Birch trees catch my eye

deep in the trough of winter

white bark withstanding.



©  2014, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright 


Partial of an original watercolor by my grandmother,

Lilly Bjornstad.  (She painted this when she was about 100.  She lived to 108.)







Gray sky

like Sunday’s paper

spreads in starchy folds

across the morning,

driving rain

through unripe shadows

sprinkling clues

on birding trees.

And where the purple

crocus blooms

I find a broken

bamboo stick

and draw wet hearts

in the earth.



(c) 1994, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post, revised)



Rivers run

they do not walk

they crest a dam

and do not talk

while smoothing rocks

and rocking banks

in curving stones

and filling lakes

with bubbled lights

and gillied fishes

feeding wells

and granting wishes

silver curved

pastoral scenes

in flows of bold

through forest greens

and wearing blue

lent from the sky

where falling water

dragons fly

in grassy hair

and clover pops,

through sunny glare

and mossy tops




         its way.



© 2012, 2018 Betty Hayes Albright 


(a re-post)

To Fly


We throw our burlap robes into the fire,

with no one left to preach, gone is the choir.


Come weave new cloth with capers of the dawn,

in rosy flowing garbs we’ll carry on.


Each seam we’ll sew with needles made of gold

and silver threads embroidered on each fold


and then with pockets full of wind and sky

like kites, without their strings, we’ll learn to fly.



© 2015, 2018 Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post)


Sleep Walk

(From 1976)


Awaken me,

I’m sleep walking.

In jigsaw dreams

I shadow-box

flailing fists

against the air

to shake away the trappings.

Pry open

these amnesia-clouded eyes

that they may see

beyond this tangled trail of woe –

I long to hear

the Phoenix sing.

Come knead my heart

with cosmic yeast

until my spirit rises up

to navigate the river

that will take me

to the sea.

Please awaken me.



(c) 1976, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright


Originally published in “Living Color”, (my humble chapbook) in 1976.


(a re-post)

Time Out


They leak outIMG_5538

from the calendar –

seconds, minutes lost.

They steal away

into the fog

and freeze to winter’s frost.


I close my eyes

and there’s an hour

missing from the day.

It turned into

a floppy kite

and spring blew it away.



through my fingers

another day has gone,



from summer’s placid pond.


And soon a year

has fallen

bright confetti on the ground

and I wonder

if we’ll ever have

the time to just slow down.



© 1992, 2018  Betty Hayes Albright


(….and another 26 years has flown by since writing this….)


(a re-post)

Clean Slate


Each moment comes

a clean slate.

We write on it

with ink that burns us,

weep on it

with tears that boil,

toss it on a hickory stove

smearing ash

on pristine snow


but every second

rights itself

into a guiltless fire

that flares into

a longing grace

erasing clean

the errant flare

as we learn

to temper self

and kindle our own glow.



©  2012, 2018 Betty Hayes Albright


(a re-post, revised)

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