Archives For poetry

Winter Trees

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 23, 2015 — Leave a comment

Everyday, lately, I watch the winter trees. Some days they are dancing in the wind, some days they stand still as statues. Often they are mobbed with chattering black birds.

The dark, bare branches look like ink against the gray sky, so I drew them. I let the ink drip down the crinkled paper, as I held it upside down. When I turned it right side up, I found a tree:

Winter Tree, ink

Winter Tree, ink

Today, the trees were rain-soaked and slowly moving, here and there. I wrote down a little poem while I sipped my coffee:

The trees stand

like frozen sentinels

drenched by a cold winter rain.

They watch me with

arms spread high and wide

daring me to hear them

to feel the bare morning

to come out of my house

and reach to the sky.

Wet to the bone

they tease me

as I sit in my warm chair

wrapped and snug.

With waving wet arms

they tell me to come out and see

come out and dance

and feel the rain.

Spring Prelude

Mary Liz Ingram —  March 19, 2014 — 2 Comments

Morning 1

In the Mist, watercolor & ink

In the Mist, watercolor & ink

It is a gray spring morning, damp and cold, when new buds are barely making a show.

Branches like gnarled claws, grasping into the mist that shrouds my morning drive.

The air is still and heavy, a floating moisture clings to my hair and coats the ground, muffling and capturing the sounds of waking birds.

A calm beginning, a waiting quiet, resting before the bright burst of spring.


Morning 2

Cherry Blossoms, ink doodle

Cherry Blossoms, ink doodle

A sleepy morning takes its turn, as warm rays burst through the heavy clouds.

Yesterday’s fog is lifted and I close my eyes to the renewing glow.

Cherry blossoms turn their face to the sun, opening bit by bit as winter fades.

Hope arrives as dreary days pass away and nature drinks in the light.


Mary Liz Ingram —  October 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Repetition. Sometimes it is spirit-crushing monotony; sometimes it is a rhythm.

Lately, as my husband and I have been collapsing on the couch each evening, we have discovered a more defined explanation for our weariness. It occurred to me that all day we slowly and repetitiously teach. We train the puppy, “no bite, no bite, no bite, no bite.” We teach the baby, “sit down, sit down, sit down, sit down in your high chair.” We teach our son to read, our daughter to spell and learn place value to 1000 (in 2nd grade?!). I teach preschoolers to respect their teachers, follow the rules, be kind to others. My husband teaches teenagers to discover themselves, to make good choices. Teach, teach, teach. Over, and over, and over.

It may sound like I’m being negative. It is tiring sometimes, this repetition. But I do not intend negativity. It is a gift, to teach. To mold and shape and grow. It requires a growing patience, which I am trying hard to acquire more deeply each day.

In reflection upon this discovery, I reclined on the couch in a quiet moment and scribbled down a quick, unrevised poem.


Drip,  original photography

Drip, original photography

Teaching every moment
Teaching at work
Teaching my children
Teaching my dog
Teaching myself
Like a constant dripping
Reminding the same behaviors
Reciting the same words
Watching for signs of answers
Slowly shaping
Gently molding
Patient work
That doesn’t end
A gift
Often unrecognized
To others and ourselves
So we remind ourselves
Teaching brings goodness


Mary Liz Ingram —  August 28, 2013 — Leave a comment

A vacant desk waiting for that quiet moment

An empty chair waiting for creative companion

A tired artist waiting for a calmer day

A busy mind waiting with gathered thoughts 

Waiting through the new starts, the new schools, the busy days

Waiting for the rhythm to return, the mind to be renewed.

Vacant, original photography


The Mirror

Mary Liz Ingram —  June 19, 2013 — 1 Comment

It hangs above an old dresser, painted white and made like new.

A backdrop of light lilac, softens and surrounds its frame.

The mirror has seen life come, on the wall when life was new:

A third-time mother waited, and filled the dresser drawers,

day-dreaming in the mirror, wistful eyes on her stomach.

A new infant lay below, tucked into tiny diapers,

little hands by the mirror, ready to grow and become.

A baby sat up laughing, and kissing her reflection,

while the mother took photos, of the mirror full of smiles.

Now the baby toddles in, holding onto mother’s hand,

bedtime on another night, the mirror bathed in evening.

Time goes by in the mirror, and the mother soaks it in.

The Mirror, pastel sketch on card

The Mirror, pastel sketch on card


Mr. Bean

Mary Liz Ingram —  May 31, 2013 — 1 Comment

toasted donuts, original photographySo I’ve had quite a few days on my own with the kids. I congratulate myself for successfully ending each day with everyone happy and whole by treating myself to a dessert or (oftentimes and) a glass of white wine. After a day of many doings, the house is always very quiet. All my little peeps are asleep, and it’s just me and the cat (my Dad might say, correcting my grammar, “The cat’s not mean.” But I think “me and the cat” sounds more fun than “the cat and I,” and on here I can write how I want. So there.).

It’s quiet. And a little boring.

So here’s a jaunty little poem to describe and illustrate the odd things that may or may not occur on such an evening:

Twas the night with just mommy, the toys put away, successfully living to the end of this day

The children were snuggled up tight in their beds, as visions of Scooby Doo danced in their heads

I on the couch in my pjs at 8:00, settled in with a blanket and dessert on a plate

I’d puttered about like a little old granny, and hummed and muttered and sat on my fanny

I had been in the kitchen preparing my snack, and was struck by a thought as sharp as a smack 

I was making odd noises in a sort of narration, excited by donuts, a cause for elation

When it hit me that in this sad humorous scene, I sounded a lot like the man Mr. Bean

Well the noises stopped there, and I went to the couch, I tried to sit up instead of assuming the slouch

“I’m a 31 year old woman,” I said in my head, and though I may not want to go paint the town red

I can hang onto my dignity and hold my head high, then I ate my three donuts without even a sigh.

Toasted Donuts, ink sketch

Toasted Donuts, ink sketch

Ode to Coffee

Mary Liz Ingram —  March 14, 2013 — 2 Comments

When my alarm gently wakes me, the soft murmur of the sound machine and the endless comfort of my heavily pillowed bed drift before my senses much like a swift smack to the face. Daylight savings time has come to stay. The morning is dark, and I am almost inhuman as I hobble into the kitchen seeking the road back to life. As a tribute to that one cup brings me to life each morning, I hope you enjoy my “Ode to Coffee.”

Ode to Coffee, the elixir of life

O coffee, fresh coffee,
you restore my morning soul.
You give sight to my eyes,
purpose to my motion.
You awaken my mind.

With your cream and sugar
you balance my thoughts.
Your flavor and scent
give life to my days.
Your warmth restores.

Like the rising sun,
you raise the curtain
of my consciousness.
You lift my heavy brow;
humanity is renewed.


Morning Coffee, quick charcoal sketch

Morning Coffee, quick charcoal sketch

A few spot-on quotes from the “Honest Toddler” on Twitter:

“Watching adults try to get up in the morning is like seeing a baby elephant take its first steps. Incredibly sad but also funny.”

“Toddlers know when parents haven’t had coffee yet. Say ‘good morning’ and they just stare for 10 seconds trying to place you.”

“‘I need coffee.’ No, what you need is zeal for life not a drink that smells like a forest fire.”

The Birds

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 12, 2013 — 2 Comments
Busy Birds, 7X12 soft pastel on card

Busy Birds, 7X12 soft pastel on card

I step outside into the fresh morning air;

a swirl of eager chatter encircles me.

I lift my eyes to the busy scene:

birds playing a game of musical chairs

amongst the bare branches of the tall trees.

All weight is lifted into the cool gray sky,

agendas fade and I pause upon the stair.

I breathe in life.

I feel a small and glorious part

of the nature of things.

neighborhood chatter

neighborhood chatter