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Judy Shepps Battle

Breathing Summer

by Judy Shepps Battle



Autumn cool mingles with humid
promise of change implicit

indifferent mosquitoes insist
on piercing repellant guard

living for the momentary
blood suck that itches, raises

welts, and claims my peace.

Eager to partake in painting
word pictures, Rusty trots over

licks purple Uni-ball Roller pen
wags his golden tail and

and sits content on my
bare feet.

Lone Blue Jay swoops, stares,
steals shelled peanut and

flies off, prize locked in beak
faster than my Canon can record.

My sneeze is signal for all
to scatter except for one

mosquito who finds the only spot
on my neck without protection

and bites.




From My Window


Leafless branches crisscross
creating intricate lattice

timber Xs
wooden Os

hungry starlings play
tic-tac-toe before

dining at swaying
cedar feeder

and vanishing into
cloudless sky.






nothing by accident
all affects all

smallest thoughts ripple
zig and zag

receive and transmit
connect and separate

magic and mystery mingle
taut muscles relax

breath swaddles
vulnerable heart

all in this nanosecond
all in this precious nanosecond.






Judy Shepps Battle has been writing poems since long before she became a psychotherapist and sociology professor at Rutgers University. Widely published both in the USA and abroad during the Sixties and Seventies, she deferred publishing to concentrate on career and family. Fortunately, her muse was tenacious and she continued to write during the next three decades filling a file cabinet with scrawled and typewritten poems that are now being organized into chapbooks and individual submissions. The material submitted for publication represents her return to active participation in the writing community. She can’t think of a better way to spend her retirement. Her poems have been accepted in a variety of publications including Ascent Aspirations; Barnwood Press; Battered Suitcase; Caper Literary Journal; Epiphany Magazine; Joyful; Message in a Bottle Poetry Magazine; Raleigh Review; Rusty Truck; Short, Fast and Deadly; and The Tishman Review.