Author Archives: Nell Walton

Still Cowgirls

morning mist
The morning mist lies over the ground
Thin and soft as an old cotton blanket
Steel-shod hooves move delicately
Puffs of dust rising with each step

A blue heron rises from the mist
Wings lifting like the sound of a gospel choir
Startled, hands grasp leather reins
Maintaining control

Years pass
We rise, we fall
We fall, we rise

The stirrup becomes harder to reach

One day we fall and rise no more
We lie in the dust, broken
Until a soft grass blanket covers us
And we sleep
Of morning mist, steel-shod hooves and herons
We are still cowgirls

The Donkey and the Chipmunk

The donkey lives in a wooden stall.
An ornery thing that kills anything small.
A fearless chipmunk came in the door
And dug his home in the donkey's floor.

"How dare you, rat!" the donkey said, "Do you not have any fear?"
The chipmunk cried, "Donkey please, give me a chance to make things clear!
Oh Donkey, you're so great and wise.
A God to chipmunks in other guise."

"I came to make my lowly den
Far away from kith and kin.
To see your wonderousness every day
And keep the hunters far at bay."

Donkey raised his head and puffed his chest.
"You're truly one who know me best.
Because you live like a little gnome,
I will allow you to share my home."

"Oh Donkey, you are a noble steed!
I know you will deduce my need.
My children are all weak and thin,
And stare with hunger at your bin."

The donkey looked at his feed in doubt.
"What is this you're on about?
Asking me to share my meal?
Or perhaps you think you can easily steal?"

"Oh Donkey no! We are not thieves!
My children can survive on leaves!
But crumbs that fall from your blessed mouth,
Would make them mightier than chipmunks without!"

The donkey pranced and tossed his head!
'These chipmunks are so easily led.'
"Any bits that fall upon the ground,
You may drag into your mound."

That night when Donkey was fast asleep,
The chipmunk quietly began to creep.
He stuffed his cheeks with tasty grains,
And laughed at Donkey's lack of brains.

It's so easy to fool a fool,
When they believe they're more precious than jewels.

Sitting With the Ghost of Mr. D.H. Lawrence

Sitting outside with the poetry
Of Mr. D.H Lawrence
I feel like I have a bowling ball perched
Between my shoulders
Heavy and dense
Likely to pull me headfirst to the floor at any moment
Beside me I sense him glaring at me
With his thin and handsome face
Eyes rolling
Finally he whispers
"Here is one you can grasp:
'I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.
Even you should get the gist of that.
It was in a movie after all."

On Symmetry

This morning I looked at a dahlia
Glistening yellow in the rain
Its petals spiraled, regular spikes
Tiny stamens in the dampened mane

I wondered how the bees would struggle
How deep they would have to dive
To mine the precious pollen
And wing back to the hive

Thoughtful, I stared at a buckeye tree
A stubborn, twisted thing
Laden with its poisonous fruit
Spotted trash of the wood
Some would say

When Autumn comes the dahlia dies
Its petals brown and withered
The buckeye will only lose its leaves

Until Spring

Gateway to Elysium

Lying near my home
Is a gateway to Elysium

Framed in dusky silver
And gilded green
A breeze of cool peace
Flows through like breath

When I stand in the gate I see
A tree
A forest
A peach dripping with the sweetest of juice
A stony road glowing golden in the sunshine

But these are everyday things
Can this be Elysium?

If you stand and listen to the silence
You will find
Like Dorothy and the Lion
Elysium was in you all along
Right in the hollow of your heart

by Nell Walton

Our Dog Jake

Our Dog Jake
He truly is a noble beast
Who makes life hell to say the least
A rescue dog, a tiny pup
"He'll be great when he grows up!"

They said his breed was husky dog
To our surprise he is a hog!
40 lbs was the expectation
Passed 80 at our last calculation

His favorite things are squirrels and sticks
And opening doors his cleverest trick
When sirens blare he's to be feared
If burglars come "You're welcome here!"

When he gets hot he loves to swim
Until he's soaked in every limb
He tracks mud all across the floors
And gives his owners extra chores

Despite his sins he is a treasure
Who gives us joy that is beyond measure

Nell Walton

Family of Pain

Three Rocks

I have a family of pain
Living within me
Frances of the Hip
Joseph of the Back
Isaac of the Leg
Frances and Joseph strive and struggle
Against one another without thought or gain
They cut and slash with burning knives
And Isaac shrinks away
With their agony embedded within his fibers
And I sit back and ask the age-old question
Why can’t families just get along?
As love is the path of least resistance.
By Nell Walton