Within the Breath


                                              Within the Breath

White flowers on lemon balm, basil

our minds wander amidst spices

through consciousness of well-being

focused, present, a small flower spider

a soft peppermint leaf,  a crow feather

and all the blackbirds gathered below us

red-winged, solid black, sheer garnet, obsidian

in which one sings, one holds nothing

except the song, the singing

symmetrical, immediate

green tea, prayer wheel, snail labyrinth

the soul is sensitive to images

to what is in us, the hemoglobin

platelets, the resonance of cellular memory

to what is before us, the light gathered

crow, staircase, basil, rose

this evening we face the west, sun dappled faces

maple leaves, blackbirds, shadows, breath

in which one breathes, one holds everything.

— Gwendolyn Morgan

Honorable mention Elizabeth Bolton Poetry Prize

Written River: A Journal of Eco-poetics, Summer Solstice 2013, p. 53



forthcoming in Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, Hiraeth Press, 2013.



Angelina is a rescue donkey who lives at Lavender Dreams Farm, a lovely home and Donkey Rescue.  http://www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com   This winter she inspired me to complete this 30″x30″ acrylic on canvas painting, which premiered at the First Unitarian Church Fine Arts Show April 12-14, 2013.   Donkeys are gentle creatures who have been sorely mistreated — and yet who gently remind us of our interconnection with all sentient beings.  Some donkeys offer healing via equine therapy as they are able to not only sense but also relieve others of emotional and spiritual pain.


Donkey Graces


“If a donkey brays in the morning,

Let the hay makers take a warning;

If the donkey brays late at night,

Let the hay makers take delight.”[i]

— for Angelina


Plant three rows of organic heirloom carrots.

Buy a dozen pink ladies, apples from the orchardist down the lane.

Remember to have your hair styled, her hooves trimmed.


Massage the sway back of an older rescue donkey,

the thick charcoal gray stripe that runs vertical holds the myth that once upon a time

donkeys had unmarked gray fur, and that it was only after Christ’s entry into Jerusalem

on the back of a donkey that they received the dark cross on their backs.


Watch the donkeys haul the peat like a wheelbarrow in an old Irish storybook,

heal the ailing, the sorrowful, people and animals alike.


Remember Saint Nicolas used to wear the garment of a bishop

as he rode on the back of a donkey (no sleigh, no reindeer),

and in Egypt, donkey’s milk was a cosmetic applied to ensure smooth skin.

Donkeys bring unfettered grace to each morning.


Take delight in the greeting bray of Angelina at dusk.

Buy a plush toy donkey named Esperanza.

Place dried red roses in her saddlebag, tuck one behind your ear.



[i] Welsh Folk saying. Angelina is a donkey who resides at Lavender Dreams Farm and Donkey Rescue. http://www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com https://www.facebook.com/DonkeyRescuer


[i] Welsh Folk saying. Angelina is a donkey who resides at Lavender Dreams Farm and Donkey Rescue. http://www.lavenderdreamsfarm.com https://www.facebook.com/DonkeyRescuer


Wild Earth Poetry Prize

With gratitude — Hiraeth Press posts news of Winners of the Wild Earth Poetry Prize 2013:

“We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Wild Earth Poetry Prize: Martin Willitts, Jr. for his collection, Searching For What Is Not There and Gwendolyn Morgan for her collection, Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea! . . . .

Crow Feathers, Red Ochre, Green Tea, is Gwendolyn Morgan’s first collection. The book offers richly textured poetic render ings of natural land scapes and emotional nuances in response to those land scapes. She weaves concerns for global warming, social inequities, and health care together with images of birds, plants, animals, breath, evoking our interconnectedness with all sentient beings and the spiritual universe. There is in these poems a deep sense of care for and root­ed ness in the nat ural world.


A little about Gwendolyn: Gwendolyn Morgan learned the names of birds and wild flowers and inherited paint brushes and boxes from her grand mothers. With a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Goddard College, and a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, she has been a recipient of writing residencies at Artsmith, Caldera and Soapstone. Her poems appear in: Calyx, Dakotah, Kalliope, Kinesis, Manzanita Quarterly, Tributaries: a Journal of Nature Writing, VoiceCatcher, Written River as well as anthologies and other literary journals….”

Winners of the Wild Earth Poetry Prize 2013

Collection forthcoming December 2013

Western Screech Owl 1

Caw! Caw! Caw!

Photo by Judy A. Rose

Crow Feathers, early August, Arch Cape


Crow talks to me in the morning

news of the interrelated universe

in the afternoon when I walk along the beach

I find two black crow feathers

a small round stone amongst dozens of stones

on the edge of the water…

— Gwendolyn Morgan

To read more…

Written River: A Journal of Eco-Poetics Vol. 3 Issue 1

Written River, Hiraeth Press, pp. 40-41