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Snap of ice on the river breaks
chilling silence frozen thoughts
come to life like startled fish
darting for cover in a tangle of reeds
a hidden pool

I try to stay with my breath
label the fear as it comes and goes
storm clouds followed by sun
the constancy of weather
my human mind

As snow dusts the meadow a cardinal proclaims
the season’s shift with frenzied song
I conjure restless seeds sprouting in fecund earth
the release of light slowly climbing northern skies
like summer morning glories

But cold wind calls me back the ticking
of dry leaves on glass the migration of sun
moon stars the coming and going of breath
then is now becomes when
muddled thought continues


I just discovered Pandora, and am spending lots of time listening to music. It helps to free my mind from rants and other thoughts that keep me captive.

What do you do to tame your restless mind?


  1. Somewhere in your ancestry, some wonderful writerly and artistic DNA slipped through. Thanks you for this lovely offering today.

    By the way, both my children have Pandora boxes. One is named Alexa. I think I’ll listen to
    a little Mozart now!

    • Thank you, Marian. I’m glad you like my poem. I’ve got a wireless speaker from Bose that I absolutely love and the sound is phenomenal for the music I love.

  2. Joan — I feel like I hit the jackpot reading your GEM of a post today. Thank you.

    I’m a Pandora fan, too. I set up a station of instrumental-only, lullabies — it’s a great accompaniment to reading in the evening.

    • Thanks so much, Laurie. I really need to write more poetry. I like your instrumental only idea. I also haven’t sung in a long time, so I have an Ella Fitzgerald station to sing along with. Love it!!

  3. Love poetry – thank you. I feel as though I’ve received a gift. When I’m looking for a little relief from an overwrought brain, I place a few drops of Lavender, or Sweet Grass essential oil, or both into a diffuser. I ask Alexa to play some nature sounds and I get comfortable. I close my eyes and see what I see. It’s always something intriguing. On the sounds of waves I float wherever my imagination takes me and the cares of the world drift away. Alternatively, I go for a hike in the woods!

    • Oh yes, Dorothy, essential oils are on my list, as well as yoga, walking, reading poetry and puttering in the garden. That last one I’m dying to do, but it’s too early here to do much.

  4. Lovely poem, Joan. I am also inspired by music, walking outdoors in nature and I just signed up for a Tai Chi class. Sometimes my greatest inspiration comes from walking away from the computer and social media. It clears my head of all the noise and chatter. But your poem is very soothing and gives me hope for spring! Thank you.

    • Joan Rough says:

      Kathy, I’ve been thinking lately about getting rid of social media. It is too noisy and I get caught up in it without any problem. i think I’d be calmer without it. It would give me a lot more time to get back to writing poetry!! Thanks for stopping by!