Emily Strauss – After a While Dumbness Strikes, Night Music

After a While Dumbness Strikes


After a while dumbness strikes my voice

as if a forest of damp twigs suddenly went dry

and brittle, old leaves snapping underfoot when

I step, my words become thin as a Chinese

reed flute, a hollow bamboo tube of air

whose notes drop heavily into shallow pools,

the ripple spreading only a little before

fading, even the warblers are quiet on such

a day. I am ashamed of my sudden

reticence, my inability to frame a reply,

like a deer caught in a rose garden can

hardly explain her affinity for thorns.


Night Music


playing night music at dawn

and the sun glances off

the schist at the cliff top

flutes and bells—

it’s early for day, the moths

haven’t finished their white

floral rounds, slow drums

can’t mean a lifting of shadows

from the granite, revealing

its faceted edges, yet the light

arrives, grays fade.


Covering FogCovering  Fog

Hills and BarnHills and Barn

River MorningRiver Morning  (Photos – Emily Strauss (C) all rights reserved)

Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry (and photography). Over 130 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies, as well as a dozen photos. The natural world is generally her framework; she often focuses on the tension between nature and humanity, using concrete images to illuminate the loss of meaning between them. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California.

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