hearth,
their vigor gone.
Watchers, now, of boundaries they can’t see.

Who would not know the honor due
in their infirmity?

So now, in turn, I guard
their dear complacent sleeping
and leave to just-grown pups the boundaries’ keeping


Glimming! Gliding! Darting! Dancing!
Fascinating! Nonchalance thing,
I have sought you
and have caught you!

Now you’re not you.

Knowing Ahead of Time

My Love, the swift days have begun,
the chain of precious moments done and done,
sweetly pulling time away.

Every rising, every setting of the sun,
our days are numbered more
and minus one.


She carried the Djinn of Storms
wherever she’d go,
and a little white box
to hide him inside.
She freed him occasionally
refusing to see
how easy to die
in a storm.

Familiars, Night and Day

Yellow and orange, Big Linus Cat
spreads himself bright and sure
in the sun on the windowsill.
In his tail, expanding rings of fire
exclaim his silent Presence.

It being noon, Gray Jerry’s gone
on business of his own.
His small paws seem simple white
except at night.
Come dark, he’ll be around
without a sound
touching me with his feet
like the kiss of the moon.

Madwoman Blues

Have you seen my mother?
Where can she be?
I think I remember
My soul in her eyes
but I can’t be sure
that’s what I did see.
She looked away so early from me,
too quickly,
before I got it all
quite right
she had to look away.

Hey Lady, are you my mother?
You’re not the right age
and we’re in the wrong place
but just for a moment when I saw your face
I thought
I saw my soul in your eyes.
You looked away so quickly
I can’t be sure
thats what I did.

Am I somebody’s mother?
I saw somebody’s soul in my eyes
in the mirror
I think
but just before I got it all quite
I had to look away.

My Superintendent

My superintendent goes on vacation sometimes,
leaving me unattended. Such as now.
I am, when unattended, usually playing
in absentminded earnest at some game that can’t be mastered.
For I love, among the better things I love, to play
in the spot where the possible grows into the non-existent.

Thus it might be said I often don’t accomplish anything
because I am never satisfied with with what I’ve got.
That isn’t true. I’m often satisfied.
It is the satisfied who are not too clogged to be curious
about that spot of leading edge.
It is the satisfied who nourish themselves adequately
to live there.
Unattended. Unsupervised. Twiddling
with factors invisible.
Twiddle with them long enough,
play with them, and sometimes they become Known
in the sense that even superintendents can know them
and find uses.
I have simply worn my superintendent out.
My superintendent can’t keep up with me
and can’t fire me
as I’m the one who signs the checks.

Sometimes I give a bonus to my superintendent
and a commendation.
I say, “You did such a fine job of keeping me from playing,
you deserve a vacation. The Bahamas, perhaps?
All expenses paid?
Then we are both happy.
My superintendent goes and sits in warm justification
and I return to play.

Under the Bridge

Country road of dusty powder
Hand-made bridge of white concrete
Climb down there, the cooling shelter
Join the lives in shade beneath.
I am twelve and they are ancient
Primal shapes and simple cunnings
Living in the brightened shadow
Rippling water running kindly
Brings them food and all they need.
Scurry hurry scuttle slither
Out of sight and out of danger
Tiny beasties brown and amber
Orbs and ovoids armored bodies
Bitsy tricksters making livings
Many-footed mini-tigers
In your molten-crystal jungle
I will love you though I leave you
And remember when I’m old.

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