by Ruth Moon Kempher

The mind. . .

Annihilating all that’s made

To a green thought in a green shade.” 

Andrew Marvell, “The Garden”

The turn on is
modest green like
the Pharaoh’s miasma
creeping in under the door

whose seeds
signal green, as
the issuing leaves will be
sunbuttered / greengroping creatures

jostled together
jolting cool static from each other—
a shock we might, accidentally, one day
between fragments of o’clock ourselves touch

whose need is glass green
as in tavern neon, or gumdrops
puddling on the floor. Spectral. No.
Wet. Like padded caterpillar feet. Green gore.

SOURCE: Originally published in Casa de los Cinco Hermanos (Pueblo, Colorado). “Of Seeing Green” is featured in the Silver Birch Press Green Anthology — a collection of poetry and prose from more than 70 authors around the world — available at

IMAGE: “Peaceful Understanding” by Sharon Cummings. Prints available at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ruth Moon Kempher, an ex-navy brat who was born in Red Bank, New Jersey, has had her poetry and short prose appear in journals and other periodical publications since 1958, and has published many other people’s work since 1994 through her Kings Estate Press in St. Augustine, Florida. She is retired from owning a tavern and from teaching—first for Flagler College while attaining her BA and graduating with the college’s first class; and later, after achieving her MA at Emory University in Atlanta, in the English Department of St. Johns River Community College. The latest of her thirty-three (mostly small) collections is Key West Papers (Casa de Cinco Hermanos Press, Pueblo, Colorado). Her poetry appears in the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology, Green Anthology, and Summer Anthology.