High in my tree-top gazebo, I nest
among gray squirrels, watch cardinals
fly and blue jays fuss and flutter.
Yellow-robed finches harmonize elaborate duets
while a grosbeak sings solo. As an orchestra tunes
before evening performance, each sound intones
a distinct timber. The air hushes
and the ceremony of the sun begins. The sky
colors quietly, opens with chords of peach,
lavender and vermillion. Arches and beams
of hickory and oak soften. The leafy green entablature,
like the mossed limestone, whispers wind and waves.
The wafer of light deepens to blood red. Its slow descent
to the sea becomes the bread and wine of nature.
The ritual complete,
chipmunks burrow home while bird chant fades
into memory. Crickets and hoot owls awaken.
A German shepherd barks. Finally the mind quiets
and there is a moment of no sound. Fireflies flicker,
candling the dark. Only the hummer’s sweet syrup
hangs unchanged. Ruby red, it witnesses day’s death,
its rebirth, catches the first glimmer of dawn.
First published by Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature.
Used with the author’s permission.
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Mary Jo Balistreri spent most of her life in music, performing as a concert pianist and harpsichordist, and teaching for sixteen years. After the death of her first grandson to mitochondrial disease (the second one died two years later), she turned to the music of words as a way to give witness to his life as well as to transcend grief and turn it into something positive. Now retired from her musical pursuits, Mary Jo spends as many hours writing as she once did practicing. Her uplifting, joyous poetry has been published in numerous journals and she was nominated for a Pushcard Prize in 2006. For Mary Jo, poetry has become both a passion and a way of life, and writing is now a spiritual path.
To purchase her book, Joy in the Morning, please click here.
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