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This Dove Is Not for Mourning
Richard Greene


The mourning dove doesn't sound mournful to me,
wistful maybe,
but not melancholy,
as if happy with the day
whether a chill March one like this
or a sultry one in August.
For me it sings of childhood summers,
spent at the lake
where my grandfather had a house,
of warm mornings
when fresh from bed
I could comfortably step outside shirtless,
of times when I could hear
the trees' full rustle
and waves lapping the shore,
and see fish dimple the mirror of evening
and swallows swoop
over the languid water
streaked with gold.

© by Richard Greene.

Used with the author's permission.


Richard Greene began writing poetry in the 8th grade, inspired by the opening lines of Longfellow's “Evangeline”—“This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks / Bearded in moss and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight"—which he was required to read in class. In college, after a classmate deemed Richard’s rhyming poem “trite,” he stopped writing until, a couple of years later, a class with Henry Rago, subsequently editor of Poetry magazine, inspired him to resume his efforts. But poetry fell by the wayside for almost forty years as a busy career in international development consumed his life. As retirement approached, however, Richard’s dedication to poetry returned; he has since published three chapbooks: The Broken Guitar: Poems of War; Becoming Old: Poems of Aging; Painting with Words: Landscapes in Verse; and one full -length collection, To Talk of Many Things: Selected Poems. Richard, who lives in Nyack, New York, shares a "poem of the week" with anyone interested; get on his mailing list by requesting it at



Post New Comment:
Wilda Morris:
Beautiful language!
Posted 03/20/2024 08:49 AM
So beautiful..... I love 'see fish dimple the mirror of evening'
Posted 03/19/2024 11:58 PM
I SO enjoyed this vividly descriptive poem~~nostalgia at its best!
Posted 03/19/2024 09:40 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful memory of childhood summers.
Posted 03/19/2024 02:42 PM
Beautiful, serene poem. I am almost hearing the trees rustle.The sound of the dove - wistful does it. Streaked with gold, - from both sun and memories. Thank you,
Posted 03/19/2024 10:28 AM
This poem brought a smile to my face. Thank you. I don't think mourning doves sound mournful either and they are beautiful.
Posted 03/19/2024 09:35 AM
I agree completely and have always left out the U and thought of them at Morning doves.. as often on an early dawning warm day , their cooing would be the first sounds through my open window . Beautifully done , thank you Richard
Posted 03/19/2024 08:45 AM
I am new to this site, but what a wonderful way to start the day this 90 year old woman thanks you from the bottom of my heart for providing this. best wishes
Posted 03/19/2024 08:35 AM
A beautiful poem with so many memorable lines: fish dimple the mirror of evening. Wonderful!
Posted 03/19/2024 08:26 AM
We are fortunate to have many mourning doves in our neighborhood! Their coos are so soothing and sweetthey make my day much better, too! This is such a lovely poem, Richardthank you!
Posted 03/19/2024 05:56 AM

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