Lynda McKinney Lambert


Listen to the audio version.

You appear at my doorway at 6:30 a.m.
an Aloe Vera plant slumped in your left hand
"What should we do with this?" you ask.

Clouds drift around your head.
"Do we have a name for this one?
It fell out of the nest this morning."

Your fingers clutch fragile memories
floating around the dangling roots
Medicinal plants are not always accurate.

Rain or snow determines your travels
A simple procedure- one hour, or so.
Partially sunny and chilly. Visibility 10 miles.

One by one, the surgical team
visits our Aloe vera plant.
"just a little blood" - the nurse says

"That will have to do," you say.
Observations are higher or lower
than what is listed in a short-range forecast.

I say, "The moon is in the last quarter."
You thump my hands, one after the other —
You warn me, "this will pinch a lot.

The Moon is in Libra today"
"When the moon is ready, we will go."
"We are ready anyway," you say.

The time is now — the sky is exposed.
Current positions of the planets
We roll into the concert hall.

Noon: 30 degrees F. Partially sunny and chilly
"You can hear the aloe plant
breathing across the entire room."

You are given a new name:
Stat – Chest – Bed Number 10

5 PM.: Sunny and Chilly
31 degrees F. 12 miles per hour winds

* * *


Listen to the audio version.

This autumnal morning fugue
feels like a contrapuntal composition
opens with melodious notes in the firmament
one line will hold it all together
through seasonal changes and
crystal geological structures.

Early morning sky is a silver-grey Tahitian pearl
curved into a finicky setting
held aloft by venerable sterling prongs
of lacey tree tops shivering in translucent fog
point-counter-point melody.

This autumnal morning fugue
saturates the earth - my feet sink into soggy tunnels
beneath bottle- green blades of grass

This autumnal morning fugue
takes flight — soars across musical keys
Soprano — Alto — Tenor - Bass
like a painting by Jackson Pollock
as he walks across his canvas
flat on the ground
splashes out runs of Call and Response.
Dripping down. Intertwined vines.

This autumnal morning fugue
A swath of colour turned into a round
lyrical strokes of sound layers
harmonies weave together
opalescent wind in tall pampas grass
a soprano begins the song
pale golden citrine, a piccolo in flight
foggy quartz — of smoke and mirrors
duet of tenor and alto voices
flat burgundy leaves from towering oaks
drop final line of bass notes
this autumnal morning fugue.


Lynda McKinney Lambert is the author of Concerti: Psalms for the Pilgrimage (Kota Press, 2003). Her newest collection of essays and poems is Walking by Inner Vision: Stories & Poems (DLDBooks, Denver Colorado, 2017). Lambert is a retired professor of fine arts and humanities. She is an actively exhibiting visual artist – mixed-media fiber art. And, writes full time at her home in a small village in western Pennsylvania.