To My Niece


Your wild heart has been crowned;

crowned by the rose.

Let it love slowly

and deliberately.

Praise your heaven as if

the horizon were your home.

Hear the heartbeat of your smile’s

stunning, God-given soul.

Your wild heart has been

sun-lit by the crowning dawn,

But all stars vanish

with the star-kissed sun;

Stretching clouds and light

across your home like

Opening hands,

touching life to earth, and

Quiet love to your wild heart.


The tired trees

asleep in the apple orchards


strung together by flaking thread,

memory of dream still quaking

in leaves;

dreams of the crowning rose

and winter’s sleep.


I wish you slow-burning days by the fire,

With one mind and faith

To sweeten Sunday’s coffee.

I wish you high art and graceful falls,

Falls broken by roses and wild hearts.

And should the world

Outside your chest

Rage against your wild,

Star-silked soul,

I hope you keep quiet courage,

And let the world dream

Of roses

And wild hearts.

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