Long Sleep

Tangerine and blood orange maples

exhort radiance

against a dark doze of furred pines

clad in verdant mink needles,

awaiting first snow.


Trees sing hallelujah

harmonies in lemon soprano

golden tenor

orange alto

and bass notes of ruby-rust.


Leaf tongues licked in flame

urge all to opulence,

a flamboyant presentation

before their sun-catcher arms

go naked for the long sleep.


-Elizabeth Paxson


(Photo by Elizabeth Paxson)

Elizabeth Paxson is a poet, writer and visual artist, and graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Minneapolis College of Art. She resides in Northern Michigan among changing trees and elusive waters near the 45th parallel. Her first chapbook, “Always Birds,” is published with Redbird Chapbooks, June, 2019. Her poems have appeared in collections such as “Peaceable Kingdom,” “Poet’s Night Out,” 2016-18, Pangolin Press, Squirrel Cane Press, and Tiny Seed Journal. Short stories with Night Picnic Press, a bilingual journal, appear in June and August issues of 2019.