Green is grass.
Green is leaves.
Green is growing
under the sun
elbowing the earth,
pushing it aside
stretching, reaching
with open hands.
Green is calling you
to lie in the grass
under a firmament of leaves
and breathe.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved













Building a Fairy House

If I fashion a cottage with sticks and with leaves,
If I pin tulip petals under the eaves,
If I roll out a carpet of fresh emerald moss,
If I set out an armchair of fine milkweed floss,
If I lay a stone table with hickory shells,
If I finish the doorway with lavender bells,
Will you come? Will you stay?
Will you ask me to play?


This poem started with a hickory shell and a memory of building fairy houses with my daughter one summer when we were visiting friends in Vermont. We were told that if you build a fairy house, fairies will come live in it.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

photo-243 - Version 2













Sweet Gum Balls

There on the ground,
abundant and free,
small spiky balls,
gifts of the tree.

Like porcupine eggs,
or a wee knight’s flail,
they’re perfect for making
your enemies wail!

They’re not really gum,
but they are a sweet find.
I stuff them in my pocket,
then change my mind.


I did actually put one in my pocket to bring home. That’s how I got the idea for this poem. Usually I write the first line first, but this time I started at the end.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved













On Rainy Days

The grass looks greener.
The bark looks darker.
The trees’ spring leaves stretch and glow.
The daffodils don’t mind in their bright yellow hats.
The maples apply a deeper shade of crimson to their buds.
The purple hyacinths color themselves with crayon
Then watch the water run down their curls.
The pink cherry blossoms, arriving late, blush to discover
No one else has worn a dress.
On rainy days the sky offers nothing but gray,
But everyone else does their best.


The deer couldn’t get to the hyacinths in the back. They’re protected by the wall.

Happy Day 7 of National Poetry Month.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

photo-240 - Version 2















Garden Thieves

They come in the night
when I can’t see.
I know they do.
They leave clues for me:

Hyacinth crumbs,
ragged leaves.
Evidence of
garden thieves.

Small round droppings
give them away.
White-tailed deer
have come this way.

I wish I could see them
grazing in my yard.
Silent and wild,
visitors on guard.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved













The Wall

I have a wall
that’s sturdy and tall
and admirably persistent.

When we play ball,
it returns them all.
It’s remarkably consistent.


It sure is challenging to sneak in a poem on a Saturday.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved












The Big Rock Speaks

Sit with me.
Give your legs
a rest.
Put down your bags
and arms.
Let your breathing
I will share my spot
and my stillness.
and you will see things.
Squirrels will scamper
across your legs.
Birds will perch on your shoulders
and sing.
Ferns will unfurl.
Mushrooms will explode
with spores.
The light will change.
When you are ready
climb on my head
and see the world again.
Imagine you’re a giant.
Jump down.
Grab your bags.
Skip along the path.
Leave me here
to watch.


I think I should confess that I am using the term backyard rather loosely. This big rock isn’t in my actual backyard. It’s down the street along a trail that runs through the park. I’m so lucky to live within walking distance of the woods and a subway station. I wonder how far I’ll need to go to find my 30 treasures.

For more Poetry Friday, visit Amy at The Poem Farm.

photo-235 - Version 2















Earth and Sky

Two twig men went walking by.
They tripped and fell but didn’t cry.
The sky was blue, the ground was dry,
So they stayed to watch the cloud men fly.

Two cloud men were flying low.
They saw two twig men down below.
They wanted to stop and say hello,
But the wind said no, so they had to go.


© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved

photo 2-5












Message on a Log

Someone’s left a message here,
a swirling, curling missive, clear
in the flesh of this log.

They’ve stripped away the gnarled bark.
They’ve used a blade to leave their mark
in letters I can’t read.

Like hieroglyphs from ancient lands,
or characters by distant hands.
I wonder what it says.

Perhaps it tells where treasure lies.
Perhaps it warns that someone dies.
Or maybe all it says is:
                                     “I was here.”


They are probably not so good for the tree, but I do love the beautiful squiggles that beetle larvae leave on wood as they eat their way underneath the bark.

Happy Day 2 of National Poetry Month.

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved.

photo 2-4















This year I will be celebrating National Poetry Month by writing a poem a day about a “Backyard Treasure.” Every day I will go for a walk, take a picture of a treasure I find, and then, write a poem about it. These won’t be polished poems. They will be the day’s best draft.

Today’s poem is about the daffodils blooming in my yard.


Dear Daffodil

Thank you for raising
your head in the rain.
Thank you for sounding
your silent fanfare.
Thank you for daring
to wear your bright yellow bonnet
to this endless gathering of mourners.
Thank you for huddling
in clumps like ducklings
chirruping in chorus—
 “Soon we can swim!”
  “Soon we can swim!”
Thank you, dear daffodil,
for coming every spring.


Happy first day of National Poetry Month!

© Elizabeth Steinglass, 2014, all rights reserved