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Ute Carson

Photography by Michael K White

Nothing in Nature is Ever Lost


She slips from old age into dying

like the setting sun.

Only slowly does she notice the change

as those around her fall silent.

An old woman’s loneliness.


She long ago abandoned the belief

that God’s eye is on her as on a sparrow,

but she still puts the best of herself 

onto the enduring pages of her diary,

confessing her sleeping potion

of lukewarm water with shots of whisky

and her dreams of dark shadows flitting by.


But when the stars dim

and a faint pink line brightens the horizon,

and her dog nudges her to be let out,

she makes her way

to the crumbling backdoor steps,

folding her aging flesh beneath her

and sips soothing tea through her thin lips.


Her teaming garden,

bougainvillea cascading water-like over the fence

is not a bad place to contemplate dying,

birds stirring in the bushes,

dragonflies skimming the grass

sweet with dew as though rinsed by tears.

She inhales the scented air of wild mint.


When she tilts her head back

she can see the sky,

and only slowly pulls in her wings,

knowing that the earth is gentle to all living things

that fall into her embrace

to be harbored and to await germination

for the annual rebirth.      



Morning Ritual


I used to bold from bed

as if my bag of duties  

had to be delivered

before the sun had dazzled through the mist.


Now I move over to you

on the pillow next to mine

and curled around each other

your warmth finds its way to my skin.


We let the cock crow several times

and sluggishly

with the day slowly waking,

we roll out together,

hips wedged like leaves glued by the morning dew.



Folding Washing


                  …Grow Old With Me

                  The Best Is Yet To Be…


It’s hard to believe that promise 

when aging’s afflictions begin to weigh on us,

the failing body, the forgetful mind.

But if we are lucky

we’ll have someone to fold washing with,

long sheets needing two pairs of hands,

tugging, straightening,

stretch right, pull to the left.

The heart will not be deterred,

forever yearning for a companion

to share the ordinary

with lightness as dusk descends.

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