In Tall Grasses by Sally Nacker

In Tall Grasses

Fuzzy bees
dip into purple henbit,
hover low

by the clover
all day long
in my wild yard,

quietly drinking.
Such gladness
in tall grasses.

*

Sally Nacker was awarded the Edwin Way Teale writer’s residency in 2020 where she enjoyed a week of solitude on 168 acres of nature. Since then she and her husband have moved to a small house in the woods. Publishing credits include The Orchard’s Poetry Journal, Blue Unicorn, One Art, Mezzo Cammin, Quill and Parchment, and The Sunlight Press. She has her MFA in Poetry from Fairfield University. Kindness in Winter is her new collection. Visit her website at www.sallynacker.com.

Waking to Winter by Sally Nacker

Waking to Winter

I wonder whether I woke to heaven:
the wood all clouds. Out my bedroom
window, only two tall black trees
stand clear, the pines mere smears
of soft watercolor green. Am I afloat
in this new, white-veiled world?

I feel my own breath now, and
the winter dawn on me,
understand that snow, not clouds,
swirls through the wood. Head
on my pillow, I study the squall, lost
in wonder, feeling I woke to heaven.

*

After Soft Pines, watercolor by Holly Hawthorn

*

Sally Nacker was awarded the Edwin Way Teale writer’s residency in 2020 where she enjoyed a week of solitude on 168 acres of nature. Since then she has moved to a small house in the woods. Publishing credits include The Orchard’s Poetry Journal, Blue Unicorn, One Art, Mezzo Cammin, Quill and Parchment, and The Sunlight Press. “Waking to Winter”—in a slightly different version– will be part of the 2022 BRAG Ekphrasis VI exhibit at the Fairfield University Bookstore in downtown Fairfield, CT in April. Kindness in Winter is Sally’s new collection. Visit her website at http://www.sallynacker.com.

Geese by Sally Nacker

Geese

Three geese sit very still
at the edge of the pond,
on a little green hill.

She has never seen geese
so still. Still as the smooth stones
on the bank in the light breeze.

Stone-still in the noon air:
three geese in the grass near the water,
she thinks, in prayer.

*

Sally Nacker was awarded the Edwin Way Teale writer’s residency in the summer of 2020. Her poems appear in The Orchards Poetry Journal, Mezzo Cammin, ONE ART, An Amaranthine Summer, Hawk and Whippoorwill, Blue Unicorn, Your Daily Poem, and The Sunlight Press. Kindness in Winter (May 2021, Kelsay Books) is her new collection.
A review of Kindness… can be found at Quill and Parchment.

David’s Garden by Sally Nacker

David’s Garden

Watercolor on paper

Here, purple coneflowers and stark red lilies
lift their seed and pollen to the air
like open hands, palms to the sky.

A way of thanking, David thinks,
of giving back for their brief life above the earth,
up from the dark world. Now

his wet, painted garden waits in bright light, and
David stands at the edge, looking in,
his artist brush still poised—

somewhere, in time, he imagines,
a singing goldfinch thirsts for seeds of a coneflower,
a hummingbird for a red lily.

~ After David’s Garden II, watercolor by Wendy Kleros ~

Sally Nacker received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. Her poems continue to appear in journals, most recently Hawk and Whippoorwill, The Orchards Poetry Journal, HOOT, One Art, Your Daily Poem, Blue Unicorn, and The Sunlight Press. Sally has three collections: Vireo (2015), Night Snow (2017), and Kindness in Winter (just released); all published by Kelsay Books. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and their two cats. “David’s Garden” was exhibited on the walls of Fairfield University’s Downtown Bookstore in Fairfield, CT, as part of the BRAG Ekphrasis V Show in April.

Two Poems by Sally Nacker

David’s Art

That day, I painted the sea at the seaside
where we lived in a small house
with a big window looking seaward.

I loved the wind and rain that thrashed
against the windowpane. I loved
all weather, altogether. I even thought

I was the weather; and the sea, I thought, was me
as my watercolors splashed over the paper, coloring
the blank world with a heaving and a tossing

of my own heart. I was a child, and I loved
that day at the window by the sea, looking
out at myself looking in at me.

*

North and South

When I ask whether you have moved
upstairs, you tell me
your study
is in your basement
still, and though that sounds
deep and dark, you say
it is most lovely with big windows
looking south
across a gravel path
that cuts through a weedy flowerbed.

It is down this path,
you say, that yesterday
a little fox came running
toward you, then stopped
at the window
and looked northward
into your wildness.

*

Sally Nacker was a recipient of the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Edwin Way Teale Writer-in-Residence at Trail Wood award in the summer of 2020. She is published in numerous magazines, including The Sunlight Press (forthcoming), Blue Unicorn (forthcoming), Hawk and Whippoorwill, Hoot, The Orchards Poetry Journal, Mezzo Cammin: An Online Journal of Formalist Poetry by Women, The Fourth River, Grey Sparrow Journal, The Red Wheelbarrow, and The Wayfarer. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University. Her prior collections—Vireo (2015), and Night Snow (2017)—were published by Kelsay Books. Her third collection–Kindness in Winter–also by Kelsay Books, is due out in April, 2021. Sally lives in Connecticut with her husband, and their two cats.