Duane Robert Pierson

N. Henry, "Hidden Delights"
N. Henry, “Hidden Delights”

Hortus Arcanus

My garden lies hidden,

scattered through the wild

When the day is right,

and ripeness nigh

I venture to secret places

The old rail bed where

slender light green asparagus stalks

grow from the old cinder banks,

to an old worn field where

the wild strawberry thrives,

each a tiny flavor explosion

At the upper pasture’s edge

under a giant butternut tree

the sharp honed eye

spots the elusive morel

I hike up to the forest clearing,

hoping to beat the black bear

to blackberry laden bushes

Along a stone fence row I visit

lone hickory and walnut trees

In quiet gliding canoe to the bog

we shake frosted blueberries

like rain from overhanging bushes

Back to the crystal spring

where the watercress floats

and through the deep wood

where a homestead once stood

a sweet nostalgic perfume

attracts us to what remains,

laughing children

and wood smoke scent

now long gone,

glorious lilacs alone

persist through the years


N. Henry, "Walden Pond serpent"
N. Henry, “Walden Pond water snake”

The Black Snake

(Elaphe obsoleta)

Eight feet of you,

a rod of polished ebony,

lie in the midday sun

warming cold blood

upon a rock ledge

deep in the woodland

They call you rat snake,

more kindly the black snake

Cautiously I observe you,

not wanting to look on

if you are constricting prey

A flying hawk’s shadow

drifts across your rest

With stunned amazement

I witness kinetic magic

as you melt from the scene,

silent black lightening into the rocks


Duane Robert Pierson
Schooled in a one-room schoolhouse. Has  BA from the University of Alabama,  MS and PhD from Cornell University. Was an executive,  teacher and professor,  infantry officer, art gallery owner, stonemason, farmer, and photographer. Has published eight poetry books and the novel Annie and the Prince of Wales. 

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