Archive for the ‘Poetry 2000 – 2009’ Category


I wonder, elfin tree,

does your sap long to rise?

Do your cells expand

although your limbs

are harshly thwarted

every time they try to spread?

When your roots

run into walls

do they cry

at their containment?

Does it jar you

every time

you feel the cut?

And if someday I plant you

in the garden, in the sun

will you remember

to remember

how to grow?


(c) 2002, 2016  Betty Hayes Albright

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She’d waited long enough.

The time had come

to clear the near forgotten room

he’d carved into the earth.

Ancient harvests deep inside

would long be in decay.

She braced herself

and slow approached

the thick, elm door

(and later swore it opened

of its own accord).


In the shaft of light

that followed

she was struck with wonder.

Instead of baskets

filled with crops

long gone to rot

there was the scent of quickening:


with their eyes still wide,

beets the color of her heart,

carrots orange and smooth,

and onions with their papery skins

like pages of old memories.


On the side were apples –

barrels of them, red and crisp

(she took a bite and begged forgive!)


How could this be,

a place outside of time?

In haste she left

and sealed the door.

There would be no clearing out

(except for one sweet apple

which she secreted away).


© 2009, 2016  Betty Hayes Albright


(revision of an old Mayberrie poem)


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I light a candle.

Where its glow meets your silence

you return to me.


(c) 2013, 2015 Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post)

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storm photo from Jason

photo (c) Jason T. Judd


.Have you felt

the torrent coming

churning in your marrow

from the very nuclei

deep within your cells?

It bursts into a howling, spinning,

flooding storm of waves

crashing so hard

on the rocks

that sparks fly,

the wind flames

with tongues of heat

that reach the sun

hungry, licking, feeding,

until there’s nothing left

but a belly full of light.


© 2001, 2015 Betty Hayes Albright


Photo taken by my son, Jason Judd,

as he flew over New Mexico recently.

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We leave our warm houses,

walk the long path

to the meadow

where shadows

catch in mid-freeze.

The stillness becomes us –

a breath in the thickets,

a widening of eyes,

the gentle padding of time.

From the trees come whispered

ribbons of sun

weaving through the branches

to find us waiting

our arms raised high

in praise of this day

when light reacquaints us

with Light.


(c) 2003, 2014  Betty Hayes Albright

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(For Earth Day – a re-post)


“Where is the light?”

their voices screamed

into the night,

“where has our power gone?”


“It’s not the candle,

but the flame

that matters,”

came the swift reply

in answer to their woe.


“Change must be the vessel

that carries Gaia

through the storm.

It was your dragging apathy

that drove her off

into the mist

where only those

with unveiled eyes

can still make out her form –

where only those

with opened ears

can still discern her voice:


“I am still here,” she tells us,

“so humankind 

will learn to breathe

new life into the dust,

and earth shall rise

in startling vitality.

I am still here, beloved ones,

but now it’s up to you.”


(c) 2000, 2017  Betty Hayes Albright


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A tree knows.

It knows the animal of time

that stretches up its trunk

wrinkling hours into bark.

A tree knows that rain

falls between suns

and that baby birds

fly their nests

and return full of eggs.

A tree knows

that endings

swallow their own tails

to become tight brown nuggets

falling in circles

flavoring earth with the future.

A tree knows.

And what it knows best

is to unfold.


(c) 2003, 2014 Betty Hayes Albright


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When the veil lifts

we see the bones

of the universe

and it doesn’t matter

the color of an eye,

an unread poem,

a broken thread,

the forgotten name.


And everything matters –

the curve of a smile,

a loaf of bread shared,

the feather of a crow,

each dandelion spared.

What matters is the fingerprint

we leave on the flame

before we’re dowsed with slumber

and it all begins again.


(c) 2004, 2017  Betty Hayes Albright


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Spirit comes, a gentle giant –

no trumpets or glare,

no explosions of air,

just strong hands that lift us

above the sharp slopes,

just warm arms that cradle us

up to the top

of the mythical mountain

we’ve climbed for so long.


We throw off our packs

and become light

as horizons beyond us

widen like a smile

on fertile plains.

They spread like butter

on slices of eternity

whispering, whispering:

We are the giant



© 2000, 2012 Betty Hayes Albright


(This was first posted in Aug. 2011, but has been revised and retitled. Seems I can never get a poem to just sit still.)

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Roy Schaefer was one of the best rhyming and meter poets I’ve ever known. He passed away 12 years ago – and today would’ve been his 82nd birthday. His book, Songs from my Poet Tree was self-published in 1994 and will hopefully be reprinted by his family some day.

This tribute was written shortly after his death.


Here’s to you, Roy – you are not forgotten!


He was the poet

who made it seem easy

to write clever rhyme

sometimes deep, sometimes breezy


with well-metered sentiments

and humor too

he immortalized everyone

he ever knew.


He wrote about butterflies,

poppies and love,

he wrote of the troll

and the skunk and the dove.


He wrote of the sea

and he wrote of the moon,

he wrote of the snail

and the deer and the loon.


He wrote of the past

and he wrote of a dream,

he showed us that some things

are not what they seem.


And so he will live

in the world’s memory

harvesting words

from his dear Poet Tree.


(c) 2000, 2012  Betty Hayes Albright


Update:  June 20th – I googled Roy’s name and found a link to one of his poems, for anyone who’s interested: http://a-poets-haven.faithweb.com/AsIWoodBe.htm

I would post some from his book, but would probably need permission from his family since they’re copyrighted.  

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