Mourning Dove – Poem By Margarita Engle


On the eve of my grandmother’s burial,
I remember a story she told me
about her father’s funeral
in a wild part of Cuba, long ago.

When the family returned to the farm,
the scent of incense from church still fresh on their brows,
they found all the cows tied to trees,
cattle rustlers on the run,
alarmed by the return of the mourners.

Now I picture my grandmother’s spirit gliding
through coffin, soil and sea,
back to the farm
of sugarcane and stargrass.
All the cows are still waiting,
while green-fringed palms
sway and soar, everything winged.

By Margarita Engle

 “Mourning Dove” was also published in Welcoming Hope: Poems for those in Need (2007, Elin Grace Publishing; with Time of Singing).

Poems from FAMILY FARM Haiku for a Place of Moons by Carol Purington – post updated 2/23/2014

Distant thunder
The patter of peas being shelled
into the dishpan


Before rain
the smell of dust
the smell of rain


Heat wave breaks
Snipping yellow roses
in the soft rain


 Goldenrod now . . .
and a monarch poised
on bright asters


Cooling into twilight –
cricket after cricket
star after star


Haiku for a Place of Moons


Carol Purington

Please see Carol’s Guest Post on March 27, 2010 for her biography and more information about Family Farm (Winfred Press, 1999).

Photo by Karl Olinger
Oostburg, Wisconsin

Update, February 23, 2014:  Here is the link to Carol’s poetry page at her family website.

You’ll find more poems by Carol, and information about all of her good books.

This link goes to the Winfred Press site.

Bell’s Letters Poet–June, July, Aug. 2010

I was happy to see Bell’s Letters Poet, Issue 133, in yesterday’s mail.   In addition to poems, it includes many other features, for example, the BL Network, Addresses, Ratings (if you wish to vote for favorite poems), and Awards.

Jim Bell, the Editor, reprinted a poem of mine; and as we sense Autumn around the corner, this might be a little poem to share with someone who is learning a new life chapter following loss, perhaps during the holidays.  This was written for my mother, during the first year of grief, in 2004.  All is well and my heart is full.

few leaves
left on the lilac
living with
your loss

Mr. Bell added:  Ed. Note:  She said it all!

Poem was published first in Hermitage; Ion Codrescu, Editor.

Trumpet Vines and Time


 how the

trumpet vines

grew on the wall

of my mother’s home


like her faith

her unconditional love

when God said

“It’s time…”

Update:  This poem was published
in Bell’s Letters 135, February 2011.


Photos are courtesy of