Winter’s icy fingers are clawing at the door,
ripping leaves from their branches,
stripping trees bare, like bones in the desert.
Summer’s flowers are forgotten now,
apples lie rotten on the ground,
cloaked in frost sparkling in the moonlight.
Time now for slumber, until Spring awakens.



Sunlight leaked through
the nearly closed blinds,
falling in slanted stripes
of darkness and light
across your face.
My finger pressed
softy on the shutter.

Years pass, when flipping
through the thousand images
frozen into pixels on my phone,
there you are, face still slashed
by light and shadow, as if divided
between the demonic and devine.
Never was a truer portrait captured.

© 2017 DM Shepherd


There’s too much rain in Seattle,
too much snow in Maine,
tornados in Kansas scare me,
earthquakes in California, same.

There’s too much unrest in Turkey,
I don’t speak the language in Spain,
Venezuela’s economy has flatlined,
American leader’s insane.

I am the tree in the desert,
untethered, roots withered away,
restless to find my next garden,
where I’ll grow whole and green again.

Rained Out


The carnival has come to town
to sit out a solid week
of cold spring rain.

The tilt-a-whirl is silent,
the Ferris wheel doesn’t spin.
Roustabouts huddle beneath an awning,
smoking cigarettes, spitting on the ground
between curses hurled at the rain.

The colored lights flash overhead,
but they aren’t drawing in the crowds.
Time to pull up stakes and head out
to another strip mall parking lot,
somewhere south of this two-bit town.

© 2015 DM Shepherd

What if we were the refugees?

What if the sky were never blue again?
What if the sun failed to shine above?
What if all we know and love
were to vanish, as vapor into air?

So much is taken for granted
when life is easy and sweet,
but what if we were the refugees,
unwanted, mistrusted, displaced?

Reality is such a fragile thing,
shattered in a moment to waste,
by nature, by war, or unlucky fate,
held together only by grace.

When you sit snug and warm,
sheltered, with plenty to eat,
keep compassion in your heart,
for those left homeless, unsafe.