Two Poems by Karin C. Uphoff

The Visit

The weary pines stood 
at my door like 
lost relatives 
hadn’t eaten 
in years. 

I let them in-
to my dreams
where they could 
until every cell 
of their wizened beings
to the song of

They stayed all night
telling stories of
how they wove 
of earth,
rocky slopes,
spun the sky 
in honey.

One time, their 
delicate fingers 
so many winged-ones
they almost
flew themselves!
into another dream-
time, flew 
to the clouds
drifting as rain.


A falcon swoops and lands in my garden
its sharp talons struggle to gain purchase 
on the black plastic water tank. It looks
momentarily confused, perhaps 
a song sparrow escaped with all its feathers.

I witness the merlin’s endearing vulnerability
as he perches regally, composed as a cat 
that had missed 
the mark

Like any considerate host, I act 
as if he was expected, and
unwittingly say 
that he is welcome to his full of finches.

Oh how quickly I toss my feathered friendships 
at the appearance of this intriguing stranger
his dark hood and proud speckled chest,
hooked bill with tomial tooth designed to snap
cervical vertebrae and rip warm flesh . . .
how it suits his handsome face!

The instant our eyes meet
I tumble from the sky
plummet like prey
but he kills 
our conversation by lifting 
wings to vanish as fast as he appeared.

The garden is no longer the same
and the finches eye me dubiously.

Karin C. Uphoff

Karin C. Uphoff is author of Botanical Body Care; Herbs and Natural Healing for your Whole Body (2007), and writes a monthly column, Words on Wellness for Lighthouse Peddler Newspaper. However, poetry is the language of her heart and she has published poems in Noyo River Review (2015) plus Writers of the Mendocino Coast anthologies Hooked (2018), Erosion (2021) and a memoir piece in Borders (2022).

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