Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Poetry-Summer Corn

Summer Corn

Tell me again about your farm
Idyll from your childhood dream
Where cows low in the sunny fields
And black sheep have three bags of wool.

And ducks swim in the shallow pond
And chickens lay their eggs again.
Tell me about the barnyard cat
And the fat mice in the grain.

Tell me about the farmhouse where
You and daddy and I eat our dinner
And if we finish our corn on the cob
Later we can have some pie.

So beautiful that when you woke
You cried bitterly for your beautiful farm.
I’m crying too, because I know
What it is like to lose a dream.

© Stacie Ferrante

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poetry-Fly Away

Fly Away

Stretch wings, test feathers

Even if the egg cracking seems only yesterday

Feel the desert winds lift you

And fly, fly away.

I can feel you soaring high

Drawn by unseen forces Southward.

I can hear your high, sweet voice

Soft in summer song at dawn.

See the others flock to your call?

Your charm an alchemist’s longed-for prize.

Spun from gold and honeycomb

You reflect the sun as you drift away.

If the seasons turn again

And you need a place to winter warm

Far from the storm, in my heart

Will always be a green bough for you.

So fly away, and to strange skies

Do not entreat me to come following after,

Nor to tarry where once tasted

The fruit of love renders strange and bittersweet seeds.

© Stacie Ferrante


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Cycle of Destruction and Rebirth

In 1988, Yellowstone National Park was ravaged by a conflagration of wildfires that laid many areas of carefully preserved beauty to waste. In the early part of the last century, prevention of fire was thought to be good stewardship. Many people thought it was a terrible loss that ancient trees burned and meadows were charred and that the beauty would be in some way lost forever.

I remember those fires, and having spent many summers in the Tetons, I had an appreciation for what was burning there. But my grandfather told me, "Yes, it looks bad now. But you wait, and get your camera ready, because next Spring there will be more wildflowers there than you have ever seen in your life." And he was right.

Many of Yellowstone's plant species are fire-adapted. Some (not all) of the lodgepole pines (Pinus contorta), which make up nearly 80% of the park's extensive forests, have cones that are serotinous sealed by resin until the intense heat of fire cracks the bonds and releases the seeds inside.

Sometimes people are like that. What looks like the destruction of everything may in fact be the only thing that can crack open the tough seeds of something new and unexpectedly beautiful. Yes, it hurts to watch it burn, and to count the costs and mourn for the old familiar things. But destruction can also make room for creation. What looks for a time like a barren landscape and the charred remains of cherished childhood safe havens, could in fact be the place where beauty will flower next. And not just an ordinary spring beauty, but a riot of color that could not be possible in any other way.

I am going to hold that image in my mind as much as I can in the months to come. If I can survive the fires, then I can be the one that blossoms. Dying in fire and being born from ashes are one in the same. Life finds a way. What seems like destruction now is merely making way for beauty so rare, a life in rebirth.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dream-Needles and Pins

Ah, old fashioned stress dreams. Just what I need. My poor brain is crying uncle already this semester.

I had a dream last night that I was with a couple of my professors from nursing school, and I was searching all around for the equipment I needed to either give shots or start an I.V., so basically I had fistfuls of sterile wrapped needles.

I was trying to stare unblinking and watch as Mrs. Croysdill inserted the needle into my own arm to demonstrate the finer points of the technique. But it HURT, so I closed my eyes. When I opened them, she was telling me to take out the needles whenever I wanted.

There were about 100 of them, inserted in my skin all over both of my arms. And not just IV needles, but sewing pins and darning needles and stuff.

So, one by one, with mobility limited by all the pointy needles, I had to pull them all out. For some reason I was either unable or unwilling to ask for help.

That about sums up how I feel about my life right now. Although I adore my professors and fellow students, I am stressed and somewhat helpless feeling.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Poetry-The Robin

The Robin

Remind me of a simpler time, a simpler place.

So long ago now I couldn’t even say

When robins picked the fresh currants before I could get them

Competition for grandma’s summer jam.

Long days spent just staring up at clouds.

When a child could just roam in the yard all day.

Hair stirred in gentle breezes during hammock naps,

The dance of sunbeams through the canopy of maple leaves.

They found me often as not conversing with trees,

A fistful of wildflowers and skinned-up knees.

Mud on the hem of my new Sunday dress

Shoes in a puddle by the breezeway door.

Watermelon seeds spit into the grass

Never as far as my cousin Brian’s

Running through the sprinklers with shrieks of joy

Watching the wriggling night crawlers after a hard rain.

How long ago now and far away.

Nothing seems as easy or sure as those days

No time for catching lightning bugs in a jar,

No endless fields of rolling green.

Barely burden the barren bough outside my window.

Breast aflame with rusty plumage, sharp eyes.

I like to think you are watching over me

I don’t want to tame you, but I want you to stay.

© Stacie Ferrante


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Poetry-Winter In The Garden

Winter in the garden

Hard to rest on the cold hard ground

No downy beds of clover or soft mossy banks

No soft whispers in the brittle air

Cold sunshine filters through bare branches.

Longing for the taste of summer fruit

Eyes searching for a single blade of green

Fingers numb from pushing back the snow drifts

In futile searches for one early crocus.

Only love can force those bulbs

To burst forth in a riot of beautiful color

Only love can lengthen the days

And melt the snow that stems the spring.

Only sweet tenderness can coax the vine

From dormant seeds to risk blossoming

As if to fear no frost in its delicate reaching

For tendril’s hold and warming limbs.

How does winter hold hope that spring will come?

Fields frozen, endless days of night.

Does the dryad murmur in her dreams

That the time will come for leaves of green?

The birds will call from limb to limb,

“Come to me. Come to me”

Their feathered nests will sing with life

With flowers to perfume their flight.

© Stacie Ferrante


Wednesday, March 4, 2009



Unaccustomed journey to the Laundromat
Smell of soap and bleach in the soft, close air.
Waiting for the spin cycle, I spy it
Some disregarded treasure.

Shiny gold band set with peridots
Some heirloom separated from its intended heir
Lonely and shimmering, it beckons inspection.
So sad to be fingerless and unfound.

Even if it fit me, which it doesn’t
I could never take it home with me
Forever would it haunt my other trinkets
With echoes of where it ought to be.

I set it on the folding table when I left
Hoping fervently that whomever lost it
Would trace it back here and rejoice
Place it in the smooth finger’s groove.

© Stacie Ferrante

Monday, March 2, 2009

Poetry-What Might Have Been

What might have been

Don’t wonder what might have been.

Unfurl the years like an antique silk parachute

It may still shimmer like the gossamer of your dreams

But don’t test if it can hold you.

Fragrant curls of holy smoke

May transport with Proustian fervor

Deep rapture the shock of memory stirs

As the Madeleine dissolves in your tea.

Look back and feel the crystals form

As you stand outside the ruin of your life.

Cry enough tears of grief

And you turn into a pillar of salt.

As far as the vermillion horizon stretches

Your eyes will burn in vain for dawn.

What will be is as lost to now

As what might have been.

© Stacie Ferrante