Phyllis McLaughlin Nauman


Marked by Fire


A fawn shivers at sundown, seeing golden reflections
Like burning trees in the river.

She eats clover that will die; its store of sunlight transformed
To sinew and muscles.

Then, while she dreams there is a true fire, smoke, wood burning;
Gifts of sugar, sage and cedar.

She shape shifts, the fawn’s gaze falls on scarlet coals
Embers glowing like the gemstones in her pocket.

Inhaling jagged breath she growls, then purrs, changing;
Now a jackal, an eagle, a panther, then a crone.

Somewhere the old woman dies and her aged skin is shed.
She gazes again into the fire; it is the mirror of her life, her soul.

Three days later she awakens and knows that she is naked, reborn.
Brushing her tingling nose, she learns that she was marked by fire.



Lead to Silence


How can one sleep with the glowing awareness of
Palladian stardust suffused into our bones?
Spiral universe induces me to silence.

Fairy tales I’d long forgotten come alive with
Exotic meanings. Mystic Madeline sings while
Rubbing dragon’s belly; invites it to silence.

New dreams, fantastic tales of crystal creatures who
Coexist with telepathic life forms; Mute no
Need to speak; tiny gill slit mouths gone to silence.

Is there a greater message here informing all?
Or did my soul attempt to warn of the raging
Sore throat that now reduces me to silence?

Still, I can see a piece of sheet music with the
Complex black notes all punched out. It looks like lace,
An ancient scroll, all the white space leads to silence.

Do you remember, Phyllis, that the silence is
What punctuates your words, clarifies, simply makes
Their meaning more profound? Learn to lead to silence.



Phyllis McLaughlin Nauman R.N., B.A. is a “love-activated mass of protoplasm” whose spin on life is to illuminate the path on which she walks. A Louisiana native, a Sunday’s child born on the bank of the Mississippi River; her life travels delivered her to distant places and back. She has walked her path as Maiden, Mother, and Mystic, Artist, Wife, Lover, Healer and Nurse. Now to write her Epic Journey she has turned to verse.



One thought on “Phyllis McLaughlin Nauman

  1. I am stunned. These verses are some of the best you have ever written. I am honored that they started my day, this second day of the New Year.


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