Faith Hope & Fiction

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Nature of All Things

Two Poems by Jennifer Novotney

The Shell We Carry

I run down to the cool waves 

that lap at my feet

sink into the saturated

granules of weathered rock and sharp seashells.

For a moment, it feels as if I will fall

right through to the center of the earth.

Little claws gently grab at my toes.

I dig until I find them

little hermits in shell houses.

Their tiny legs tickle in the palm of my hand.

I wonder what we carry with us

from place to place, looking for our bit of water

a spot of darkness in which to bury ourselves. 

The crabs squirm under the sun’s rays

burrow into the small amount of sand 

I cup in my hand

the tips of their shells peeking out

heads down, burrowing

always digging deeper.

How Time Passes

The snow falls outside

imperceptible as it has done 

for so many years

before this house sat 

on this mountain

before the ground was broken

open to its natural resources.

Today we sit 

still in this home

with nowhere to go

and nothing to do

much like the tall fir tree

that stands guard 

at the front of our land.

It will continue to grow

its trunk getting wider and thicker

it’s apex taller and higher

reaching upwards toward 

the blue grey sky

because in it lies the 

nature of all things.

Jennifer Novotney holds an M.A. in English from Northern Arizona University. Her poetry is forthcoming in Buddhist Poetry Review and Amethyst Review and has appeared in English JournalPoetry Quarterly, and The Vignette Review, the latter for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In 2014, she won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award for her debut novel Winter in the Soul. She lives in northeast Pennsylvania with her family where she teaches English and creative writing.

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