From Limb to Blossoming Limb

As spring arrives, one of the South’s most prolific poets takes us from the celestial to the earthly and back again.


March, and the scent of song
Mais everywhere, green leaning
closer. Blue ribbons the clouds,
Masky alight with cherry and redbuds.
Night’s embrace cushioned the cold,
Mabut now the universe erupts,
an orange sphere bursting over the horizon.
MaMelodies streak from limb
to blossoming limb, unfurling seeds
Maof joy—a delicious tremolo
that lifts hearts—
Mathe clover, the rabbits, the red-tailed hawks,
even the worms respond.
even the worms respond.How can we not?



In a colorless world they shout
Spring! Green tips spear dark sod,
bursting through duff and acorn husks.
And then one morning I look out
the window and witness sunshine
in bundles along the wood line,
patches of grass. How can the crows
flap past, the squirrels dash over
and not notice the only color
in this still-monochrome world?
How many times do we let pass
a breath of joy, some tiny triumph
because we want more?



You are not alone, the poem said, in the dark tunnel

—Louise Glück

Then there were the stars
and though darkness embraced me,
it wasn’t a veil, a shroud,
or even a tomb,

                                   but light flaring
from a trillion miles and a thousand years,

and the path brightened,
                                       cicadas and tree frogs
chirped and buzzed after the cardinals nuzzled
into honeysuckle infusing the night,

Venus licking the empty cup
                                    of a crescent moon.

Author Profile

KB Ballentine’s latest collection, Spirit of Wild,  launched in 2023. Her books can be found with Blue Light Press, Iris Press, Middle Creek Publishing, and Celtic Cat Publishing. Published in North Dakota Quarterly, Atlanta Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, and others, her work also appears in anthologies including I Heard a Cardinal Sing (2022), The Strategic Poet (2021), Pandemic Evolution (2021), and Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace  (2017). She loves to travel and practice sword fighting and Irish step dancing. When not tucked in a corner reading or writing, she makes daily classroom appearances to her students. 

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