Sleeping mistress of the land,
Whose long repose the ages span,
We tread across your fissured gown
Until we find in looking down,
We can at last discern and trace
The chiseled beauty of your face,
Where frozen tresses fresh with snow
Across your granite shoulders flow.
We stand in silence and in fear
Of the endless winter here,
And ponder long the ancient course
Of your journey from the North.
Will the warming trend bestow
Blockage of the Gulfstream flow?
Will Southern waters cease to heat
The mountains where the ice retreats?
How long before in icy grace
Will Earth be locked in your embrace?


Afternoon Bay

The shore looks out
Upon the sea ─
There once were whales ─
There still may be.

I stand transfixed
Upon the sand ─
Where churning foam ─
Meets passive land.

The wind abides
Beyond the bay ─
And shoves in waves ─
For boats to play.

The gulls delight
In twisting flight ─
And I await ─
Approaching night.


Truckee River Refrain

If you close your eyes and listen
To the Truckee slide along,
You may lose the sense of city
In the river’s fluid song.
The eddies sing of eons passing
Where the rocks and waters meet;
A time when mankind was beginning,
And the Truckee just a creek.

Humming in the summer sunshine,
Roaring in its springtime rage,
The seasons set the river’s tempo
On a stand of pine and sage.

The river is the endless singer,
And the river writes the song.
The rocks and gravel set the rhythm,
And the beat goes on and on.



I have a fear of beans it seems;
They’re freaky quick and clever.
They grabbed the little stick I had,
And used it as a tether.
The little sprouts appeared last week,
As cute as plants can be,
But now they’re massed against the fence;
I dare not set them free.
They tried to take the pepper plant;
I had to cut them back –
The tomatoes are aquiver;
In fear of their attack.
I’ve locked my door to bar the way;
I fear they’re after me.
When planting time arrives next year,
I think I’ll go with peas.


Francis Flavin was raised in Saratoga County in Upstate New York. He was educated at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and the University of Colorado. Flavin was Alaska’s first State Ombudsman and the first Executive Director of the Alaska Judicial Conduct Commission. He has served as a Cornell Extension Representative in Northern New York, and most recently as the Northern Area Director for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. He is currently Faculty Emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno.


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6 Responses

    • Francis Flavin

      Thank you Lenore – this is such a lovely site for those who seek light instead of darkness.

      • Lenore

        I agree..our world needs to remember words that bring light create a more joyful life experience…

  1. David Watt

    I enjoyed all of your poems. My favorite is ‘Truckee River Refrain’ for the simple reason that it flows rhythmically and easily, rather like its subject.


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