Judith Alexander Brice

Judith Alexander Brice is a retired Pittsburgh psychiatrist whose love of nature and experiences with illness inform much of her work. She has had over 80 poems published in journals and anthologies, including in The Golden Streetcar, Voxpopulisphere.comThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Magnolia Review.com, and Annals of Internal Medicine. On two occasions, Judy has twice received the Editor’s Choice Award in The Allen Ginsberg Poetry Prize, sponsored by The Paterson Literary Review. Judy has authored two poetry books: Renditions in a Palette and Overhead From Longing published by WordTech Communications (David Robert Books Imprint). A third book, Imbibe The Air is forthcoming next year by the same publisher and your very own, Impspired, is about to publish her chapbook, Shards of Shadows: A COVID Diary within a month or two.  Judy’s poem, Mourning Calls, set to music by Tony Manfredonia, can be heard on his web-site: https://www.manfredoniamusic.com/mourning-calls.

How The Mystery

What is the joy of yesterday,
the soul of tomorrow’s sorrows   
when the secret to beauty lies
in descent of umber leaves 
as they quaver their way
past saffron shafts of pearl—
that soft and mid-day light?

What the wonder of trees 
along crunch and creak of trail—
even the sun, its glimmer of shine
through deepened forest brush
when it branches wide, branches thick
in lowland swale, or beneath 
a resolute, steady foot?  

And how the mystery, 
where the notes, 
the silent music of song,
as leaves drift down, 
through a canyon like snow—
drift, beside crags to the river
that snakes and flows deep

towards a place beyond,
a place we’ll never know?

Last night again,

I dreamt of the ghosts, how they returned, 
my love, and told me they had stolen our bed, 
taken our soul, so there was no place to rest, 
no place to sleep. There remained simply dark, 
its shadow.

Last night I dreamt of the ghosts, how yesterday 
they had stolen the morning, its fulgent light, its
rays of warmth, then left but a pittance of rain,
a density of space to smog between our lost, our 
vacant hearts.

You tried, at first, to play your bass, but a drumbeat 
of noise then pounded the air, pounded the caress 
between our arms, leaving only pieces of space, 
pieces of silence to wake the morning, wake
the dream into day.

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