On The Wings Of A Falcon

 What we hunt for is what we desire most.

The lords went hunting
early on the wings of a falcon.
There were the whinnies
of the two chestnut horses,
then the bays of the hounds.
The hunting horn sounded.
The sun went dark behind a cloud.
They plunged into the wood.

Following the old trail,
the two hares disappeared
and the dogs circled disappointed;
but later, as they approached the pond,
there was the view beneath them,
and they avidly became hunters
of both memories and laughter,
of the best of times and the worst of times.

 Emily Isaacson


From Castle and Cottage

An early poem, inspired by Victoria Magazine.

In the mist of snow
at midwinter,
Christmas-red running
down the candles,
stars white and breathless
at the sparkle of lights
on snow
and icy silver.

rosy lilts,
in the embroidered flowers
of tradition,
light and warmth
to the pealing alpine valley.

Where the true color
of a thousand years
scratched, lingers,
children joyous singing
we chase the winter away
and coals
are the brightest, sweetest light.

March the streets, ringing.

Emily Isaacson



When love for life is a flight from reality,
then promote honesty and natural behaviour.

With the illusion of a happy make-believe world,
and a blooming wood to replace conflicts,
the mask of the carefree covered the boy’s eyes,
the arbour of clematis flourished, as a miscast actor.
His deep fear of tin artificiality
and hidden inner discord
kept him in essence seeking glycerine cedar soap
and chocolate-covered almonds in a gift box.

With both a pronounced sensitivity
and a strong need to be happy—
in the most natural way possible,
the boy defused problems by accepting
them as part of life and making the best of them.
Critical situations float harmlessly past him now,
while each song he sings bolsters the spirits of others,
nonchalant in the face of the repression.

Emily Isaacson


Holly and Hawthorne

An early poem, inspired by Victoria Magazine.

In this season,
wreathed with garland and velvet,

To the hushed falling
of Christmas stars in the dark,
dusting the mistletoe
with icy silver;
be rich and warm in the
firelight and evergreen:
crimson, emerald, and gold,
radiant in the arabesque of time.

Be joyous, shining,
as the childlike voices of starry carol
into the morning…

O Immanuel,
O Immanuel, come.

Emily  Isaacson


Steeping Tea

Early on, the oils poured themselves from the
heart of the Divine Mother into the prophet.

The fauna of the Divine Mother
was a rising neckline of moons;
the soft starlit road, a pearl necklace.
The prophet followed each jade beaded
glimmer of her woodland broach—
the river ran blue in her veins,
a well of tested alkalinity
was the depth of her well arranged soul.

It was the wood and the mother who taught her
to gather the edible plants, to live outdoors;
salmonberries and nettle, comfrey and cedar,
simmer-sear the herbs, boiling,
the deep throated growl of the wilds untamed—
but the mother was always near,
dimmer-dear the call of the steep forest paths,
infusing mint to oils over the fire in a glass bath.

Emily Isaacson 



An early poem, inspired by Victoria Magazine.

September’s verdant view:
light translucent through the
still green and
sun-fire-lit leaves;
country paths followed
in search of my wildflower wish,
out of sun-playful days
into the cool.

Fruit swells sweet,
where mellowed heat
now tends to summer’s garden,
and apple-smooth tendrils of
bottle-green vine
climb to shadow…
Out of my window,
I watch the skylarks dive
and feed on ruby stead.

In fields,
we climb the slopes
of black-eyed susans
and render back
those oft-loved autumn days,
where song of summer’s heart
still lingers.

Emily Isaacson


Gold and Innocents

The most powerful force in the world is deception.

There was a golden
aura around the earth,
a pure carat wealth,
the mother of all metals.
She hid her deposits of ore in stone,
and the river wound away,
carrying glittering waters
from its motherload.

At that time, the earth was innocent
and pure: only a garden between two lovers.
But evil entwined itself between them,
as a serpent bent on deception.
Lust for gold would grow in men’s hearts,
and they would drive their oxen,
lighting fires under them, to press them
on through the treacherous pass.

Emily Isaacson


Aspen Game

The essence of courage aids against foreboding,
guiding our subconscious.

With foreboding, they played “Farmer in the Dell.”
A sensible child, she stood in the middle.
The five year old girl with an active imagination
continued the song long after it had stopped.
Intuitively, she knew more about rhymes
than the average person,
and could predict when they would sing again.
On warm afternoons, someone would become the cheese.

She had an inspiration to interpret
their varied meanings, the occasional slights,
the looks, and the sing-song
“roses are red, violets are blue.”
She knew no fear. Her deep-rooted
sense that all are safe filled her
with optimism—the aspens shook in the wind,
gazing into the iris of her existence and fate.

Emily Isaacson


Come June

An early poem, inspired by Victoria Magazine.

Come June,
I’ll find my place
in the sun—
weathered wicker swing
caressing wearied limbs
with evensong,
under the blossoms and
promises of summer:
sweet lemonade
wreathed with mint
gracing my tongue,
and laughter
silvering the breeze.

Emily Isaacson


Diamond Door

There is a multifaceted existence that allows us to believe
more than one thing at a time.

There is a Victorian door of thought
you must pass through,
to decorate the lofty ornate rooms,
and arrange the blooms
from floor to ceiling
with inspiration,
wafts of cedar and balsam rise limitless;
now, hang the snowflakes a child made
to the ceiling by a theocratic thread,
and watch the genius stroke of wide brush,
as snowflakes fall like milky fairies from the sky.

Is the galaxy a mineral,
a plant, or an animal?
Atheists believe it to be a metal,
Buddhists believe it to be a plant,
while Christians believe it to be a person.
The moment earth was visible,
was the moment at which the person said:
“Let there be light,” and the diamonds
(each facet said “light!”)
appeared beneath the earth’s stones
and caves to symbolize covenant.

Emily Isaacson


The Puppeteer

The clock ticked at three when two women
entered the room, one dark, one fair.

Take your brush, put aside Gaudi—
the cupboard swung open to the artist’s palette.
Scurry across the page in shades of sage,
obliquely color the moon,
temper the threads of the puppets,
dancing their rage this way and that,
cajole the rhythm of life into color and paint,
acrylic, paper nubs—or puppet’s snubs.

The dark-haired woman sat in the waiting room,
in a large red dress with leather shoes;
as she sang and smiled to herself,
I asked her what she did.
“I am a puppeteer,” she said.
Then at last a door opened,
and a nurse called for her
to take her injection in the next room.

Emily Isaacson


Forgotten Raspberry

Gleaning what is left of the harvest is an old art to the poor.

Really, more should come
from me—more time on my hands—
to pick the raspberries swelling
under the beech trees
into ripe blisters of nourishment.
The juice runs down
my son's face. He is only five, but already
he knows a ripe raspberry is his favourite.

He passed by the row of canes,
icy and silent in the winter once.
He stretched his small hand,
and saw one small left-over berry,
petrified by frost. Scavenged by a tiny palm,
with the hope that there would be raspberries now,
or a drop of blood would fall to the snow
and turn into a forgotten raspberry.

Emily Isaacson


Songwriter’s Sky

Songstress come out into the open; piece together the scars.
Nature was my living room,
sky was my glass window,
she breathed in and out
with the cloudy wind.
The firs rustled a melody line—
spruce needles, my harmony bed,
the stream, my rhythmic water faucet.
The company tilted the mist
over the cedar trees
and they were cut down, sawed,
and turned into sheet music.

A man stood watch
over the valley;
his childhood was pieced
together in scars,
his only obedience to order was
to ride on without worldly goods
until the song—
“I am not without pain,
I am not afraid of pain,”
resounded over the falls.

“I’ve got your heart in my back pocket,” said sky.

Emily Isaacson


Art Stacked Against These Walls

Increase faith in our process over fear of our failure.

Of all starving artists,
I was most content to be
poor, to own nothing in this world,
save the art stacked against the walls,
the life-sized paintings of Bohemian women.
My artist’s loft held uncertain
ruminations of pen and page,
the scripts of playwright, actor, and director.

I watched the luminaries
parade by with their advice
beneath my window; they were promising
and exacted their arts and sciences
as a woman compels her child
to perform with finesse, with
a futuristic style that promised
wearing a top hat, a cape, and procuring a rabbit.

Emily Isaacson


Raspberry Cordial

The bravery required to rise, and that all may have the opportunity,
is something of the New World.

The new cordial: a summer berry wine,
pristine and clairvoyant,
buoyant and effervescent with a zany tang.
She hit the floor running,
bracing her heels to ice dance—
warming her audience to heartfelt applause.
Her tea was velvet,
her dress, black sequins.

The icing of life was a fairy tale ending
to the beginning of tulle and magic wands;
only a raspberry cake would suffice for this party,
with a carefully plucked cordial rose.
She sat on the mahogany chaise,
never wavered in confidence for the crown
of silver cloud linings and imperfect landings,
over demi tasse discussing triple axels.

Emily Isaacson



Resolve to endure until the reward comes for your labours.

I was the seamstress
of Clayburn village,
sewing in serenity
from morning, deep into the night.
I made my living,
never you mind,
but I made it with every stitch
that continued by candlelight.

Not one to be discouraged,
I was never more alive than when
the wedding dress of early love
was embroidered with symbol
and hemmed to perfection.
It was the groom who rose
with the morning and
lit the sky over the roses.

Emily Isaacson


Each ship at sea has a personality all its own.

The sea swept along
the harbour wall,
an immense gray symphony
conducted by the hand of grace
and pattering of feet along
the sand; shore
buffeted its rage with salty fury
pounding sanguine spray.

I was self-controlled
as a harbour wall,
doted on by ships,
dotted with translucent sails,
their handkerchief-white vessels
dabbing salty tears in the blooming
undersea garden. Toward austere
foreign journeys.

Emily Isaacson


Salmonberry Ore

A man must find his destiny in life, even follow his dreams.

I stand in the dust
before sunset.
I am caked with sweat,
beaded with light,
and the valley's eerie parting sight
has illumined and left me alone.
My palms are lined
with doing good, without reward.

But I have no recourse if I fail.
It is just me,
a man against the savage elements,
the north.
Metal is my most desired gift,
and most frightening ore,
shaking scarlet gold
as a salmonberry in my pan.

Emily Isaacson


Spring Door

The new day will always be the awakening of new thought.

Here, I dwelt on earth, but heaven was imminent.
The road continued as an amber
wake of cobblestones
through villages of lace.
A flow’r of morn
entwined through the lattice,
I smelt the light,
I felt the warmth.

As a young girl from
her white fresh pillow,
I arose from the ground.
It was the Lavender spray
I diffused into the room
as an activist of women’s rights.
When women had the right to vote,
I would sleep late.

Emily Isaacson


Red Chestnut Tree

The red chestnut speaks of a pathos released into productivity.

What ring of time
gives significance to planetary measures,
spinning reason
as white gold, like a wreath
of natural solidarity and commitment
to eternal realms beneath your branches.
My child and I took hands under the red chestnut tree
then walked along the roadside.

Her heart was a cloistered contemplation,
mine, a despairing tear, welling
up from pathos.
Could I really worry anymore
that I would not find my way
along this mercy road?
The sweet peas waved
their bonneted heads.

Emily Isaacson

Garden Parchment

Winter’s garden, with its glittering stars, icicles, and frost
became the evening where we gazed into the sky.

Shine, earth, shine
with icy furor
at the evening of my soul,
and the end of my life.
For I have lived many a year,
and now I have turned white
as the winter,
my hair of organza wreathed
with dried papery roses,
wrinkled as a frozen parchment
beneath the snow.

The last frost I saw
kept the colour of a leaf burgundy,
and iced it like a cake ready for the tea,
the sky was dark and tumultuous
as Earl Grey,
the clouds were my line of teacups,
striped, flowered, and fired pottery,
the falling snow onto my lace doily,
the chocolate road
with powdered sugar.

Emily Isaacson