Earth Ghazal

            in memoriam Blossom Ostrofsky Meyerson


The tulip bulbs of fall are planted by our own hands.
We gladly dirty our knees with earth.

Early spring yellow will nose its way upward
in the months of soft warming and moist earth.

In drought, the artifacts of the Old Ones, arrowheads
of stone, are stolen by the impious when unearthed.

From the dirt Adam sprang and in it he delved,
and each of us will return to earth.

When her time came, we mourned.
Hardest was the thud on the casket from shoveled earth.


Ellen Pickus taught English and creative writing for thirty years on Long Island, where she lives with her husband and her son. Retired, she now conducts creative writing workshops for adults and does volunteer work at an elementary school. Her work has appeared in Long Island Quarterly, PPA Review, Fan Magazine, Midwest Poetry Review, The Avocet, Blue Unicorn and The Ghazal Page and in the anthology recently edited by Nassau poet laureate Gayl Teller, Toward Forgiveness. She won first place for her poetry at the Rockville Centre Guild for the Arts, the Plainview Y, the Performance Poets Association and the North Shore Land Alliance. She is selling her book of poetry, Bittersweet Is an Acquired Taste, to raise money to help fight Alzheimer’s, a disease that affected her mother.