Madelon Y. Bolling

Dazzled by words scattered

left and right, I can’t hold it together.

How could there be a beginning?


And if, in the middle, on the way,

I marveled at arching maroon

brambles and the skeletal remains

of some weed’s flower stalk,

I might think, I wish I knew their names

maybe not their scientific names, Rubus ursinus

and Hypericum perforatum

but the names their mothers used to comfort them

and encourage them to be.


Then the redwing blackbird

high on a barren maple

calls out his rising warble

to assure us that water is near,

Water is nea—rrr! 

And geese confirm the notion.


I never wanted to leave the creek side

where I saw that first salamander

my mother lifted up on a little brass dustpan.


The dappled shade of hazels 

had no beginning:

it held us close. 


And though she is gone,

this has no end.

Madelon Portrait a (3).jpeg

Madelon Y. Bolling’s poetry has been published in Duckabush Journal, Chambered Nautilus, Bellowing Ark, Seattle Review, and Floating Bridge Review. She holds doctorates in musicology and clinical psychology and has edited and contributed to academic and professional books and journals in various fields. After having taught and performed classical music most of her life, Madelon became a psychologist and began studying poetry with Nelson Bentley. She has done workshops with Dara Weir and Emily Warn. A long-time student of Zen, she currently works as a psychologist in Seattle.