The following poems were read by their authors at a poetry reading in the Library on April 21. (See photos.)

The poems appear in the collection of writing and photography entitled

Pennsylvania Seasons: Commonwealth Images and Poetry.

Pennsylvania Seasons by Henry F. Smith: Book Cover

Copies are available in the Osterhout collection for checkout or use in the library:

    Call number: q811 SMI.



Lost Geese in February


Seven erratic geese

Like static in flight


Honking disbelief

Dark silky shapes

Moving Escherlike

Against a pale pewter sky.


For a moment, I believed it was March

Then snow mounting clouds shifted

And cold enveloped the sun,

Unsealing winter.


The geese disappeared like ghosts

Into spring’s

Frail foreshadow.


by Anne A. Thomas



A Frozen Moment



Icy droplet

Is transfixed

On a crackling, dry

Rusty, leaf tip.



Gently glistens

On this wonder

Giving it momentary

Life in death.


by Esther B. Davidowitz





that clings and is cool to the touch

also, given enough time, cuts through rock.


Water, the cradle for all living forms,

created Ricketts Glen in the time that

it took for the fish there to evolve,

so slowly works the water on the stone.


And the water falling over the stone

has been gushing and rushing for so long

that even we have finally heard.

Its sounds jog our primordial memory,

our memory of being in the trees

of a lush African jungle, the streams

of which lead us to civilization.


by Richard Aston



As If Summer Needed a Room


Welcome finally to this place,

where private talk is an elegant flurry

on a nonchalant portico of hours folded back

so that summer can move in on its wings,

and simply unpack its petals

to ripen in the white Panama chair

with golden cushions and lift its hand

to order fragrances

from the sun falling through

white laurels in lace on the mountains.

Solemn satisfactions are filled

with the four winds and early names

match faces of strung clover necklaces

under the perch of the lady cardinal

whose crowded liberty throbs

the leaves of the maples.

The mirrors of mountain lakes shine

without giving notice to the lily pads

of any preposterous beauty

while we trade red strawberries

for reserved rooftops

and dewy lemonades

for schedules from the fireflies.


by Barbara Tomaine



Roger’s Environmental Ed Center


The purple grackle are more timid

than the redwing blackbirds.

They eye our bread, then eye us—

a lesson on hunger and boundaries

in their bright yellow eyes.

They wait for us to walk away.


Rachel stirs clouds of sediment

into the stream with a stick

then stops to watch the water slowly clear.

The stream feels the quiet upper pond

where a tree leans over the water—

higher and deeper handfuls of blue air.


We gather and float goose feathers,

dip our hands in cool water

and wave our breeze borne ships

back in a backward swirl.

Rachel dries her hands on my shirt.


Afternoon sun beside the middle pond—

we watch the park employees drag

a tennis net through the water

herding the rainbow and brown speckled trout

into a small area by the spillway.


They scoop them up and race

the thrashing buckets to the lowest pond.

The man with the buckets lets Rachel

help release a two footer. It lies stunned

near the shore a few minutes then swims

for the clear, deeper, open life.


by David Chin



A Season Past


A gust of wind

and dry



scarlet leaves fall


It doesn’t seem

autumn could catch us

so soon

although it is September’s whirl

we feel

seeding the earth,

the scattered shuffle

a slacked walk.

And though the seasons dance

in one round,

waving golden rod,

switchgrass wheezing,

it is without you;

a sigh of seasons past.


by Charles Failing