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The Life and Times of Alice Maude


Songs From A Suitcase

by Leslie Smith Dow

© 2015 Leslie Smith Dow

All Rights Reserved



Silver Queen

Monet Hesitates on the Japanese Footbridge

Prayer for Two Voices

Girl Lost on the Ice, 1914

Brown Trout

Looming Under Nyiragongo

The Eternal Forest

No Mayan Epic


The Amazon River

Sweet Edie



Fairhead Soul


Margaret’s Road


To Whaleback Shoal







The Lake

Bless the Virgins

Real Estate














Thirty days I walked her shadow

following her rocks her streams

hills of silver are what I seek

flecks of it in her jet-black hair


Spokane is mountains behind me

only Raven knows the way

dropping sticks in my path like totems

to great deeds remembered, left undone


Too far I’ve been lured by fortune

my hammer divines for home

the ashes of my fire scatter

at the apex of this last day


Down I lay under

her full belly of shimmering dreams

a witch’s moon, rising magic

twilight mountain-wrought


I am a hundred dreams of silver

dusty hooves and clanking metal

men digging the earth into a deep blue sky

I heard the mule train rumble by


Into stillness I woke

bathed my fire in icy starlight

streaming water of silver and gold on my skin

she’d hung my clothes to dry


Her gifts were berries and salmon and sun

wrapped in Raven’s fur and shining dawn

I lay in her arms like beauty


Deep and deeper into dreams she wove me

through forest-deep days and nights

she carved her riddles on my skin


The cottonwood groves sung her words

sung them up high as a hymn

how hard I believed on this lost path

I’d found my way


Only on later clouds did whispers start

rippling across the ice-cool lakes

her voice called endless through the pines

deep and black as thunder


On the edge of wonder

she has bruised me

under her shadow and twined

me in her web of forest sleep


My mouth is a trout on her twisted hook

her face is the rising moon

I am the howl of the midnight wolf

her voice is the Raven’s wing


She rumbles like an illness

sifting sandstorms running through

Silver Queen she calls to me

I only want what’s mine


Two times I saw the rainbow

two times it ended at you


Monet hesitates on the Japanese footbridge


Uncertain footsteps over the Japanese footbridge

looking into water black as eyes asking the question

which holds the true light and form?

followed by the deadly pause I cannot see

On canvas the colours grow:

the brush on weeping willow leaves

that’s my sign of anger

the one name that dares describe this bending pain


And here is the Grand Allee at midday

nothing but blazing passion under a sun

a sun I held inside

as darkness became


Light remembered on hemerocallis

crushed where I lay

waiting for the earth to receive me

this is what you must look like now

The Life and Times of Alice Maude

  • Author: Leslie Smith Dow
  • Published: 2017-02-24 16:35:09
  • Words: 10940
The Life and Times of Alice Maude The Life and Times of Alice Maude