Poet’s Corner: Celestial Messages, Light and Night, A Day of Wandering

Here is the latest installment of Poet’s Corner, presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group.

Celestial Messages

The heavens are telling the glory of God
the wonder of his work displays the firmament
(Psalm 19:1 )


The night sky is filled with
galaxies of bright stars,
hidden by city lights,
and are beautiful from the wild
places of deserts and mountaintops.

The ancient peoples saw stories
in the stars, told them around
campfires. Today we hear
the stories in astrological signs,
and in observatories.

Travelers of old navigated
land and sea, following
the bright North Star of
the Little Dipper.


The phases of the moon
affect tides and moods,
as the moon pulls
and releases the waters
on earth and in us.

The crescent moon is an
invitation to new beginnings;
a full autumnal moon,
a beckoning to celebrate harvest

The seasons change with
earth’s travel around our sun,
each season bringing a shift
in weather and energy.


The rainbow, an embodiment
of hope worldwide,
captures our imagination
as it appears amid the storm.

Clouds swirl and move with
the wind, changing shape
and colors, giving hints
of coming rain or sun.


If we lie on grassy slopes
watch the clouds go by,
or sit in darkness under the stars,
dream, tell stories,
and wonder,

We may hear the messages
of celestial bodies, the stars,
moon, rainbows, and clouds.
We could become nature mystics
We could hear, see, and respond.

Marcia McLaughlin

~ ~ ~ ~

Light and Night

God said let there be light. And so light appeared. God saw how good the light was. God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light Day and the darkness Night. (Genesis 1)

Sunrise a time of
birds singing, greeting
even before outline of
of trees can be seen
Dawn is gradual
not instantaneous
Dusk slowly to night
swallows turn to bats
God called the light good
What about the night?
Darkness first on earth
in creation story

Dark necessary
for transformation
of seeds into plants
of grief into joy

Thresholds often dark
cannot see future
step out, trust choices
to appear in dawn
bravely step forth into
strange, tenebrous night
allow mystery
to transform, create.
Life will circle us
through from day to night
literally and

God called the light good.
God called the dark good.

Marcia McLaughlin

~ ~ ~ ~

A Day of Wandering

The very facts of the world are a poem. (Robin Kimmerer)

Clouds shadow the light of the sun over the pristine waters of the glacially carved lake, reflecting in the water.  Hues of pink tinge the clouds on the eastern edge of the lake.  Bald Eagles and Osprey fly overhead.  Deer and Black Bear wander down to the lake for a drink.  Great Blue Herons stand in shallow waters, watching for breakfast.  Fishermen sit in small boats, hoping for a bite.  Dawn at Lake Crescent.

Sun filters through the Licorice Ferns and Oregon Spikemoss that drape across the Bigleaf Maples, dappling the quiet brook below.  Last night’s rain creates a mist dripping onto the forest floor, a soft, velvety green mosaic of ferns, lichens, and mosses.  Pacific Wrens sing in the canopy.  Townsend’s Chipmunks scamper across the nurse logs, seeking seeds of the massive Sitka Spruce and Western Red Cedar.  Roosevelt Elk browse in the forest meadows.  Morning in the Hoh Rain Forest.

Bright sun bounces off the slowly melting winter’s snow.  Glacier Lilies poke their heads up around the edges of the snow.  Canada Jays, otherwise known as camp robbers, wait on branches of hemlocks for unsuspecting tourists to lay down their lunch ever so briefly so they can swoop in and steal it. Harriers soar low over the meadows.  Blue Grouse forage among the wildflowers and Subalpine Firs. Olympic Marmots seek warm rocks for a nap in the sun.  Ancient, majestic mountain peaks glisten in the noonday sun.  Noon on Hurricane Ridge.

The thunder of the falls reaches the ears before it’s seen, rainbows of light reflecting off the water as the falls drop fifty feet into the slot canyon below.  Cutthroat and Steelhead make their way up the river in the fall.  Caution! Microscopic lichen and carpets of moss thrive in the humid environment, making the rocks wet and slippery. Afternoon at Sol Duc Falls.

Setting sun over the turbulent ocean sends colors along the horizon, creating beautiful patterns in the waves.  Terns, Brown Pelicans, Western and Glaucous-winged Gulls follow the wind and waves, seeking a meal.  Sanderlings play in flocks along the edge of the water, ducking into the water and then flying like a cloud above the waves, only to land again and play some more.  A Bald Eagle sits in a nearby tree watching for his dinner.  Tidepools teem with anemones, urchins, sea stars, hermit crabs.   Off in the distance, Grey Whales migrate through on their way to Alaska.  Children play in the sand among the massive drift logs, while parents keep a wary eye out for rogue waves.  Sunset at Ruby Beach.

Light of the full moon and dancing stars reflect on the quiet lake.  Northern Pygmy-owls and Great Horned Owls call back and forth in the night.  Little Brown Bats swoop over the lake, grabbing insects as they fly.  Raccoons amble down to the lake.  Coyotes howl.  Common Loons add their yodel to the sounds of the night. Streams bubble their way into the lake.  Night at Lake Quinault.

Marcia McLaughlin

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Marcia McLaughlin

I am a retired spiritual director who enjoys photography and writing poetry – and seeing where the combination takes me. I am an ekphrastic poet, meaning poetry based on visual arts. I am particularly interested in the natural world, how we interact with it, and the messages it has for us. I’m panentheistic; I find God or Spirit in everything. Justice is an important part of my life and my writing. My love of poetry developed from a life-long love of choral music. 

I was a longtime resident of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. I am now living in Lacey in a vibrant retirement community. The pandemic has given me much more time for writing!


  1. Thank you for sharing more of your work, Marcia. Your use of words to build imagery is excellent and there is a natural storytelling element in your work as well!

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