Lexiconing Hope


lexiconing hope


The recluse in her rare way

said it was “the thing with feathers

and specified a small bird

that sang in the gale.


I never found it winged

as bird or angel but something else

that arrived in my sleep.


A maiden draped in long folds of linen,

holding a plant soft plumed in green.


Most of her face was hidden

beneath fallen hair, a crystal eye

and pale mouth revealed.


She told me

to provide the dream and prayer;

then find this flower in the marsh.

hinged with the shimmer of dragonflies.


Spread its leaves along the door step

and let my breath become

the wind that gives them flight,

Spring that carries the waiting —


pinnatus in her ancient tongue.


Note — “The recluse” is a reference to poet, Emily Dickenson, who wrote a poem about hope and called it ” a thing with feathers”. The word “pinnatus” comes from The Latin, meaning “winged or feathered.”



5 replies on “Lexiconing Hope”


Emily’s “hope poem” has been on my bulletin board for many years.
I have always found it inspiring, double so now that I have read your
poem. The imagery and the ambience wears your signature proudly
and so does the seamless flow from stanza to stanza. I love it!


Thanks so much Sarah!

I deeply appreciate your kind remarks and agree, that poem by Emily is one of my favorites! I love all her work that one really speaks to me!

Take care
my best always,


“the thing with feathers” –

“and let my breath become

the wind that gives them flight “-

love the voice,



Hi Michael

Thank you for reading and commenting on my poem!! I sincerely appreciate your kind words.

Hi Craig

So glad you enjoyed the poem and especially those lines! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness!

My best to you both!


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