Abby Ripley is a seventy-eight-year-old who has had a very rich and varied life. She grew up on a ranch on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana and spent time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, a travel agent, a life insurance field agent, and an editor for Grolier Publishing. More recently she has exhibited as a fine art photographer specializing in composite images, a painter of watercolors and acrylics, a poet who has been named poetry finalist three successive years by Adelaide Literary Magazine, and a novelist with a historical novel in progress. Her art has appeared on the literary journals, Under the Sun and Literary Heist. She lives with her partner of forty-six years, two dogs, and a magical Calico cat in the countryside of Connecticut.
A cosmic breath catches The yellow sail of the Nightship, Moving it across an indigo sea Among myriads of glinting fire pinpoints. The Sun Dog yawns westward, Breathing orange into the sky As mountain caves and forests Yield their life forms to resurrecting light. Clouds scudding through vapor To capture mouthfuls of atmosphere, Build momentum to move faster than Swiftlets in pursuit of aerial insects. Wet wads of kelp slap wooden Boardwalks at the bathing beach Where surf ruffles the edging shore line. A breaching humpback raises its tail flukes. Rising winds over ocean waves Blow inland with the smell of fish, Hastening bees to return to the hive. Armored trees prepare to joust with Mayhem. Charcoal darkness glistens as twilight descends. Raindrops smear across surfaces, Disappearing with the onset of night Layers of clouds break apart to deep, deep space. Stillness settles on the landscape. House lights blink on near and far Ahead of the arcing moon. Owls call to one another, daring the mocking bird. Inhaling Cosmos prepares to exhale its Nightship.