A Poem, a Photo, an Iris Silky White

Archey Fork Park 30 Apr 2006 004

An Iris Bouquet

In waters of the Little Red
a gift swirls in suspense–
pretty present for a maiden–
selected by a daring prince.

At a crossing near the rapids
where canoes can suddenly spin,
the Prince dropped an Iris bouquet
far below the river’s bend.

The swift current claimed the present
chosen for his mountain queen,
refused then to release it
from the bottom of the stream.

The wild and bubbling current
defied the Prince’s charms
and gripped his darling’s present
tightly in its mighty arms.

Silky white and purple petals–
nurtured in the Ozark suns–
drifting now to far-off places
where the wild Red River runs.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Mist Hides the Mountains – Day 16-


A mist hides the mountains
beyond the river scene.
Little Johnny Jump-ups
fading now among the green.
Springtime in the Ozarks
where it’s really not a joke
that woodpeckers jackhammer
on a tall dead white oak.
The fern stems are beginning
to sprout into a frond
as little frogs go hopping
on the bank of the pond.

Copyright, 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Book a Flight for Me

This is the last day of January 2013, and today’s post contains the 31st poem I’ve written and posted during this month. Because I missed the deadline to join a group of bloggers writing new poems this month, I decided to write on my own and post daily.  This came about at the suggestion of my  lovely friend, a poet Catherine Johnson      who has a beautiful blog. Her reviews of books, especially children’s books, are helpful and interesting. She’s a good poet. I recommend a visit to her blog.  You will be amazed at her talent and energy.

After today’s poem, I will not be posting every day.  I’ve loved every day of creating a new poem, and I’ll miss posting each day, but I want to get back to my short story, and the marketing of my novel, Call of the Cadron. I’m planning a couple of book signings in the spring.

The poem I’ve chosen for today is a tercet form with varying refrain.

Book a Flight for Me

Watch the river run downstream
where the hot sun sends its beam
and the fish are like a dream
and catch a perch for me.

Feel the warmth of the setting sun
when the day is almost done
where the great race horses run
and make a bet for me.

Look up at the turquoise sky
see the big airplanes go by
how they travel way up high.
Book a flight for me.

c Copyright 2013, Freeda Baker Nichols

Misc. nov 26 -2011-Mar 27-2012 054

Too old to float the Buffalo

In this instance, “the Buffalo” is the Buffalo National River in Arkansas, U.S.A. Without giving away my age, let’s say that on that particular day, I was  the perfect age of a grandmother.  My kids insisted that I go along on a canoe trip. I was not too old to float the Buffalo, they emphasized.  Never mind that I’m not a good swimmer. Not to mention that the rapids are sometimes reckless and that most canoe floats wind up with somebody dumped into the water, regardless of his or her swimming record.    “Just come with us, Grandma, and we’ll have fun.” 

And so I went. My husband, Gene, and I floated serenely along, admiring the green and flowering growth along the banks of the smooth-flowing mountain  stream. Guaranteed not to drown with my life jacket on, I was brave enough to totally relax when Gene slowed the canoe to drift around in a calm pool of the river. As he paddled out of there toward the rapids, the canoe spun into a log that was hidden underwater.   Gene jumped out as the canoe slipped sideways; then it capsized.  I was under the upturned canoe and under water.  My quick-acting husband flipped the canoe up and away; I surfaced and Gene caught hold of my life jacket and pulled me from the rapids.  The kids came running, yelling, “Are you okay?” Concern in their voices rose above the sound of the rapids.

“Yes!” I answered, wiping water from my face.   “I’m just mad!”  And at that, the kids broke into laughter.  Remember, they said it would be a fun trip!

Out of that experience came this little poem, which won a prize in a poets’ contest. So, the canoe trip ended up being fun, after all.

My Husband, My Hero

Our canoe spun.  Gene jumped.
Canoe slammed into stump.
Screaming, I dunked under;
Rapids ripped like thunder.
Gene flipped canoe on end
And grabbed me at the bend.

c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols