Joan Mazza


I am the oak leafing out early
this spring, catkins dusting the air,
acorns eaten or planted by squirrels.

I am the last daffodils, white
double-blooms, fragrant and wilting,
stepping aside for iris and roses.

Mosses fluffed after rain, lichen
in gray-green calls and pale patches,
moles tunneling— I am those, too.

My heart is in the woodpile beneath
the brown tarp, fire hidden within its cells,
source of heat and light, home

to shelf fungi, termites, beetles, shelter
for mice. In the hindgut of wood roaches,
I am over fifty species of flagellates.

In the pond, I am blue gill and catfish,
water striders and chorus frogs, algae,
bacteria and rotifers whirling.

I am azaleas blooming white and garnet,
spring onions, vetch, blue petals
of periwinkle. Box and snapping turtle,

water snake, skunks and chipmunks, stray
felines and fox, raccoons and possum,
I am alive today.

This is a pen...


Joan Mazza has worked as a medical microbiologist, psychotherapist, sex therapist, writing coach and seminar leader. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self (Perigee/Penguin/Putnam), and her work has appeared in Cider Press Review, Rattle, Off the Coast, Kestrel, Permafrost, Slipstream, American Journal of Nursing, The MacGuffin, Writer’s Digest, Emerge Literary Journal, the minnesota review, Personal Journaling, and Playgirl. She ran away from the hurricanes of South Florida to be surprised by the earthquakes and tornadoes of rural central Virginia, where she writes poetry and does fabric and paper art.

“By reading and writing poetry, I come to terms with my obsessions.”

One thought on “Joan Mazza

  1. i find myself thinking of these community, both existing and imagined in the first couple of lines. No once close to you can have only one meaning to these words.

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