Juditha Dowd

Morning Star

I’ve come so late to the stars
a failure to see we don’t need

physics to understand there’s
something some thing

to reckon Venus
out there hanging on
above a faint horizon

And yes I know
it’s a planet not a star

and I don’t mean to say
If she can, so can I

debasing inspiration
with a silly lie

but I’ve stood in the dark
at the edge of the world
these mornings

frost a daily threat and yet

thinking about destruction
about replenishment

wondering if we
we too might rise again

remake ourselves
from nothingness


Late Winter Curiosities

At first light I go sailing back
on the lovely lake of sleep
and miss the dawn

then day blinks open
windy and blue
a stranger

I make the bed
and find our warmth
lingering in the sheets

wonder about our remnant selves
still clothed in dream


You’re up early
filling the feeders for your dinosaurs

scanning the trees for their enemies
the famished squirrels

and a hawk you call
our red-tail


Just outside the kitchen door
a crusted snow as glossy as meringue

beneath it lies a snail shell
pale spearmint
still-fragrant thyme

You say the daffodils
are coming up

as if we didn’t expect them



somewhere you found a tiny toad
brought it to me on the porch

for once this lingering sadness
hadn’t much at all to do

with you
and yet as usual

my worst a necessary vessel
for your best

your cupped hands opening
just slightly

that glimpse of motion of light
as if to say see

such things are small
but unpredictable


Juditha Dowd

My contemplative practice began with a casual foray into Hatha yoga fifty years ago. Over a lifetime, the meditative aspects of the practice have become at least as important to me as the physical—not quite inseparable, but both always available. Together they have tamed an inherent restlessness into something I hope is more useful. I also participate regularly in walking meditation and occasionally in the Benedictine tradition of silent retreat and contemplation.

Juditha Dowd is the author of a full-length collection, Mango in Winter (Grayson Books), and three chapbooks. Recent work can be found in Poet Lore, Spillway, Rock & Sling, Ekphrasis and Verse Daily. A cross-genre narrative in the voice of Lucy Bakewell Audubon is forthcoming from Rose Metal Press in 2020.

More on Juditha Dowd's work can be found on our Links page.

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