Look Up

Look up, my dear.
Gaze upon the shifting sky.
It lifts, alights, rides
Waves of color.
It is the same,
But blows its change.
Take your brush;
Follow its rush.
Let your cheeks blush,
Your heart race
In its graceful embrace.
It shows and sings
For your eyes and ears.
Do you see?
Do you hear?

© Laura Chalk

White Picket Fence

There is a curious character
To a white picket fence
That wraps and guards the grounds
With undulating spears that welcome
Weary travelers or keep them out.
Its hug of home and garden
Gives pause to the hard-hearted,
Who stop and consider
Where their stinginess started
And how they can reclaim the grace
They grew to bristle against.
There is a curious character
To a white picket fence.
It begs one to open the gate
And lay down their defense.

© Laura Chalk

Morning Walk

I walk along the snow-touched bluff,
Feet crunching on brittle leaves,
Noting the sweeping slope down to the river
That calls and leads me hither.

I’d oblige, but the slope is slick,
And, after all, the view is better
Up high and from a distance.
At least, it is in this instance.

From here, I’m a bird on a perch
That surveys the hills, trees, sky,
The gentle wind of the river.
The wind kicks up and gives me a shiver.

I adjust my scarf to cover my ears
And keep walking toward the waking town.
The chug of a train breaks below the bluff.
It will pass soon; I’m at a stroll, it’s at a rush.

© Laura Chalk

Wind Chimes

The front porch wind chimes sing their song
And sway in December’s early morning dark,
Weaving through the wind
Its dainty new day talk:
Look-look, the sun will come,
Look-look-look, it’s end of night,
Look-look, the neighbor girl tromps,
Off to school at ten-til-seven.

They keep clinking as the sky lights
To reveal tiny flakes flitting thick,
Catching rides on the same breeze
That dances the chimes:
Look-look, morning has come,
Look-look-look, it’s end of night,
Look-look, join the new day romp,
Open your eyes, give attention.

© Laura Chalk

Morning Song

The orange, glowing sun will rise –
Get to where you can see it.
The sky turns from dark to light – 
Open your eyes and believe it.
Rays play on branches and leaves –
Up-stretch your hands and receive it.
Birds awaken with joy and sing –
Raise your song and inweave it.

© Laura Chalk

Autumn, Again

We’re coming into autumn again, 
Textures and leaves,
Red, gold and green
Against a brilliant, blue sky.
And I, walking among the cool, damp leaves
Inhale the earthy scent of decay and evergreens.
The chilly air is my silent partner
And we stroll along like old, familiar friends,
We communicate without words;
My steady, smoky breaths are
Thoughts suspended
And then are gone again.

I see an old man along the way,
All denim and flannel plaid,
Machine-like in his actions,
Wielding a large rake that seems
Oversized for his stature.
I watch him work for a moment,
Watch him swing the rake down like an axe,
Scoop up the pile of leaves and bring it back,
Then down into the bag in one smooth motion.
The pattern is repeated.
I smile to myself and wonder if he knows
He’s a cog in his own wheel.

The man-machine finally stops to take a break.
He sees me watching him.
I smile and nod,
“Nice day,” I say.
He stares at me with absent eyes
Then goes on about his work,
Starting slowly like the wheels of a locomotive
Then gains speed and seamless turns,
Oblivious to the delicate fall beauty
And to the thousands of leaves overhead
That tomorrow will clutter up the ground around him
So he can come outside and do it all again.

I watch a bit longer then turn back
And walk the path toward my little home.
It’s nice to clear my mind and roam
Like the autumn wind,
But I must get back again –
Back to my list of things to do,
Weekend housekeeping, shopping,
Then all too soon, I must admit,
My own wheel turns
And it’s time to do it all again.

© Laura Chalk


Wandering through the learned landscapes,
Listening to the purring crickets and cicadas,
Music to accompany the journey of my mind.
Star studded skies and a moon that guides me,
Leaves light glisten, water twinkles in the night,
The rush of a duck hidden by brush but I can hear his
Paddy feet skidding the silky surface, landing,
Splish-splashing, then calm.
My spirit swells within me, rests,
Floats like a boat skimming the deep, heavy water.
Deep is the landscape, deep is the sky,
Deep is my soul –
I can hear myself breathing
Along with the music of the cicadas.
Perhaps someone or something is listening to me breathe
And is enjoying this sweet music of mine.

© Laura Chalk