Winter Stars

My neighbor fills her winter garden with oaktag cut-outs of red and yellow stars—hangs them from her bird feeder or glues them atop the planting sticks she’s left in the dirt between withered blooms. Yesterday, she knocked on my door, and I opened it to find her hands overflowing with stars—each hole-punched and threaded with yarn—a new constellation for these days of early dark.

“These are for you to hang places,” she said simply, knowing of my need for joy this Christmas season. As we smiled and hugged one another, I received them in my cupped hands. Now stars dangle from my doorknobs and brighten shadowed corners—an unexpected gift of light.

moon splinters
on the river—the glint
of ice floes

10 Responses

  1. Kathe L. Palka Says:

    Beautiful Penny.

  2. penhart Says:

    Hi Kathe—and thanks for liking my work. I'm at VCCA, writing lots and loving it here. My two weeks residency is up Tuesday at 6:30 a.m.—time is melting away. Hope all's well with you.

  3. Penny Harter Says:

    Thanks, Kathe! I thought I'd already replied but don't see evidence of my having done so here. I'm grateful for your interest in and appreciation of my work. And now, back to my last full day of writing in my studio here at VCCA.

  4. Jean LeBlanc Says:

    An exquisite haibun.

  5. penhart Says:

    Thanks so much, Jean. It was very special to get those stars :).

  6. martin1223 Says:

    It’s lovely! Thank You!

  7. Penny Harter Says:

    Thank you, Martin, for responding! As I said in response to Alan, I'm still not getting tinywords in e-mal, so visited the site gain this morning to just see whether there were any additional responses.

    The natural world runs through all my poems—free verse as well as haiku, haibun, tanka, etc. You can visit my web site and click on "publications" for samples of work from a number of my books. And there's a link to my blog on it where I've kept up professional (and a bit of personal) news since Bill died. I'm currently finishing two weeks in residence as a fellow at Virgina Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) and it's been wonderful–lots more writing.

  8. Alan Summers Says:

    Wonderful haibun, and the power of objects, in this case, stars, resonates beyond this writing and into our own lives.


  9. Penny Harter Says:

    Thanks so much, Alan! Ce Rosenow forwarded me the URL for this, since, although I had recently subscribed, I wasn't yet getting tinywords. And I'm still not, so I just re-subscribed. In e-mail,

    If you'd like, I'll share with you via e-mail a couple of new slightly longer poems—one also featuring stars, and one the winter night sky.

  10. Alan Summers Says:

    Just catching up, please do Penny. You can always send me your poems! ;-)

    Alan, With Words

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