E-Chap Nancy Scott McBride

E-chap nancy scott mcbride  one and two



by Nancy Scott





  1. Indian Summer
  2. The Light
  3. Dover Beach
  4. Monday Morning
  5. Ex-Husband
  6. Lines
  7. Lines
  8. Lines





and all the leaves haven’t fallen.

The maple’s still green.

Afternoon drops slowly into our laps

the ripened apples.

Songbirds have flown,

the shrill drilling of insects dies down, and everything goes quiet all at once.

Wild geese are leaving the lake;

all night long we lay awake listening.

The light has changed,

though I can’t say exactly how,

and buzzards float on air soft as gauze.

Each evening,

wildness comes to the back door—

fox, bear cub, little orphan doe—

and holds us spellbound in luminous eyes.




When I was a girl and lived in the city, I got up early to stand at the window of my tiny room and watch dawn break over the tall buildings.

I called my ritual “welcoming the light,”

and I loved doing it,

loved letting the day come to me with whatever it had to give, loved letting it happen.


Now that I’m older,

I spend many evenings on the screen porch watching the sun set over misty mountains.

Buddhists call this practice “sitting with the dying day,”

and I love this meditation, love doing it, observing the mellow light for as long as it lasts, then letting it go, letting that be okay.





my friend and fellow poet were

discussing Matthew Arnold’s famous poem; how moving it is and how modern, though it was written in the nineteenth century.

Do you know what the last line means? she asked.

Of course, I lied.

She was better educated and I sometimes resented it.

Swallow your pride, I urged myself whenever we talked, ask her about the “ignorant armies” that “clash by night.”

But I didn’t, and now she has Parkinson’s and can’t speak to me at all.

I could Google it of course,

or ask someone else,

but I don’t.

That wouldn’t be fair to Peggy.




Once a week I go through this:

I wake up and ask myself what I’m doing here.

I question my purpose in life

now that the children are grown and I have no grandkids nearby.

I wonder why I’m still hanging around,

when so many “significant others” have gone on.

I ask myself what my job is,

now that the house and garden are maintained by someone else and my husband does much of the cooking.

Who am I when I can’t put pen to paper

because my muse is out of touch,

or when I can’t find anything in the library to read and there’s nothing I need or want to shop for?

Once a week I go through this,

and every time, right no cue, the answer comes to me.

I’m here on this Monday morning, and every other day of the week, to simply be who I am, and to know that the earth, with all its pain and problems, is still as good as God said it was when She made it.




He was very good at leaving.

It’s what he did best and

he did it all the time.


Leaving from the bathroom,

shutting off the water.

Had he nicked himself?

Better get the alcohol.


Leaving from the bedroom,

finding a coat, matching pants,

selecting a tie,

catching his act in the full-length mirror.


Leaving from the kitchen,

no time to eat.

Maybe some orange juice,

forget the vitamins.

Jesus Christ!


In the hall now,

checking papers,

checking watch,

checking wallet,

quick kiss,



I remember him from behind,

the nape of his neck,

the back of his legs,

his step, one heel lifted,

engine starting,

car backing out,



He was very good at leaving—

daily, weekly, monthly—

it’s what he did best,

and he did it all the time.




sparrows at the feeder-

hungry hawk watching from the

tall pine tree





all night long

apples pelting our tent’s roof-

rough love





in my hand

abandoned cicada husk-

that curious silence



I studied poetry at NYU and worked on the editorial staff of the New York Quarterly,” the world’s most beautiful poetry magazine.” My work has appeared in numerous print magazines and anthologies, has won some prizes and been translated into several languages. I have read my work in bars and coffeehouses, on street corners and in homes, on radio and audiotape, in libraries, bookstores and theaters, in lofts and basements, and once in a chocolate factory, and once on the Brooklyn Bridge.





Thanks to editors Annmarie Lockhart and Jeanette Cheezum for publishing my poems.

“The Light” and “Indian Summer” first appeared in Vox Poetica.

“Dover Beach”, “Monday Morning” and “Ex-Husband” appeared first in Cavalcade Of Stars.

The three haiku first appeared in my self-published collection “Rappahannock Moment.”



E-Chap Two Nancy Scott Mcbride



by Nancy Scott



  1. Bees in the Cherry Orchard
  2. Over and out
  3. Ecclesiastical Harlot
  4. Hear Wave
  5. Mother’s Day
  6. Lines
  7. Lines



A soon as the blossoms open, bees

come to gather the precious pollen.

They’re all business, the bees,

working the trees from dawn to dusk

until the petals fade and fall.

When my ears worked better, I could

hear the buzzing from the back porch,

fifteen or twenty feet away. Now I wait

for traffic on the road to slow, then walk out,

stand under the nearest tree, and let the sound

envelope and invade me, not so much hearing as feeling it.

It comes inside and takes me over,

the ecstasy of creatures doing the one

single thing they were born to do.

And in the this way, the ritual

becomes a part of me.

I am the singing and the song,

the humming and the honey.



Better than we,

cell phones know


communication between us

is down.


We punch in numbers and are

sent straight to voice-mail.


We’re on the road and

don’t pick up, or

we’re in the shower and

cannot hear.


Machines receive our calls/cries

and record our sad/mad messages.


Our ears are not in service

at this crucial time, or

have been temporarily

dis   connected.



I was sprinkled as a Presbyterian baby,

then became a Catholic when RFK was shot.

Back in the day I played with pagans,

sat with Sufi’s, chanted with hari krishna’s and

danced with dervishes.

Later on I prayed with Pentecostals,

messed around with Methodists,

quaked with Quakers and was

baptized by a one-legged Baptist.

You get the idea. I was faithless.

For years now I’ve been a musician

in a tiny country church, and here’s

what I think of my checkered past:

All those twists and turns in the road

that so shamed ad embarrassed me?

They were really, all of them,

so help me God, signposts showing

the way to Heaven.



Rising before dawn to do a

Walking Meditation,

I try to repeat Green Planet

with every breath I take.

But brown grass underfoot distracts me,

and Global Warming worries keep

interrupting my chant. My thoughts

are more Revelations than Zen.

Is this it then, I keep wondering,

the point of No Return?

Have we gone and done it,

murdered Mother Earth?



Wearing a blue bikini

and whizzing around the yard

on a rusty old riding mower,

she deftly steers with one strong arm

while the other holds her naked baby

boy on her lap.

A modern-day madonna and child,

making circles and figure eights

under the glorious halo of the sun.



banks of the

trash-strewn stream




raising our cabin-

under the stacks of lumber

mice building their nest



Bio: See my first chapbook, “Eight at the Equinox” here on Cavalcade of Stars.


“Bees in the Cherry Orchard”, “Over and Out”, and “Raising Our Cabin” first appeared in The Camel Saloon.

“Daffodils” was published first in the Plum Tavern and “Ecclesiastical Harlot” appeared first in Cavalcade of Stars.

“Heat Wave” was first published in Vox Poetica



















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