The Merman's Gift

She pressed a colored shell
Against her ear And heard
It whispering: Elizabeth.

Then, before her eyes,
The sky turned liquid green,
And swaying trees withdrew
In blurry forms;
Corals and sand dollars
Became scentless flowers.

Seaweed ribbons drifted
Cloud-like in the breezy
Currents that swirled about
Her lacy pinafore—
By which a merman pulled
Her into the deep.

The Naughty Step

The afternoon was wearing on
and Josh began to brood;
his parents learned not to engage
when he was in that mood.

He threw a truck and kicked some blocks.
When no one said a word,
dejected, then he turned around,
as mother overheard

his muttering and scolding, while
he pointed to the stair--
then promptly plopped himself right down,
concluding, with a glare.

So, when his self-appointed time
had quickly come to close;
he spoke some other garbled sounds,
and from the step arose.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Powderham Sprite (click for Audio)


I sensed her by the fallow deer that fed
upon the oak leaves near the sea, and then
around the flooded estuary bed
where egrets hid between large willows. When

a heron waded through the narrow pond
and mingled with the geese, I almost saw
her cherry lips flash like a regal wand,
or damselfly, who quietly withdraws

when humans catch a glimpse. I know she’s here
to gather peacock butterflies and shells
until thin moonbeams slowly draw her near,
and ghostly forms ring silent vesper bells.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Sarah's Window Seat

A songbird suns above the gable end,
as clouds move apathetic fingers down
the back of tree lined hills, and flowers fold
their scent into the landscape’s pleated gown.
She settles in the window seat to read,
while counting croquet balls about the lawn,
where poplars rise like giant mallets. Here,
she contemplates her world and how it’s drawn
in dandelion down and summer rose.
Her childish thoughts like fledglings, lift to fly,
then flutter to the ground in soft repose.
And like the spotted thrush upon the crest,
she’s most content when settled in her nest.

In Fairyland

She wakes to chiffon skies of pink,
Arranges her attire of gold,
Then lets her lacy wings unfold
While morning shadows gently sink.

The circlet on her head is worn
Amid the shiny waves and curls;
It signifies to fairy girls,
Her status is of one well-born.

Her tall armoire is filled with gowns,
Their bodices have pearls and gems,
With tinkling baubles at all hems
That ring throughout the kingdom’s towns.

Her smile is radiant and dear,
Of joyous glimmer, blended calm,
A magic touch of soothing balm;
It lifts each heart that presses near.

From northern skies her love is due,
And flying in upon a cloud
Of fairy dust, his head held proud,
He sweeps across the land anew.

He swiftly clears the window’s ledge
With customary dignity,
Whereby her little handmaids flee,
As he recounts the Fairy pledge:

To light the moon and twinkling stars,
And keep her Kingdom free from harm
By spreading mounds of fairy charm
O’er dale and mountain, near or far.

Then, joyfully, both hand in hand,
And wing to wing, they turn the sky
Into a magic hue and fly
Back to her home in Fairyland.

Midnight Fairy Tree

When foxgloves closed a million sleepy eyes,
Wild roses crept around the oak at night,
Encouraged by the fairies on those limbs,
Enticing them with speckled wings of light.

Soon, baby tendrils reached a golden shoe
And placed a bud upon a fairy toe,
Then kissed the feet of one with flowing hair,
And, blushing pink, the young bloom seemed to glow.

By midnight all the sky’s bright stars beheld
The sparkling tree with bracelets on her arms;
Those rosebuds prettified each pointed shoe,
When dancing fairies swayed like golden charms.

Meadow Dance

They will meet in the glen by moon’s light,
Where the tuberose grow near the trees,
That surround the small green where they'll dance,
To sweet fairies tunes, caught on the breeze.

'Tis the flute of a sprite that sings out,
" Oh, you sisters, it's time to come here!"
In their satin and silky attire,
Now they wait for their queen to appear.

Here she comes, and the fairies behold,
A winged amber-swirled cloud in low flight;
And their voices fall into a hush,
As she joins them in dancing this night.

In a circle they gather near her,
And while flutes play their tunes, they behold--
Her wings sparkle like finest gem stones
And her toes shine with glitter and gold.

She extends her small scepter; it looks
Like a blossom attached to its stem,
But it brings forth an essence of joy
As she tenderly greets each of them.

Oh, they waltz in the meadow till morn.
When the sparrows awake in the glade,
They return to the path hence they came,
And then--into the forest they fade.

Little Sweetie

I’ll braid your hair with golden thread,
Baby buds of crimson clover,
Put pinkest sheets upon your bed,
Lilac garlands hanging over.

Embroidered strands of amber beads,
And pearls to grace our little Miss,
I’ll hearken to all wants and needs,
For my cherubic baby’s kiss!

Buttercup Gardens

A trellis shades my garden path
with morning glories on her hat.
The lawn is spread for Buttercups
and sports a lazy tabby cat.

Small garden birds, all ride the limbs
upon a carousel of trees;
frail flower petals kiss the wings
of clumsy yellow bumble bees.

While willows indirectly glance
at butterflies, so finely dressed,
grasshoppers tuck their shirttail’s in,
and morning brightly greets each guest.

Visiting the Sandman

Go to sleep darling, sweet dreams through the night,
Bring me your blankie, I’ll tuck you in tight;
Stars on the ceiling, they beckon and glow,
As you lie curled in your crib here below.

Birds on the mobile are twirling around,
Winging their way with a musical sound,
Glittering softly in pastel array,
Up to the clouds they will lift you away.

Flutter those eyelashes, sweep through wild skies,
Over the moon where the old sandman flies;
Dawn will return you, before Morning's dressed,
Safe to your cradle, at mommy's request.

Sandman's Lullaby

Over the waves I am drifting away,
dreaming, for night has now captured my day;
trade winds are singing songs, timeless and mild,
much like a mother would hum to her child.

Out in the distance the moon lays her hand,
topping the hills of this fantasy land;
mooring my boat on the island’s smooth shore,
I set my feet on the beach to explore.

Waterfalls glisten at night, and their spray
falls on the rocks and then flows to the bay;
mermaids arrive with their baskets of shells,
murex and cockles, to wash in the swells.

Moonflowers wake with the breaking waves’ sound,
twist through their bowers while blossoms abound;
weaving like love knots, they suddenly grow,
blue as the waves on the coastline below.

Fairies appear and they join in a dance,
under the stars of Orion they prance;
sprinkling their magical dust through the skies
just for the sandman to put in your eyes.

In Search of a Kiss

Upon his coal-black steed, he wandered through the land,
Along the streams, still masked by morning’s breath of white,
Through meadows, patched with green and smudged in amber hues,
Deep forests, with vague shadows framed in filtered light.

He passed through ancient towns surrounded by stone walls,
Saw castle turrets waving banners in farewell.
He was in search of someone who had worked her charm--
His only quest, to find the one who’d cast the spell.

The streamlet in the valley sang its babbling songs.
When noontime came, he sought to take a well earned rest,
But when he saw a maiden sitting near a tree--
He quietly approached her with his bold request:

“Oh maiden, I’ve been on the search, from morn till eve,
To find a face, by magic etched upon my mind,
And now--I see you’re lovely as my fondest dream--
Your kiss will still love’s woes and put my cares behind.”

“My dearest Sir, I’ve waited for you here so long,
Though, never doubting that you would, someday, appear.
I’ll give your lips my sweetest kiss, and you will feel
a gentle pressure there, forever, year by year.”

On Wings to Fairyland

While roaming through the greening hills one day,
I saw a hawk perched on a fairy tree;
How strange, I thought, that he should have a voice
And speak in rasping tone these words to me:

"I'll carry all your troubles on my back;
Together you and I could fly, right now,
To where slight fairies dance from dusk till dawn…."
With that, he swooped down from the swaying bough,

And on his back we rose to meet the clouds
Where rising seashore mist the sun's rays greet.
Then, when my host, a charming elf, appeared,
My saddened heart picked up an extra beat.

He touched my hand, and all my cares took flight,
Along with stubborn traces of past frowns,
And soon I laughed and waltzed through fairyland
Among spry bluebirds in their feathered gowns.

I rode the clouds, as soft as eiderdown;
At one clear lake I stopped to kiss a swan,
Then rested by wild ivy covered walls,
All green, in contrast with the pink of dawn.

Sweet fruits on trees called out, “We are soooo ripe…”
I ate, then listened to an elfin song
Performed by graceful minstrels passing by
Upon a playful breeze that came along.

While breaking roses for one large bouquet
And watching pretty fairy children fly--
Just then, I heard my loved ones calling me,
And so I kissed the kind wee folk goodbye.

The earth-bound hawk dove at increasing speed,
And all my flowers scattered through the air
To join my troubles--save one patch of pink
That now, preserved, remains a souvenir.

Flight of the Fairy Queen

Small thistle birds, in winter cloaks of green,
will lift the veil worn by their fairy queen;
then, over marshy meadows, as she flies,
a little nuthatch leads her through the skies.

The stars above expand their yellow light,
as blackbird and the starling kiss goodnight.
Through evening clouds her fairy frock will spread
and flutter with the moonbeams, overhead.

Then, golden galaxies will dance above,
when she bestows her fairy dust and love
upon each happy dream that’s upward bound;
in scented fairy perfume they are wound.

When heaven’s motion signals to the dawn,
while late-night’s gentle whisper lingers on,
she spreads her wings above all, high and low,
until the world is cast in morning’s glow.

Her quiet beauty often times is seen
by those who seek to find the fairy queen.
at any amber sunrise she is there--
with amethysts and pearls strewn in her hair.

Celtic Sky

Where gentle swans peek through the mossy reeds
And fairy children huddle by the bank,
There, giant muddy roots slide through the dank,
Opaque mid-morning mist and thistle weeds.

On bracken moors, pink hawthorns prod the air
As heather scents are carried on the breeze.
The fairy folks gather beneath huge trees,
Where they reside, their secret, ancient lair.

Long, pollinating cattails puff with gold.
The kingly swan, his ebony bill gleams;
He trumpets, while his lovers grace the streams
And morning’s obtuse orb beams on the wold.

A silken bridle, rhinestones on each rein,
They keep inside the hollow fairy tree,
Is now brought out; the fairies happily
Clap dainty hands and glide down the terrain.

They spy the regal swan a’gliding by
And chant a spell to bring him to the shore
And bridle him, so he will nevermore
Alone, in silence, cross the Celtic sky.

Fairy Child

While picking little pansies in the glen,
She found a giant mushroom, colored red,
And climbing up to rest her fragile wings,
Decided to lay down her curly head.

She slept until the morning's golden rays
Shone down and formed a nimbus 'round her face;
Then woke, to find her frail wings faded white,
And wilted flowers in the fresh-ones place.

The Flower Queen

Once more young nature walks the woods;
A skylark, too, breaks out in song;
the flower queen begins to stir:
“Thank you, dear bird; I’ve slept too long.”

The tender haze of morn’ engulfs
all but the edge of Fairy vale;
lark trills conduct the flower queen
as she creates a bloom filled trail.

And so the queen begins her day
by raising flowers with her wand;
azaleas now nod in the breeze,
white lilies float around the pond.

She charms the willows by the bank;
they droop their branches as they dream,
with tender buds and leaves on twigs
that dip into the quiet stream.

Down sloping hills where mushrooms grow,
by ruffled blooms with fragrant heads,
She fills the earth with faint perfume
and raises bluebells from their beds.

Wild foxgloves stretch to reach the sun,
with twisting spirals that comprise
Of multicolored little cones;
each one’s adored by the Queen’s eyes.

The blossoms nod as she walks past
her little sisters of the ground;
The fairy queen will bless them all,
with vernal buds they all are crowned!

Bluebell Fairy Villanelle

The bluebell fairy's cast her spell
by sipping nectar of the glens;
at dusk she rings the sweet harebell.

Her home’s a hollow tortoise shell.
O'er every creature she befriends
the bluebell fairy‘s cast her spell.

Oh, elfin music she knows well,
above the mushroomed hills it blends;
at dusk she rings the sweet harebell.

Her golden harp plays through the dell,
at sunset how her voice extends;
the bluebell fairy’s cast her spell.

While from the east her notes compel
harsh nature to make due amends,
at dusk she rings the sweet harebell.

The pixies, fairies, elves as well,
are charmed as melody transcends--
The bluebell fairy’s cast her spell,
at dusk she rings the sweet harebell.

Moonlight Ballet

Sycamore branches call out to the moon:
"Sprinkle your pearly shine over each bough,
search for the starlets, explain to them how
they must not tarry, for dawn comes too soon.

"Fairies and fireflies are dancing tonight,
glowing like ember in meadow and wood,
blowing fond kisses to elves who've been good—
Nighttime is filled with their magical light.

Sprites of the forests—petite playful maids,
skip to soft babbling of a passing stream,
stirring tired bumblebees out of their dream,
fly up the mountain, then back to the glades.

Now, in the meadows, while villagers sleep,
Elves and winged fairies sway, leap, and jeté,
dancing their moonlit impromptu ballet;
soft strains flow up, and then wash down the steep.

From the vague distance, a rooster's first crow--
Music and laughter, all end in a hush;
sudden disbandment --they scatter and rush
Into the woods, where they hide from dawn's glow.

Pearl and Shell Villanelle

This magic strand of pearl and shell,
delivered by the ocean's spray,
has charmed me with a special spell.

Much like a gently breaking swell,
it's beautiful in every way;
this magic strand of pearl and shell.

My treasured find has pleased me well;
I keep it on me, night and day,
for I have fallen to its spell.

At night, its sea-born whispers tell
me where the mermaids swim and play;
who’d made this strand of pearl and shell.

It speaks of buoys, the clanking bell
resounding through the morning's grey;
it binds me in its secret spell.

Perhaps a sad nymph’s necklace fell
and graced a coral till it layashore;
my string of pearl and shell.

Now, even Neptune can't compel
me to submerge it in the bay--
This magic strand of pearl and shell,
it binds me in a secret spell.

Flower Fairies

Beside the greenwood tree a song is heard
It softly floats around the bank beneath,
Whereby the mossy shallows of a stream
Young fairies sing and weave their daisy wreath.

Vermilion blossoms drop from little twigs
And glisten in the twilight, pink and gold,
The ruffled petals form a silky cloak,
Protecting tiny fairies from the cold.

Their wings reflect a calm, angelic mood,
Like evening bells which swing from left to right,
On purple steeps they climb to meet the moon
In ivory mantled robes, he bids good-night.

Karen Kelsay

Karen Kelsay
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Abbie, Across the Sea

Across the sea! Across the sea!
An English garden grows,
With violets and daffodils,
'round little Abbie-rose.

In coldest winter we arrive,
The bleakest time of year.
Each tiny bud is fast asleep,
But not our Abbie dear.

She's bright and happy, and her face
Is blooming, full of smiles.
She grows up sweeter every year--
She’s worth the countless miles.

Across the sea! Across the sea!
December clouds above;
We're off to greet our Abbie-rose,
That little girl we love.

Mother's Prayer

You rocked me when I was a babe
And kept me from all harm;
Now, may our Father cradle you
In His protective arm.

How often you have held my hand
And taught me what was right--
May Father take you on His path,
Toward eternal light.

And mother, as your soothing voice
Would help my heart to mend--
May Father comfort you each day
And bless you to all end.
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