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On the Hot Springs Trail: poem by Katherine Leonard


Photo of water rushing over a moss-covered rock strewn with yellow autumn leaves, image by Kanenori, on Pixabay.


















water over rock, image by Kanenori, on Pixabay




Autumn on the Hot Springs Trail in this Continuing Time of Pandemic:

A Benediction


When chatter of the world overwhelms

thoughts more lament than prayer

this creek view grants solace,

bestows without asking her ten thousand gifts—

birdsong, water’s gentle insistence,

a doe’s fleeting presence through the underbrush.


As I ponder place and purpose

I think of my pen’s intentional swirl

of words across the blank page, how they too, cascade

as this creek flows over granite,

as lichen over an outcrop,

all shape an everchanging landscape.


Along path’s edge,

a solitary wildflower defies the poverty

of soil and cold. I drink in her face, uplifted

to beckoning sky,

gather her in like hope,

proclaim—


I am here.

I will continue to craft

my words,

and I will thrive.






Katherine Leonard (Kathy) is a published poet currently working on a full-length poetry manuscript and finishing her MFA in poetry at Lindenwood University, following retirement as

a middle-school teacher in California’s Inland Empire. The experience of God’s grace, often revealed through our relationships with others

and through the natural world is a theme Kathy embraces in her poetic craft. She arrived in Hot Springs, Arkansas, in the spring of 2018 to care

for her ailing father. After his passing, she decided to make Hot Springs her home, having fallen in love with the landscape, and the respite it bestows. She enjoys hiking and camping in the Ouachita Mountains.

Her poems have been published in California Quarterly, Alta Dena Poetry Review, Pegasus, and other collections in the San Gabriel Valley. She chose the MFA program at Lindenwood as they value students of a mature age and honor every unique voice while honing its refinement. She regularly attends Wednesday Night Poetry at the “Kollective” in Hot Springs and, thanks to Zoom, interacts with her California poetry people in the Ravens and Valley Poets writers groups. “We, poets, need our kindred interactions, and critique is invaluable

to one’s growth as a writer and as a person navigating a spiritual path.”




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