Kingdoms, Before the Breach, and Wisdom – Three Poems by Elizabeth Spencer Spragins


distant mountains rise
and sing the sun from slumber—
alabaster crowns
crack in silence at my feet
as the mushrooms melt away

~Anchorage, Alaska

Before the Breach

this hungry river
gnaws the hollow bones of banks—
knotted cypress knees
bend beneath the weight of wind
summoned by a sleepless eye

~Tampa, Florida


a lean winter moon
wanders barefoot at low tide
wrinkles in the sand
of a face with weathered eyes
channel sorrows out to sea

~Beaufort, North Carolina

Elizabeth Spencer Spragins is a poet, writer, and editor who taught in North Carolina community colleges for more than a decade before returning to her home state of Virginia. Her tanka and bardic verse in the Celtic style have been published in Europe, Asia, and North America. Recent work has appeared in the Lyric, Halcyon Days, Borrowed Solace, Folded Word, Ariel Chart, Poetry Quarterly, and Page & Spine. The Language of Bones, a collection of her bardic verse, is scheduled for publication by Kelsay Books in fall 2019. Updates are available on her website:

Art: Untitled, digital illustration layered over photograph, 2018
Artist Statement: I love that both pieces examine the awe of nature — the way it simultaneously towers and cradles us.