After the Swan

Crosshatch in
charcoal shades
ashy husks and
impenetrable blacks
in tangles on scorched earth;
ebony spires
standing stark monument
to a life lived in
lush overgrowth –
Musical balls in
palaces of birch and spruce
and cottonwood greens
whispered trysts among
the alders
and laughing leaf races
on brook-ish trails
The subdued commotion
of sylvan soiree

Now silent,
the scent of smoke
a lingering memento of
that which was,

and the curling green
of newborn shoot

a promise of what will be.

-KJ Roe


Beauty in the Dying

Lacy lines in frost
in curling leaf,
in this, her
paling face
The gray peers out
from colors
applied, an
artistry betraying
the battles fought
and the never-presented
of a life soldier

A map of blue
and purple
veins tangled
intersections on her
hands, trails along
arms and legs
and feet

Fluttering lash,
lover’s voice
summons recollection
as she stands on
the threshold
where he cannot carry

And in her newly
clear vision
the current of
their tears
washes away
leagues, and their
ships shelter together
in a harbor
of memory
and grief

-KJ Roe


I forget, sometimes, 

what it is to be me. In the bustle
of everyday and the demands coming
every way, I forget how to hear
that quiet voice,
how to just


into that person who is
soft, and serene, and
vulnerably and wholly at
peace with herself.

The quiet is filled with


because That Me loves and
needs the voices and
laughter and companionship
of those I love and those
I admire and those who,
bless them, love me.

That Me wants to help and
thrives on participating
and encouraging and
bringing a bit of sunshine
into the world.


  That Me
   also needs

The hush of sitting in
nature, so quiet the buzz
of insect wings is an
exclamation and the song of
whispering leaves is a

She needs the lapping and
gurgling of water that has
   greater travels
  and alpine meadows
   and has looked down at the

small greatness
of Earth
from a cloud's-eye perch
in the sky.

She needs the caress of
the breeze and the kiss of
the sun and the rain
running down her cheeks.

She needs the strain of
effort and strength of will
and accepted challenge of
lake and trail.

And as her eyes are dazzled by
the color-washed sun
settling behind the hills,

As her limbs stretch in
rebuilt muscle and her soul
in regained tranquility,

My heart beats
in patterns of eons

that transcend

the cry of minutes
and the crowding

rush of days.

-KJ Roe


in the sound of leaves
mimicking water's hushed
rush under the
chee-chee-hee-hee of
goshawks and sparrows
countered by a duck's
scolding call

Dry yellow grass
interrupted in its plodding
monologue by the
impudence of green
upstarts stretching towards
evening's golden light

Whistling songs alight on
the breeze as stripey things
buzz around blossoms
and petals soaking up
summer's short shining

Tall grasses who haven't met
this year's mower dance
freedom of unbridled growth
and the trees burst forth
in songbirds of laughter
leaves tickling their
parchment-paper bark

Coaxing them out of
deep-rooted wonderings
to play chase with the
day's shadows
and rock-a-bye
lullaby in the
of the

-KJ Roe



Distance measures out in
mountains and pebbles
and ocean waves
Heights stretching through
peaks and treetops
and fingers of flower petals
reaching for one last bit
of sunshine
like roots searching ever
deeper in loamy soil
tasting every possible
drop of sustenance
tendrils spread as
moonbeams and starlight
across the heavy
expanse of night
through the thick
blanket of losing

– I look at the stars and wonder,
which will you be?

-KJ Roe



A stranger calls my name,
singing low,
calling softly
A feathered touch of spring
melting frost
speaking warmly
A shadow in the trees
hidden just
moving dimly
Clouds play hide and seek
cover moon
night lights dancing
Starshine midnight choirs
lift their voices
to the heavens
Nothing sounds as sweet
as the love
and forgiveness
As this stranger calls my name
lover once
then I vanished
Yet through the years I hear
singing low
calling softly
You calling out my name
and in Your arms
I am redeemed.

-KJ Roe

Batten Down


Swirling, howling, blasting
the wind beats at the door
Shutters shudder, clinging
to their perch, and
door holds the line
while chill infiltrates
the weak spots where
seals just can’t hold out
Windows withstand the onslaught
though their groans slip
between their panes
And in the dark,
fading certainty
trembling bravado
and the fearful hollow
where confidence once
had flamed

-KJ Roe