Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter, recording artist, performer, educator, and activist. She has published three books of poetry and essays, in addition to nineteen music recordings. In September 2021, she released an album with a companion book of poems titled Until Now. Carrie lives in the wooded hills of
South Central Indiana with her husband and two shaggy rescue dogs.
Welcome to the Poets Weave. I’m Romayne Rubinas Dorsey. Carrie, what have you brought for us?
Twilight on the ridge top,
I came upon two lanky coyotes
And one large coy dog.
They all wore thick grey wolf-like coats
And a hungry look.
Lily, my 48-pound herding dog mix,
Sped into the woods barking
Doing what her deep down DNA demanded -
Keep the herd safe,
Whatever it takes.
The three wild canines ran off a little way,
But quickly returned when they realized
The relative size of my small guardian angel.
I saw them begin to circle her as a team.
I heard her yelp high and distressed.
I ran crashing through the brush,
Brambles catching my pant legs and jacket edges,
Whistling long shrill notes between my fingers,
A trick I'd learned when I was eight years old.
(Who knows when we might need a gift from our former self?)
The coyotes looked up,
The largest one met my eyes, assessing me.
Predators don't expect prey to have friends in the world
Who are willing to run headlong into danger,
Sound an alarm,
And shout with righteous anger.
The pack of three looked at one another,
Shrugged and then half loped, half glided
Off into the darkening woods.
Lily was unhurt but concerned and trembling
I held her collar securely
Because she was absolutely ready to go after the pack
If I should only ask.
I ruffled her ears,
Me the small and she the somewhat smaller,
And wondered at the enormous size and courage
Of a small dog's heart
And was grateful to know
That she had me covered.
And that I had her back.
And love does prevail,
Even in the twilight
Even when the coyotes circle.
Yes, even then.
A Million-Mile Tail
(For the Comet Neowis - discovered on March 27, 2020 - and for all the shining comets as
they sail out of view.)
There is a comet that passes this way
Every six thousand years or so,
For the briefest
Handful of days.
This week that comet returned,
Coming into view
After ages of absence.
The comet is actually quite small.
A mere acre or two of ice and rock
And yet blooming behind it
Is a million-mile tail.
A smear of diamonds and dust
Curling in its wake.
Some people are like that,
Passing briefly into our orbit
Having no idea of the wide wash of color,
The glittering ash,
They've left expanding behind them.
Tossed like roses
Or kisses into the wind.
And so tonight,
I lift up on my toes
To catch the last glimpse
Of something real,
As it slips beyond the horizon,
Heading back home
To the place it began.
The night sparkling with stars
As it swings out of view
You’ve been listening to the poetry of Carrie Newcomer on the Poets Weave. I’m Romayne Rubinas Dorsey.