Summer 2016


I watch life emerging

The young ospreys stretch their wings,
testing them against the breeze,
their destiny whispering in their ears.

In the peaceful sunshine of my garden
dragonflies dart across the quiet pond,
their lacy wings glistening gold
in the golden light.

And fragile butterfly wings unfold
Fluttering in all the colors of the rainbow,
alighting on the welcoming flowers.

Above, the swallows play, joyfully
mounting the updrafts,
and hawks call out.
Kestrels stoop
and snatch up the hapless mouse.

Violence is inherent in this beauty.
Butterflies will fall, soon after their eggs are laid,
dragonflies devour the small life in the pond,
and osprey rip their fish open
even before it has stopped moving.

But this is violence I can understand,
like the violence of emerging stars and planets,

not like the violence that humans inflict upon the world.
Dark clouds gather over
Paris, Baghdad, Orlando, Istanbul, Nice, Ankara,
over glacier ice, butterflies, and even osprey.

The osprey chicks call out,
more fish please, and a bit of shade if you don’t mind!
They peer down with curiosity
at the crazy world of humans below the nest.

My bleeding heart finds peace
in the witnessing
of ospreys, dragonflies, butterflies
and all that nature offers.

I hold a candle of Hope
against the dark clouds of Hate and Fear.



  1. Mary-Lou Gillette

    Dear Maddi,
    I can think of no words of mine to honor what you have presented here. I am speechless with awe, and grateful of heart…thank you!

  2. Dear Maddi, your beautiful poem, dare I say dirge, is a profound reckoning, stirring up my deepest feelings.

    That exquisite life we watch emerge, that you witness & describe, is Nature’s own promise of the future of life, which does entail an imperative hierarchy for survival inherently violent and sacrificial. But Nature is emotionally agnostic, harsh but never cruel, as Dr. Bierregaard is wont to say. It is nothing personal, and it is Darwin-neutral in chance utility. In the perpetuation of its glorious and various forms, Nature imposes no will, it acts without intentionality. And as you say, the universe itself started by forces of random violence & coincidence, but not with the intention to inflict harm.

    The human being, however, survives with intentionality, harboring malice in his wayward human heart that kills and murders in the extermination life on Earth, upon which he recklessly strews the desperately beating heart of his innocent by-catch. This is what I cannot understand, and the plotting pleasure in it. I might even be able to understand Hate and Fear, but the wanton, willful, arrogant cupidity that forcloses the very future of Life on Earth is senseless beyond my comprehension.

    My bleeding heart also seeks refuge in the disappearing sanctuary of Nature, along with the miracles of the ospreys, the Monarchs and the damselflies looking for a niche/haven to survive, the innocents under attack by those least fit, or deserving, to live. Holding back the inevitable night with intentional hope and a prayer, YES, but have we no stronger remedies, the weeping, helpless heart asks.

  3. Jeanne Kaufman

    Dear Maddi,
    Another beautifully written piece that touches my heart. There are too many moments these days, when watching the news, that I sit with tears streaming from my eyes and jumbled thoughts about the future racing through my mind. Then, I recall my blessings, and I take myself out of that dark place and into the light of nature to find peace and restore my hope once more. If only those with hate in their hearts could see the light, and rejoice rather than destroy, we might all survive in this crazy world.
    My best to you,

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