when I am beside the water

1.
When I am beside the water,
I sink to the earth,
to my knees in
shell fragments
and river stones,
polished and smooth
by the endless passing of
water this way

2.
and what troubles me dissolves
and the jagged edges of my
discontent soften

3.
how many times will I kneel
by the water to heal?

4.
the unseen heron cries
and reveals himself at last in the
beating of great wings

5.
and I rise,
saved again by
the clean air
and the blesséd earth
and the sweet clear water

©stephanie pepper, 2021

angled autumn light

I am thinking of light, and how,
after summer burns itself out at last,
and its sharp, hot blaze fades from thought,
light softens, drapes its brilliance in an airy golden veil, and
slips into hidden corners.

The good Earth tilts, 
     leans into winter,
          and the long dark,
               and the deep rest;
lingering, for only a breath,
in the angled autumn light.

©stephanie pepper, 2021