March 9, 2013

Two poems by Jeannie E. Roberts

It was here,
near the stream,
under pinnate-shaped

leaves, where
I'd collect them,
where they'd amass

in my basket, brim
by the bushel.  It was
here, in the Octobers

of my youth, beneath
the white walnut,
where I found hundreds

of butternuts.  Some
fell in clusters, others
one by one.  And now,

while I hold this memory,
I wonder, had I thought
to harvest the nuts

for candy, to boil
the rinds for dye? 
Or perhaps

I'd been prompted
by an echo, answered
a ten-thousand-year-old

call.  Whatever
the urge, clearly
I liked to collect,

to gather, as I did
fossils, four-leaf
clovers, rocks

and, later in life,
men, especially
the fallen ones,

the ones I deemed
in need of rescue— 
quite like those

abundantly culled,
heedfully hulled,

only to discover
that most were rotten.

Four-leafing at Age Eight                                                                    

In summer
when life
with a frenzy

when buzzing
over clover
when flowers

with the bumbling
of bees
I'd seek

with a purpose
along surface
past purple

toward leaflets
of green. 
Where wide
I'd patrol 

comb valley
search knoll
bee talk

my way
all this
for a good luck

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jeannie E. Roberts is the author of two books, including the newly released Nature of it All, a collection of poems (Finishing Line Press).  Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including Verse Wisconsin.  Her public readings include Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, Wisconsin Public Radio and other venues.  Jeannie lives with her husband and golden doodle in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA.  For more, visit

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