Jul. 12

In memoriam . . .



We lost our Aunt Imogene this past spring.  In the photo I am standing between her and my brother Daryl Mitchell, whom we lost many, many years ago.  Imogene was one of a kind.  This is the poem I wrote for her funeral:


A one-name dame, no middle one

           ever needed

                  She is in angel hours now

Count the words she spoke

                        she heard

                        she read

                        she dreamed

     The spaces between words,

            the moments of silence

She looked back through her life in that final sleep

     Each birthday        Each  husband

     Each trip               Each glazed ceramic

     Each pan of cornbread        Each pitcher of sweet tea

She could have graced the pages of any fashion magazine

     This skinny, freckled little girl born in the back woods of Panola County

     This teenager who mailed letters to Hollywod for photographs of the stars

That slim, elegant figure

Those long, long legs

The family nose ...

Apr. 11

Spring is in the air


National Poetry Month

In honor of National Poetry Month, a few poems from one of my favorites:  Edna St. Vincent Millay



I am in love with him to whom a hyacinth is dearer

Than I shall ever be dear.

On nights when the field mice are abroad he cannot sleep:

He hears their narrow teeth at the bulbs of his  hyacinths,

But the gnawing at my heart he does not hear.



I drank at every vine.

   The last was like the first,

I came upon no wine.

   So wonderful as thirst.


I gnawed at every root.

   I ate of every plant.

I came upon no fruit

   So wonderful as want.


Feed the grape and bean

   To the vintner and monger;

I will lie down lean

   With my thirst and my hunger.

Oct. 22

. . . . . . . .


Sepulcrum Bellum

Sepulcrum Bellum


“I thought I saw it all when I went to Phrygia and saw thousands of soldiers and gleaming

horses … that fated day when the Amazons swept down to fight against men.”

King Priam (The Iliad)


The Romans were experts in the art of warfare.

They waged war against the Sabines,

the Gauls, the Macedonians,

the Carthaginians, the Amazons –

not the one-breasted warrior goddesses of Hellenic myth

who maimed their bodies to become better fighters –

but real, flesh-and-blood women:

Queen Boudicca of ancient Britain,

who is flogged, her daughters raped by their Roman captors;

Queen Zenobia of Palmyra,

who, once defeated, is taken to Rome as a spoil of war.


Here they are immortalized –

both the Romans and the Amazons –

locked in perpetual mortal combat

in the smooth silence of the stony sarcophagus.

Standing in the museum, admiring the piece in hushed awe,

we cannot hear the valiant war ...

Aug. 27

. . . . . . . .


Swan Song

            I began vigorously exercising my first amendment rights in “Views from the Left” four years ago this month.  That’s a nice, round number.  It’s time to call it a day.  Thus, my swan song begins.

            I never knew I had so much to say until I started writing this article for our local paper.  Granted, there were some weeks when I was stumped for a subject, but most weeks the words spilled out of me like water rushing over the dam at Garner State Park after a heavy rain.  It became easier and easier to find the words while I watched the tragedy and joy and vanity and humbleness and vitriol and compassion as it played out across the stage of this crazy country of ours.  And living in Texas always gave me a plethora of pandering politicians to poke ...

Listening to the whispering pines

Hello. My name is Donna Cozart Pauley. Welcome to The Whispering Pines, a literary blog dedicated to my love of the written word. It is an eclectic collage of my life -- from my poems to my stories to my family to my pets to my causes to my photographs to my recipes to my love of teaching to my favorite literature. Please feel free to comment. Words are only important if they are heard or read. Just like those soundless trees falling in the forest.

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