Elizabeth Spencer Spragins – Five Poems



cardinals nesting
on the chapel window ledge—
a shard of stained glass
hidden in the brittle grass
catches fire at break of day


a moat of pebbles
encircles black peppermint
shrouded under snow
rootlets probe the frozen ground
and breach cracked walls of winter

Chamber Music

a maidenhair fern
rises from her mossy bed
to flutes of thrushes
breezes tune the fiddleheads
and coax blues from violas


a river of rocks
nestles deeper in its bed
bereft of water
skipping stones collect star dust
and bathe in pools of moonlight


a set of fox tracks
leads to blackberry brambles
dusted with new snow
agitated chickadees
defend the barren branches


Author’s Statement on Beauty

Beauty is the expression of positive elements that coalesce into the very essence of something if one looks deeply with both head and heart. The meticulous exploration of imagery, events, and ideas that might be invisible, overlooked, or forgotten can often lead to the discovery of beauty on an unappreciated level. Spontaneous response to life experiences can be an equally fruitful source of inspirational material. Regardless of the introductory angle, one of my goals as a poet is to sharpen the focus on a particular setting in such a way that its loveliness is more accessible to the reader. Beauty revealed through music, art, or literature can catch our breath in such a way that time stills and we want to linger in that moment. Thus, for the span of a heartbeat, harmony with ourselves, with each other, and with our world prevails. That is the magic, and the power, of artistic expression.


Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a linguist and editor who taught in North Carolina community colleges for more than a decade. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in England, Scotland, Canada, Indonesia, and the United States. Recent work has appeared in the Quarterday Review, the Bamboo Hut, Skylark, Atlas Poetica, and Halcyon Days. She lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia.