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Judith Quaempts



I come in winter to sit

by this icy stream.

Snow whispers through the silence.


Once we shared the peace of this place

with scents of pine and water,

the tang of cold air. Deer came

to drink, taking our stillness for permission.


I return every season. Alone,

I remember small jokes we shared,

poetry we read to one another.

The deer still come, their long-legged,

coltish grace a delight.


Death is a room made of sky

with a door invisible until opened.

You wait for me there.





Trees snow-feathered.

Rocks ice-rimmed.

Pond dammed from the creek.


A lone beaver glides the pond

Three deer taste the water’s edge.

A great owl wings into the woods.


Upstream, still as silence,

a cold-eyed heron waits.


The beaver swims.

The deer drink.

The heron fishes.


Deep in the woods

the owl folds her wings

and sleeps, eyes open.



Prayer Wheel


Colored ribbons wave and ripple

as the prayer wheel spins,

sending supplications

flying on the winds.


A world away in your back yard

these prayers may come to rest.

Walk gently through these dreams

lying in your grass.