Grace or Portent?

By Leisha Douglas


The pileated woodpecker swings

onto the face of an oak.

Its bill probes wrinkles and seams

as it hops around the trunk.

Who dreamed that red head,

that black and white flash?

Broken warbler eggs,

tiny cups upturned in spring grass.

Despite all the effort,

white emptiness.



Roots of a huge, gnarled oak encircle a boulder

as if granite is precious.

Of all the places,

an acorn started here.



Are these messages to decode?

Is this man, the man,

this place, home?


Leisha Douglas holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from The Union Institute, M.A. M.Ed. in counseling psychology from the Teachers’ College of Columbia University, and an M.A. in communications from Fairfield University. As a professional psychotherapist and part-time yoga teacher, she is blessed to help others in their deeply intimate, personal explorations. She has worked in a private psychotherapy practice for over twenty years and has served as a staff member of Cap Juluca’s Mind Body Spirit Program in Anguilla, British West Indies.

From 2001 to 2010, she codirected the Katonah Poetry Series with former Poet Laureate Billy Collins and currently serves as poetry consultant to the series committee. She designed and coproduced a poetry program for local high schools called Poetry Live from 2002 to 2004. In 1994, she placed second in the “Grand Dame” short story contest co-sponsored by The New Yorker and Veuve Clicquot. Her chapbook, The Season of Drunken Bees, received special mention in The Comstock Review’s Niles 2009 Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in The Cortland ReviewGhotiGinbender Poetry Review, and Hakomi Forum.

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