Phoenix Rises
by Paula Tohline Calhoun

The phoenix rises, dispersing ash as she extends
her reborn wings to dry beneath the sun.
She lifts her eyes, pondering the expanse of sky,
marveling at each cloud, discerning from their shapes
her once and future soul,
each moving forward, shape-shifting
as they are propelled, like wayward children,
toward the horizon.

She rediscovers her power to fly,
in mimicking the movement
of the strange and familiar,
those wind-swept creatures
that capture her gaze,
that leave no wake, yet
cast their shadows on the earth below.

With a burst of clarity, she knows
that she is but a cloud herself,
some shadow of her former life
transformed, reshaped, assembled,
and gathered again and again, reborn to fly
above herself and beyond,
chasing the distant horizon
leaving nothing in her wake
but the weightless and gray
remnant ashes of yesterday.

Paula Tohline Calhoun is a 61 years old, and a life-long lover and writer of poetry – as long as she has been able to read and write, that is. She started at age 4 when her Dad first read to her from Ogden Nash’s collection. She is currently working on a collection in which she is collaborating with a poet from South Africa. This collection (untitled as yet) is her first publishing effort. Her poetry interests are very eclectic, and she employs a number of styles – whatever strikes her fancy.