Three Poems by Connie Jordan Green 

In May

I have walked the garden

fence, morning glories

twining the pickets

like French braids adorned

with blue blossoms, 

honeybees at their

daily tasks, pollen

the golden stockings

they wear as they wander

flower to flower.

And I have answered

towhee with his bright

whistle, jay with his grumpy

argument for a world

free of anything but him

and his illustrious coat,

orchard oriole invisible

in treetops, his glorious

song waking the world.

I have sat beneath 

the maple, known

leaf dapple and whisper

of breeze gentling hair

along my collar, felt

the world gather itself

before the headlong

plunge into full summer—

bloom and bee, bird

and breeze, flaming,

fireworks in every being.


Lines Written Upon Approaching an 86th Birthday

after reading “Lines written in the days of growing darkness” – Mary Oliver

It’s true, Mary Oliver, the living

depends upon the dying,

and though the days grow longer

here at the beginning of February,

I must acknowledge that my days

are growing shorter. As with the years,

the hours fly past on wings, so that

rising each morning seems followed

almost immediately by bedtime,

scarcely time to prepare and eat

three meals, so few moments

for watching birds at the feeder,

their winter colors punctuated 

by bright cardinal and blue jay, so few

hours for the words that yet keep

me company to spill onto the page,

though like all savory dishes,

even a small bite satisfies the soul.


Such Splendid Months

They are lined up one behind 

another, each waiting its turn, 

those splendid months that measure 

our years—June with its lengthy 

days of sunlight, aromas of roses 

and marigolds, pavements steamy 

with rain, and December when snow 

softens silhouettes, burning logs scent

the air, dry Octobers of gold and red.

We are all leaning into time, bodies

braced for windy days, mouths hungry

for the first tomatoes, hands firm 

against the bark of trees that shade us. 

We are vessels waiting to be filled,

eyes swallowing distant stars,

feet moving over lawns, passing

along streets, slipping through time

with the grace of a spirit that lifts 

us beyond these brief days.

photo © Megan Morris Photography

Connie Jordan Green lives on a farm in East Tennessee where she writes and gardens. She is the author of two award-winning novels for young people, The War at Home and Emmy; two poetry chapbooks, and two poetry collections, Household Inventory, 2015, winner of the Brick Road Poetry Award, and Darwin’s Breath, 2018, by Iris Press. Her poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. She is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame and a Tribute to the Arts Award from the Arts Council of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.