Digital Art · My Mother · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

This, a River

This, a River

This, a river,

I am not lines but curves

Winding around sand bars

Creating islands 

Revealed in low tide

My current pulses life

Tadpoles, carp, algae

I smile in light

Shimmering reflections

I draw in birds to feed

I am poetry for travelers 

On barges

I hold kayaks as toys

To capture in my eddies

This, a river,

My legs flutter waves

Swimming to create

This flow

My arms formed from rivulets

Guiding this charge of current 

Gravity’s way

My power carving out

My face

I shape Mother

As she wishes 

I clean up her storms 

The overwhelming swells

Of branches and trash

Dissolve into me and my banks

I do her work

Feeding her life 

Dispersing its bones and teeth

For children to seek as treasure

This, a river,

Can hold you

Transport you

Can gather you into me

Into my dark

My hungry fury

Beneath my churning 

My currents are scars

That run as bottomless incisions

Into crust

My age is Earth

Study me

Learn me

My mystery is beauty

My myth is enigma

My abyss is danger

This, a river,

What made me

Our Mother 

Her tears washing away our history

Revealing our present

She is in the sun 

Warming our life span

Reflected into my ocean

My soul of 

Beds and banks

Flora and fauna

My aura is your atmosphere

My depths are your cosmos

Mother’s grief can nourish or drown, but

This, a river, 

Cannot cry.

©Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image “This, a River” digital art ©Martha Harris See Martha’s Artistic Flarings

Bagua · Poem · Poetry · Tai Chi

Uphill on Walnuts with a Weak Leg

Walking the Bagua circle,

I move like a snake 

Slithering on patchy grass

Or a path etched by other warriors

On dry soil, as they are

Space holders and guardians

Of the world in this vortex,

This circle of yin and yang.

But uphill

On walnuts

With a weak leg, 

I stumble.

Why can’t –

This way –

Be easier!

Why can’t it be smoother!

The walnuts underfoot are like boulders

Throwing me off the path.

I step forward, and

Grip the soil with all my weight

On that leg.

I bring up the back foot

Without it leaving the ground,

The toes turned in

To throw off my opponent with

No lifting of the toes or heel.

This is to be a surprise attack,

My snake step is to be swift

And smooth,

Securing my position in battle

As I throw the offender

Off balance into the tree.

Unless –

I am going uphill –

On walnuts-

with a weak leg.

Is this how it always is

For the aging warrior –

The bramble,

The rocky soil,

The clumps of weeds,

The dips and potholes –

My true opponents,

grabbing me and throwing me

Off balance to the ground?

No one can hear my stealthy step

But for the sound of my grinding hip!

Can I expect the way to battle

To be paved asphalt or even

Polished wood? 

That is no way to train

Regardless of age.

The snake knows how to

Maneuver uphill on walnuts

And isn’t concerned about 

An old weak leg.


(My teacher, Dan Miller, consoled me with his humor one day. No matter how well we cleared away the walnuts and obstacles on the Bagua circle, I felt challenged on my path. So he helped me laugh by saying, ‘uphill on walnuts on a weak leg’.)

Image Wording and Poem: ©Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: Sun Lutang

Audio · Digital Art · Original Digital Art · Poem · Poetry

And Then There Was Light

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And Then There Was Light

Destruction is Creation.

The Void, ripped open

By the Light,

The Cosmic knife

Piercing through dark matter,

Spilling shards of radiance,

Bleeding light, birthing stars,

And us with the dust.

All wounds, transmuting pain into

New flesh.

Beauty and innocence, nurtured in a

Dark womb.

Birth, emerging with screams and

Open eyes.

The butterfly, born from

Shearing off the face.

Roots tearing the soil,

Blossoming the manifested.

Light and Shadow, betrothed,

The polarity;

The paradox.


….an older poem with new art….

©2017/10/29 Barbara Harris Leonhard

Image: “Heaven’s Gate” digital art ©Martha Harris  See Martha’s Artistic Flarings