Poems by Deborah Leipziger 2018

Deborah LeipzigerDEBORAH LEIPZIGER is an author, poet, and professor. Her chapbook, Flower Map, was published by Finishing Line Press (2013).  In 2014, her poem “Written on Skin” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.  Born in Brazil, Ms. Leipziger is the author of several books on human rights and sustainability. Her poems have been published in SalamanderVoices IsraelPOESYWilderness House ReviewIbbetson Street, and the Muddy River Poetry Review. http://flowermap.net/

Ode to a Golden Beet

I peel it
hot from the oven
revealing a sunset of crimson red
setting in golden yellow

Lines like pathways —
on this tiny

Ode to a Golden Beet

I peel it
hot from the oven
revealing a sunset of crimson red
setting in golden yellow

Lines like pathways —
on this tiny

After the Storm

I inspect the damage

The daffodils have survived
Even their onion skin layer is intact

The bluebells still ring
Tulips blazing

The wind and cold did not stop the azalea–
Only the forsythia is ragged
Its color fading.

Spring seems unstoppable

Darwin’s Orchid

We evolve together
in the way of orchids
and their pollinators –

Bats, bees, moths,
each in the dance
of co-evolution.

Darwin wondered:
Why were there night-blooming

appear, at night.

The orchid’s pollinia–
a circle of pollen —
a certain pollinator.

On the Isle of Reunion
the bee orchid lures male
The orchid’s iridescent
wing patterns
resemble the female bee
and create allomones—
which mimic the scent
of female bees.

Darwin wondered:
How could the star shaped orchid
with a nectary a foot long
be pollinated.
By whom?

One hundred and fifty years later
an answer is found:

the hawkmoth, reaches into the white
of the orchid.

A Poem for Isabella

Hang the nasturtium from the halls
Let it cascade into the courtyard

Its tangerine blossoms

Let the green leaves fall
Like Rapunzel’s hair

Let it be lovely

Water drops in pools
creating pearls in the cave
in Lechuguilla


I live in the liminal
In the space between stanzas
Between sleeping and waking
In the interregnum between dreams

I live in the becoming
In beginningness

From the center
of the reservoir
the cormorant speaks to me:

“From the stillness
Speak your truth.”

The faces of morning

Yours are the faces of morning
entering my room
waking me to the day

Breakfast together
pink grapefruit
Love Crunch
hair still wet

I pause to watch you
descending the stairs
crossing our street

We face the morning

My Day, Your Night

the sun of my day
in your

Will the
waves from my ocean
your desert?

the colors of my prism
your dark life?


the seaweed from your ocean

the ice storm of your galaxy

Will the
stars of your night

Welcome silence
gently descending
like a curtain

Welcome quiet
engulfing me
in waves

Welcome solitude
bathing me
in serenity

Welcome stars


her body spills purple 



amidst the glare
she regains her flame 

enveloped in a cloud of words, 
a murmuring of swallows,

the universe moves through her


Three strands of pearls adorn her neck
A dress of blue, velvet
A gentle face atop a long neck
Greets me

Framed in ivory
She has travelled with me
From Rio, to Philadelphia and London
To the Hague and Boston

My great grandmother Valeska
Watching me, watch her
Our eyes lock
She, a mother of three daughters

I, a mother of three girls
Who resemble her

Will my great granddaughters wonder about me?

Will they find this poem?

The thing about blue bells

Is that they come
upon you
a shady patch of the hill,
sweeps downward
and there they are
half obscured
a carpet of cobalt blue,
lavender if there is sun.

I recall my first view
of blue bells,
as our friendship.

What I wish for is a life of beginning

Two blue jays flew
out of the flowering tree
shaking its yellow blossoms.

Oh, do not call it an empty nest,
rather — say
a tree full of new branches,
forests upon forests

In the Valley of the Moon

seven camels
carry seven of us

our caravan
pulling time
across the desert

wind carves
on the wadi


Look what the tide has brought in:
thousands of stars
until the beach is a night sky
of constellations

Just three degrees
and the ocean has cast
them out,

Engorged with ice
they summon us
like a message in a bottle,
they talk to us
from Holderness

Greet yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you count the hidden tide and travel
Back home


Open yourself to the continents
which reside in you

Embrace the colliding
the shifting and the clouding over

Greet the coral dawning
the cobalt twilighting

Bathe in the forest canopy
with its filtered beams of light, its moss

Greet the tidal,
capture the shells

Pollinate the tulips
germinating and fighting for sunlight

Shelter all that is emergent
wishing to be born

Greet yourself
each color of your prism

I know you are tired
As you count the hidden tide and travel
Back home

Greet yourself
In your thousand other forms
As you count the hidden tide and travel
Back home

Daughters: A Love Story

The first sound I hear
is you
this morning
I begin
to listen

Ark in the Field

— after Joyce Peseroff

I fill the Ark with all the seeds I can find
To make a place for germination.
The Ark calls to me
With its silences,
From which resounds the music of rain.
I can hear the nascent words
In this nest of lost things.
What needs to emerge
Will appear.