Portes des Morts

Sharon Auberle & Ralph Murre

A Haibun

crow and seagull
on whirling winds
a white orchid at the window

Dull olive of  cedar outweighs other colors, rationed so carefully in northern winter.  the ground is snow-covered; the sky gray; the bay, jagged slates, soon to be frozen.  Slender crimson of osier, hue of salmon-flesh where the wind has stolen bark from birch.  Rarely, salmon on the rocky foreshore to feed a gull or crow.

Winter reminds us that all things come and go.  There is freedom in what remains--the bones, the wind, bare branches.  An old man dies on an island.

out in the passage
a ferryman's fog signal
the great lake steaming

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Invasive, They Call Them

Sharon Auberle & Ralph Murre

and he wonders --this Dame's Rocket?
Buckthorn?  White folks?

Once it was called vesper flower, she says
this purple blossom, summer-scented

and he grumbles something about vespers
and European priests coming
to save souls and steal gold

also, it was sometimes known
as mother-of-the-evening

some dark page in his mind unfolds
in a bolt of light

and serpents, once they said
this flower could cure their sting

his own thoughts feel invasive-- like
mother's prayers and purple flowers
and people out of place

how sweet their fragrance, she whispers
bending over the blossoms
torn, uprooted elegance


Sharon Auberle is the author of seven books, four of which are collaboratipns with other poets.  Most recent is Dovetail, art and ekphrastic poetry with Jeanie Tomasko.  A Pushcart Prize Nominee, Auberle is currently honored to be serving as Door County's Poet Laureate.

Ralph Murre thought that fixtures were just for plumbing, but finds that he has become a fixture of the Door County poetry scene.  He has published several thin collections of his work.



Sharon Auberle

Sharon Auberle

Ralph Murre

Ralph Murre