What the thunder said Alone First Death
The separated swan The Prisoner Meditations
Song of Asherah Black Magnificat An unforseen planting
Wintering Tree Pilgrimage White Shell Woman
Openings Elysian Fields Underneath the ice
Going to seed Ghost Lily empty

To me, poems have long been a mystery; I couldnt for the life of me sit down and generate one at will. And my output has been miniscule. I once had a poetry editor encourage me to publish: “But,” I protested, “I've only got about nine.”

However, gathering my poems together for the purpose of this website, I began to see that, slim though the pickings were, they told an interesting story; not only that, I had recently uncovered some drawings I had done that seemed to compliment the words.

A poetic fragment, penciled in my autograph book by my sister Lisa when she was ten, has always haunted me: See the wind, going, blowing by. Nobody said goodbye. I discovered this oracle almost by chance, as it had been nearly obliterated by the bold black forget-me-nots of my 6th grade classmates.

Of the poems included here, “What the thunder said” was probably the first. “Alone” was based on a dream, and it picks up the theme of being cut from the group and sent into the wilderness. “First Death” describes the process of losing all that had once defined me; yet at the same time, writing the poem seemed to bring a kind of peace.

Both “The Separated Swan” and “The Prisoner” were also inspired by dreams. In the first, there is a palpable yearning for the muse, the inner creative partner; in the latter, regardless of the tugging of my more security-conscious sides (what is she thinking, they could be saying, if she hooks up with him there’s no telling what she’ll do!) I seem determined to seek his release and thus ensure my own healing.

“Meditations” is the one poem set in the so-called ‘real’ world, in that it reflects my experience of seeking solace in a graveyard. “Song of Asherah”, “Black Magnificat” and “An unforseen planting” were all written around the same time, and are a product of my personal struggle to undo the thousands-of-years repression of the feminine divine.

By the time I came to write “Wintering Tree”, I was more familiar with the deep cycle of creativity. When I wrote “Pilgrimage”, it felt like I was summing up my journey of the past thirty years. And in “White Shell Woman” the heart opens, the basket is full: how indeed to see the wind, to not let it slip by.

Nora Leonard, July 2004