Life/Lines - April 28

Submitted poems for April 28, 2020

A daily poetry practice to generate and sustain the Life/Lines among us, for published and novice poets alike

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Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.


Send us your poem via our Submissions page or post on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #lifelines.

Today’s words were contributed by Wayne Fields, the Lynne Cooper Harvey Chair Emeritus in the Department of English at Washington University and author of What the River Knows: An Angler in Midstream, The Past Leads a Life of Its Own, and A Union of Words: A History of Presidential Eloquence.


Poems submitted for April 28

Before you leave the meadow
listen for the murmur along the creek.
Our least seen resident is under leaf
duff and mud, practicing a song,
waiting for dusk.

— M.E. Hope


Now that you’ve left me
The least you could do is leave
Me to my grief. I can only murmur platitudes
and quiver like an aspen leaf
In winter meadow
while you sneer unfeeling at my grief.

— Phil Coleman


Least murmur
of a leaf in the meadow
leaves me speechless in awe

— 2020 04 28       by Lloyd Klinedinst


Sometimes, I still hear the echos
of rustling sheets, when he would wake.
Like leafs in a meadow
on a sun-filled autumn day.
Dancing, playing soaring,
before they crash to rot and decay.
I have to leave, he murmurs
At least he kissed me goodbye.

— David Bates


Dailies Department

The least


Leaf of truth please


— James Goodman     4.28.20


The Contrast Within and Without

The murmur of trees, the feel of grass in the meadow,
bright white sky, a tincture of watercolor blue almost dissolved,
leave the heart-mind in a good place, a contented face,
and the good will I feel is not the least I feel, but the shadow of a leaf,
the tree of Good and Evil, the virus of death by biochemical,
and men's greed for money, power, abstract bastards, so corrupting,
uncaring squawk, gawk at me, dark eyes envisioning, threaten the day's light.

— Dan Cuddy


As leaf leaves host, with
but a murmur, a rustle
so I leave, to revisit a meadow
and memories of two dogs
who bounded in that grass,
and took their leave,
of meadow and me
when least expected.

— John Simon, Portsmouth NH


I was in the meadow
all alone
when I first heard that low murmur.
It was scary, it seemed I could
make a leaf tremble.
Something said, before you leave
at least write this down.

— Matthew Freeman


29 April

Plough the meadows
sow the seeds of murmur.
At least a tree will grow
of lies.
The leaves will travel
taking leave of the Tree,
and become truth somewhere.

— Jey Sushil  (Track for International Writers)


A leaf gently swirled as it fell
Soft as a murmur as if casting a spell
The tall green grasses gently rolling
The meadow alive as if cajoling
The least little movement a deer might perceive
Hush don’t make a sound or they may leave

— Maureen Kleekamp


Birdsongs wing leaf to leaf,
miniature meadows crawling
at least little curbsides

With murmurs of unrest
the others take their leave too soon
springing forth from houses.

— Anonymous


Matt. 25:40

A man in the meadow
Listening to
The murmur of leaf
Its cozy tree
Love the least

— Mason A.


Let the least of you flourish
Leave no child behind
Every leaf of life is unique
The meadows are nature's lap
Where you nap while gently murmuring mirth!

— Braveheart


A Clue?

Walking through the meadow green
We leave our daily sheltered routine,
Observing leaf and flower sensing the murmur of bees,
May be an indication of what’s to be.
The world around us may hold the clue
To end this virus more deadly than flu.
At least be open to the change at hand,
If you want to continue living in
this great land.

— Jan Newman LA72


A murmur rushes through the meadow,
a leaf swirls on the surface of rippling creek,
as wind whooshes through the valley.
And what will it leave
but remnants of
pollen and dust and dirt,
at the very least.

— Kelley Lingle


Murmur and purr, dusky
fur and bony edges. Her leaf-frail
body stretched across my chest. Her
eyesight leaving, hearing has left.
Does she remember her days of survival
hunting in the meadow, sleeping in storm
drains—twenty years ago, at least
before she found me.

— Julia Gordon-Bramer


When Bad Love Gives Good Cliché

birds pipe and murmur
in a sundrenched meadow
beyond a swift leaf-strewn brook. At least
you'll blindly and happily remember wrongly. For a while
you shall even resist the urge to leave such false comfort.

— Casey Hampton


Sex in the Meadow

We don’t hear it unless we listen for it
but there is always a murmur in the meadow
always a buzzing flipping scratching frantic mating
twisting tiny legs intertwined on a leaf like a blanket
wings cutting the air in hope of more like themselves.
So the very least we can do is leave them to it
and stop and listen.

— Steve Givens


departing autumn
a yellowed leaf murmurs
in the meadow
recalling the leaves that left
in spring when least expected

— John J. Han


At least leave me this much:
the murmur of wind in a wildflower meadow,
sunlight a halo for the humble cornflowers
and no contagion snaking through the air
to sicken me.
The planet has its own problems
(we caused those too)
but it is still willing to heal us.

—Jeannette Cooperman



The least little murmur
Of her heart
Would leave her feeling
Like the last leaf
Holding on in a solitary tree
Barely living
In a far-away meadow
So sad so alone so lonely

— Betty Springfield



The least of her fears was her lengthening shadow
Clambering over the stones once a wall near a meadow.
A murmur of breeze, leafless branch grabbing her sleeve,
She must find what they’d stashed, unearth it, then leave.

— Ted


The Sound of the Mountain

Mountains talk
That might surprise you, but they do.
They don’t just murmur, either.
And their words are not
produced by the breeze rushing
over the grass in the meadow or
the timid rustle of a leaf here or there.
They roar.
On nights with no wind,
they sing.
At least, that’s what I hear.
I talk back, too.
I whisper
my secrets to the mountain.
My words leave no trace
on the rocks or the trees or the soft curve of the ridge
but they settle there
in the heart of the mountain.

— Anonymous


There is a murmur in the meadow
soft as leaf stirs in the night
that is calling us to leave the world
as pristine as we might

It was given us by those before
it must survive anew
it belongs to those who follow
it’s the least that we can do

— T.M.Wilson


Fecund Fibonacci

A murmer
Drifts from the meadow
Insect leaf even warm soil hums
At least pause leave and this moment is lost forever

— Carol Haake     4/28/2020


leaf but not least

the leaf
leaves the tree
with a soft murmur
farewell to its summer home
it greets the meadow with a blush

— Terrie Jacks


Feeling less than the least of these,
I fall weary, like the sparrow and the leaf.
My heart murmurs,
"Where does my toil leave me?"
And I am brought to a meadow,
splendid with lilies.

— Rebecca D.



A soft murmur of leaf rubbing against leaf
Echoes across a vast meadow
Mixing with the sound of tall grasses
Swishing and swaying
To an unheard melody.
I cannot leave, nor do I want to;
This place gives solace;
At least for a moment.

— Elizabet K. Brooks April 28, 2020


and when you said
you would leave
it was like the least
murmur of the wind
blowing a lone leaf
across the meadow

— Warren Hauff


Not a flutter, but a murmur
as my heart, it spoke to me.

Don't skip a beat; at least be steady.
Don't be that last leaf on the tree.

And for sure, don't keep me guessing.
Please please, don't leave and let me be.

In the meadow, in the sunshine
as my heart, it spoke to me.

— Laurie Jalenak


I’d rather not leave,
But if I must, at least let it be graceful,
Like a leaf letting go without a murmur
And falling softly onto a green meadow,
Dotted with white-starred wildflowers,
While a heavenly chorus of bees
Sings of pollen and its possibilities.

— Pam Hughes


In the meadow, I lay
filled with despair, giving up
hopeful about nothing but my own death,
a russet aspen leaf murmured as it drifted to the ground,
"Be patient. Don't rush it. Even the least among us must leave."

— Kim Lehnhoff


Murmurs is the meadow.
An intruder leaf!
Should be asked to leave?
Can the wind be summoned to blow?
At least, it would be quiet.

— Anonymous


To My Fellow Poets As We Contemplate Coming To The End Of April

April's been a meadow
in which we gladly wandered.
There are tangles of words in the grasses
words sparkle on every leaf
a murmur of words swings down from the sky
here we sing and shout and moan and cry
or just be still as the words go by.
I'm not ready to leave this meadow;
it's brought such sweet relief.
Couldn't we stay a bit longer -
one more month, at least?

— January Kiefer


Pandemic Preparedness

Honeybees murmur softly in the meadow of clover,
preparing to take their nectar back to their queen.
A caterpillar spins a cocoon on a nearby leaf,
Preparing for her new life that will allow her to leave earth and take flight.
At least we still have these wonders to ponder
As we prepare for an uncertain future.

— Karen Clark


Everlasting Love

The bucolic meadow brims with urgency.
A frenzied fire fly hides beneath a leaf.
Birds, bees, and other winged creatures cease
their murmur, take cover as rain pelts thirsty earth.

An eruption of pansies coincides
with the my desire to leave a legacy of love.
I plant three saplings for my great grandsons.
Name them juniors, after each. The least I can do.

— Linda O'Connell


Leaf Empress

All those years playing leaf empress
Rake be my befitting scepter
I imagined myself as an action figure
And I just knew they would pair us together
Like it came with the outfit.

If I could only build a real gown,
from the leaf pile I was pretending I could sew together
And it would take at least 600 hours
“Leave me be” i might say to those who tried to interrupt me
While I glide needles through brittle colors.

And then, I would only really be borrowing them
Because the train,
Through shoddy work or shoddy material or the nearing of winter,
Would disintegrate behind me into the meadow
Only a quiet murmur and colored paper at my back.

— Ellery Saluck


Dust is spread out before me, least of all like stars
And there is such uproar in the leftover specimens
Tired meadows and fragile leaves
Everything, I suppose, shall scatter with orchestral clashes.

Look me in my silent eyes and tell me
We will leave no murmurs to this raging spectacle,
You whose paled warmth sounds to weary things everywhere
Who carries symphonies to every breath.

— Nicci Mowszowski


At least
There was the meadow
With the murmur
Of leaves in the air

At last
We were free to leave
To the quiet
Of the leaf on the ground

— Anonymous


At least
There was the meadow
With the murmur
Of leaves in the air

At last
We were free to leave
To the quiet
Of the leaf on the ground

— Anika



Trees gently murmured their
Least favorite song of the
Meadow, swaying toward
Tomorrow, while one leaf
Danced to the tune of life
Before he would leave.

— Mary Elizabeth Horner


Tasked with mowing the meadow
I failed to heed the mouse's murmur.
Scythe in hand I laid its lair to waste,
Left it no option but to leave.
In apology I offered up a block of muenster
And a batch of lotus leaf.
Three days later my offer lay rotting,
It didn't matter in the least.

—John Randall


Riding the rills of the spring
wending its way
through a meadow of golden grasses,
the tiny red dome clings to her leaf life raft.
The sun streams through the blades
as the tiny vessel leaves the stream, settling
in a crook of the brook.
The ladybug rises on the breeze, her journey just beginning,
and she hears
the least murmur
babbling restlessly to the river beyond.

— Christopher Ray, MD


61 and Sunny in Late April

The kind of day you move to New York for
Drag queens strut to sirens
Down Eastern Parkway
Past an Orthodox Jew on roller blades

Bikers pop wheelies
To the beat
Of a pogo stick
Up the steps of the Brooklyn Museum

Photographers snap magnolia trees against
A sky the same shade as
The synthetic blue birds
That peck the leaves and petals below

And we leave Long Meadow
Only when the sun sets
At least it's not raining
We murmur through masks

And New York is still New York today
61 and sunny in late April

— Ally Betker



Leave the least leaf til last
To make the murmur in the meadow.
The whispering wind whisks it wonderfully,
Softly settling my soul.

— Karen Engelkenjohn  4/28/2020


Eight Fourteenths of a Sonnet

In morning things are well but at the least
Drop of grief it’s to the verdant meadow.
I pluck a leaf and ask to be released
From too much duty—things that breed a fallow

Heart, and suddenly I hear the murmur
Of Keats’ flies and find I can believe
In sadness there’s a kind of grammar
And then I know tomorrow I must leave. (to be continued)

— Robert Henke


The ex-Giants head coach Pat Shurmer
was frequently o'erheard to murmur
"At the least, I believe
As Meadowlands I leave,
with players I should have been firmer."

(also, "leaf")

— Anonymous


At Least We’ve Grown

Every leaf on the tree is murmuring.
They are speaking to me:
of meadows and fields we roamed,
the love and life we’ve known.
How can we leave this all behind
when the next season comes?

— Susan Lively


The yards I pass when I walk are like bits of meadow.
Some are lush with grass,
others with the least grass have the most flowering weeds.
Wind murmurs in the trees and every leaf catches sunlight.
A hummingbird leaves the sky to drink the nectar in flowers.

— Margaret Fourt Goka


You turned the regular roar of the world
Down to a murmur, a whimper at the very least.
But it’s hard to appreciate the quiet
When there’s no way to leave, when all I see
Is the aggressively green tree outside my window
Taunting me with a little meadow on every leaf.

— Lauren Maly


Mesmerizing murmur,
gives voice to the meadow.
Each leaf coming green,
unfolding and beckoning. Calling
flowers to bloom, to hurry their arrival
to frolic and laugh in the sun-such melody!
To sing for the bees that will hum when they come.
And for all things flying, the least and the glorious
wings opened wide or folded together
bring music aquiver to
Spring’s grand serenade.
Enchanting you so with Nature’s pure magic
holding you still, wanting never to leave.

— Bernie Mossotti       4.28.2020


The Last Canoe Trip

For Ron C.

The news crashed loud as April thunder,
A brown oak leaf, who felt spring’s push
He floated to the river’s surface; lingered, then
Swirled in an eddy, made the final rounds--
Shoved off, sole occupant of the aluminum canoe;
Barely steering, paddled with the least of strokes
Murmuring water edged death’s meadow
Then slung around a sawyer to leave the V--
Spirit rising like fog above the Meramec.

— Jo Schaper


A Kimo

Outside, like in, mind melds with least--waiting . . .
Meadow murmurs, hope springing,
Leaf longs to leave--wind-blown!

— Anonymous


“Let’s have a Thoreau Day" she said. "I want a day out before the winter sets in. You and me and nature!”
“At least, we can have a picnic near Blackwater. The migrating birds and the wildflowers will be crazy.”
And so, we so packed a basket and a bag and drove the old Jetta across the bridge to the Eastern Shore.
We spent the day on wildlife trails. And we picnicked in a meadow that bordered the marshlands.
And the wildflowers were crazy. Hysop, aster, corepopsis and wing leaf. And the birds honked and cackled overhead.
And as the sun was going down, we sat on a blanket and wrapped another around our shoulders to keep warm.
Her head was on my chest when she suddenly sat up straight. “Is that your murmer?," she asked
“Yes” I said, “that’s the sound of the blood flowing through my heart.” And then, it was time to leave.

— Kevin Farrell


So, loudly, you murmur
Just leave the least to suffer
No room for them in our meadow to grow
Nary a leaf, a branch, nor a bush must they know
So, loudly, you murmur
Just leave the least to Suffer

— Griot Lois


I don’t want to leave the meadow
At least here- there is just a murmur of safety
Just one leaf on the pages of my life.


the winds murmur a secret
through the meadow. a leaf
drifts, piggy-backed down to
the ground. it is the least
obtrusive guest. no one will
ever ask it to leave.

— Sabrina Spence






Headline image: Cesar Couto on Unsplash