Three Poems by Jeanne Griggs






Middle Path, Kenyon College

I didn’t know which ones were
nasturtiums until after the warm
September afternoon I spotted
their round leaves with orange and yellow
flowers on the side of middle path,

Chosen by a gardener as part of a plan,
I imagine, as I think of the free seeds
picked up on a trip to the Lowe’s near
my house on one spring day
when there was plenty to forget

and I tossed those seeds into the overgrowth
of my garden, thinking only of the times
I had enjoyed nasturtium blossoms in fancy
salads, not expecting much, busy with the end
of a semester, never looking for the

other end, like on this path, always going
forth and never back, never idling like summer
time but looking forward to harvest
or the sowing of seeds, the nurture
in between consuming all the hours

of the seasons we may have noticed
while not looking around to find out what
comprises this incidental beauty, the space
in the middle of our hurry,
but when I looked up moon-shaped leaves

and the colors of nasturtium, it turned out
they were part of what I already knew, the
part I noticed and remembered long enough
to find out more, to connect with something
from other walks of life, to look up.

Dog Fountain, Mount Vernon, Ohio

A plastic orange lab shoots water
out of its mouth; all the dogs do,
towards a golden bone in the center
of the fountain in the middle
of the old downtown, a corner
where for six months of the year
passers-by lean into their scarves,
heads down into the wind, but
after the thaw water gushes,
dalmatian, beagle and boxer gleam
while a plastic cat positioned to watch
and retired people we haven’t seen
for half a year sit, blanketed in coats
and sweaters, splashing sounds
like company after a long winter.


swirling flecks of black
how big they sound
when they settle in the tall trees
behind the house; it’s like
god’s own conversation,
an enormous voice
all around, echoing,
almost as if we could make
out the words if we could
recognize the language

Jeanne Griggs is a reader, writer, traveler, and ailurophile. A PhD in English, she directs the writing center at Kenyon College and plays violin in the Knox County Symphony. Jeanne’s volume of poetry is entitled Postcard Poems; she reviews poetry and fiction at

Image by Leonhard Lenz, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

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