Monday, December 29, 2008


January brings a world of snow:
Blizzards and freezing winds out of the North
Sweep down over the plains: we sally forth
Cloaked up and swaddled down from tip to toe,
Our noses frozen and too red to blow.
This in the coldest season of the year.
Grandfather Winter, kindly, though severe,
Makes woodpiles shrink and every snowdrift grow.
From time to time he silvers all the woods
And covers spruces with a drooping shawl,
And heaps icebergs upon the frozen shore
Where gulls brood: melancholy to the core!
We all pull down our hats and up our hoods
When old Grandfather Winter comes to call!

Anissa Nedzzel Gage, copyright 1997

Tufts of Timothy

These humble little weeds of summer bloom
In alleyways, in crumbling concrete where,
Forgotten and ignored, without a care,
The flourish in neglect and flout the gloom.

The casual tread of feet, the sweep of broom,
The crush of tires somehow seem to spare
Their hayseed dreams that thrive despite the wear
That would to garden flowers bring certain doom.

The patient earth in gradual conquest has
Sown tasseled timothy's soft tufts of grass,
And over them the birds and children pass,
And endless butterflies in summer ease:
A blessing welcome and eternal as
A cool and lazy peaceful summer breeze!

copyright 2006 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Portrait of a Cat: Blue Boy

My Blue Boy, graceful Gainspurrough,
The largest one of the entire brood:
Your beauteous satin-velvet quietude
Makes you a bashful, blithe, ideal beau!

You own no flake nor fleck that tends towards snow:*
Like twilight with its mild and mythic mood
On slate-gray paws, in pious habitude,
Into the room you gradually flow.

A soft-edged, solemn, graceful evening mist,
A solemn mystery, wreathed in a purr!
You move into a room sedate and wise;
Like the last touch of moonlight you exist!
You glide: a platinum-blue chinchilla blur
Into the real, with your round aqua eyes!

copyright 2007 Anissa Nedzel Gage

* Incidentally, he does actually have a small spot on his tummy, which I had to use my poetic license to neglect.

Portrait of a Cat:: Star Sapphire

On ermine paws you softly glide to me,
Serenely gaze with aquamarine eyes:
What earthly sentience made you o so wise
That all my anguish you can somehow see?

Or is it rather from the gods that we
Have long forgotten that your senses rise?
You thing of gossamer and pale moonrise!
My cloud and lining: sea-eyed, bright and free!

So elegant and delicate and light
And gentle! Like veined marble, how your sides
Ripple with sinuous wavelets as you move
As smoothly as an angel always glides!

God's messenger with nothing to reprove,
You leap more lightly than a dove in flight!

copyright 2007 Anissa Nedzel Gage

A Scrap of Catteral for Freya

Lay down your head, you Ninny! You old dear!
You have a home: there's no reason to fear!
Lightening, stinging hail, sleet, sweeping rain:
It's just a storm: it's not a hurricane!

Forget the grim years when you were a stray,
Back when you scurried on through night and day,
When hunger made you reedier than a rail
And frost nipped you to ice: whiskers to tail.

Now you're so round and warm, cozy and dry,
Bold, sassy, nimble, and no longer shy;
Curled up you're sleeker than a sable hat,
In truth we must admit you're rather fat!

So Hush! Go back to sleep, you little loon!
I'm sure the storm will end by afternoon!

Copyright 1995 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


A distant roar as from mysterious seas,
A still hushed sound descended from the eaves;
The lazy warm wind dallied with the leaves
And drifted the elm-seeds from the swirling trees.
Elm shadows cooled the sidewalks for our toes,
Edgeless shadows, moving in a blur;
The spring green pods on the honey locusts
Swung and disappeared in summer verdure;
The so did we: ephemeral as a breeze
Our fleeting hour dissolved in falling leaves;
Then there was nothing left: the silken breeze
Itself turned sullen and went off to grieve.
Now other winds, November winds, descend,
And how I wish these dreams of you would end!

copyright 1990 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sweet Nothings

Sweet nothings are like diamonds: currency
Of love and lovers: gold in every land!
They're worth ten million stars, or rare birds free.
They're to be poured in heaps like so much sand.

But words alone, bereft devoted acts,
Are nothing more than a rank growth of weeds;
So, all in all, let's face the barren facts:
I write good words while others do good deeds.

Some other rose has over time amassed
A treasury of love: despite my rhyme
My star's eclipsed, extinct: the sterile past
Erased and flooded by Grandfather Time.

It's not due to my rhyme that naught succeeds:
I add sweet words too late to bitter deeds.

Copyright 1999 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Sunday, December 21, 2008


He swore the stars were roses and that he
Would weave me wreathes of them: that every beam
That glows like dewdrops in the moonlight gleam
I would wear crowned in triumph: fine and free.

I would be crowned in triumph: fine, fair, free.
At his command the sun rose like a dream.
He vowed like Jove: love-humbled, on his knee.
Now all my tears like the vast ocean teem.

O in his hands were love, and in his eyes,
And in his arms a safety from the storm,
And in his passion love's oblivion:
A place I would be safe and would be warm.

He pledged his love through the undying years,
And I believed him : now I'm filled with tears.

c. 1999 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Friday, December 19, 2008


So patient and so silent and so deep
In poised reflection our tall model rests:
In contemplation, perhaps, of a leap;
Or preparation for equestrian tests!
What patient meditations on a move!
So rapt in calm reserve and stern resolve!
She muses, perhaps, on what to improve,
On what precise adjustment to involve!

The artists all around her all reflect:
All contemplate on just what to improve;
With all their careful measures to inspect
Consider what to add or to remove;
Decide, in calm reserve and stern resolve
On what precise adjustments to involve.

Copyright 2008 Anissa Nedzel Gage


Like a wild hawk with eyes of flame and fire
And a majestic gaze she conquers all,
And in her graceful pride, all those that fall
In admiration become knight and squire!
How many decades, with a queen's desire,
Has she ruled hearts that, dovelike, quail in thrall,
In trembling praise of beauty stern and tall,
So quick to strike: swift from her lofty spire.
Her beauty, not crimped prettiness, her fierce
Her eagle aegis captivates us all
And we freeze hushed, lest our fine falcon stoop
And we lose sight of her where the winds fall;
Lest her wild eyes, filled with bright thought, pierce
New horizons, and she heavenwards swoop.

copyright Anissa Nedzel Gage 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Blue Nocturne: to Anna

The model lies before us like a swan,
Like moonlight draped, her soft smooth languorous form,
All argent, and luxuriously warm
Seems something everyone can dream upon.
She swoons like alabaster or chiffon,
And seems, perhaps, not like a sleeping storm,
What with her elegant and lissome form,
But like someone conjured by Oberon.
Her sweet breasts kiss the pillow like a hope
That someone gracious, gentle, some bold prince,
Some knight, some prayer, will let her sleep her fill
And not disturb her like some cloddish dope,
Nor make her, with some boorish gesture, wince:
Our nocturne, lovely as a whippoorwill!

Copyright 2008 Anissa Nedzel Gage

Monday, December 15, 2008


Alas, alas for time, whose gradual years
Steal youth and passion from us and leave tears,
Till finally even tears desert our eyes;
Bright love abandons us: we're proclaimed wise.

Then, unremembered, we, with whitened hair
Step silently upon the marble stair,
Descending all alone into the dark
For none to mourn and few to even mark.

And so we come at last unto the stream
That quenches all desire and every dream:
The vision of all fears: when we must ride
The dismal ship of ruin upon the tide.

Then all our valiant efforts to survive
Avail us not: to death we all arrive:
And some arrive in peace, and some in fear,
And some in pain that wracks each lengthening year.

The lord, the lady, hero, lover, slave --
All, all must glide upon this gloomy wave
To come at last unto the unknown shore
Where all is lost in time's eternal roar.*

I found a translation of one of Ovid's shorter poems and the translation was so
unpoetical that I thought it might be fun to take the existing flotsome and cast it into a more elegant form.

copyright 2008 Anissa Nedzel Gage

A test posting

This is my first posting to this blog. In the future I intend to publish my original poetry here, my hope is that others will read it, enjoy it and share their thoughts.