Sage Rising

Sage Rising

By Michele Habel-Coffey


They will inherit the Homes

And The Farm

They will inherit jewels

And the wealth of generations,

Of Miners,

And Marauders,

Of Rosie’s rivets

And Cleopatra’s flight,

Of a Lion,

And a Lamb,

And the Artist’s left hand,

But dollars do not

Make a good cloth for washing

And love’s apple

Tastes better than apathy’s bible

Just so.

I am but a reflection of their light.

I am a smokey sage

carrying prayers to the Heavens

Bartering that for them,

Darkness be never more

than a canvas for the stars.


Michele Habel-Coffey: Love Lies Bleeding


Love Lies Bleeding

By Michele Habel-Coffey

Amaranthus Caudatus for Algernon

For Charlie

And for my Grace

Loves lies bleeding

Dying in the cold

Dying on the headstone

Of the long gone

And seldom mourned

I am Alice

In Charlie’s backyard

Down the foxhole I go

In search of better flowers

Of Lotus

And Lilac

And a pill to make me big again

The white rabbit

Runs beside the mouse

His jaws clamped upon

The Eglantine

The mouse, tangled in



Remaining in between

The Rabbit

and poor Alice

Poor, poor me

I am ever chasing

Ever fading

A Cheshire grin

Left upon

An aching memory

Forget the pill

Give me a potion

I shall tread until I drown


By the wheel

And intoxicated

by the Wormwood




By Michele Habel-Coffey

Sights set

New surroundings at sunrise

A hiker emerges from a moldy tent

Time to traverse, time for

Trampling the delicate dew drops

And glistening grass

Wet soles

Wet soul

Running like the creek away

And to

A new path is born

And in the footfalls behind

The grass reaches and rises

Standing again

Leaving no trace

Of the wayward man




By: Michele Habel-Coffey

You linger

Like the scent of campfires on my clothes

I move in tandem with the wind

Around the burning circle

Just to drown in the smoke

Staying far enough away

Not to burn

My eyes water

But don’t cry

Provocation of tears

Comes now only

From wind and waves

Of white spirits passing through me

You surround me

I drink you, like coffee for breakfast

The welcome smell

Of my familiar, vaporous friend

Michele Habel-Coffey: Pictures of Volcanos

volcano in the clouds

Pictures of Volcanos

By: Michele Habel-Coffey

Sorrow in a stormy soul

Volcano in the clouds

A painted woman smiling

Next to a man, erect and proud

Molten, bubbling substance

Brewing just beneath

Her dress dancing with the wooden floor

And brushing at his feet

Like lava rising, reaching

Up caverns giving way

The woman’s pallor’s reddened

At a collar that is frayed

Hiding skin like porcelain

But not the blood that flows

Daring to color neck and cheek

Where passion’s secrets show

He’s gazing down, upon her head

But her eyes are on the man

Whose lens and light have captured

Silent storms and shifting sands

I turn and face Grandmother

Who wonders what keeps me

Longer than I should have been

Bringing her the tea

“Wasn’t I a song my child?

Dressed in tattered rags?

Such a scene so long ago

Oh how their tongues did wag!”

“Did you love him?”, I ask bravely,

“The man behind the lens?”

“No matter child. No matter.

I was married; he was kin.”

We stand a moment gazing

At the image on the wall

Though the mountain never boiled

There’s still an ash that falls

It covers what surrounds her

Like islands veiled in dust

The remnants of the nether

A long since buried lust

Its many years since Grandpa’s gone

Untimely was his death

Leaving her a widow young

Some years to her last breath

But each week she keeps her visits

Sometimes she’s gone for days

She returns with pictures of the places

That keep calling her away

Mr. Jones, he takes those pictures

Camera’s always ‘round his neck

When he calls for Grandma on those days

It’s the one thing I expect

There’s no pictures though, of Mr. Jones

Only Grandma, smiling bright

With colors in her porcelain cheeks

Reflections in her sight

Of the man that captures more

Than the images in her hands

He is movement on the richter scale

He is more than just her friend

From Mr. Jones, photographer

The man ever with no name

I see sometimes it’s the imagery

Holds more value than the frame.

Symphony #5, Call of the Whippoorwill

Symphony #5, Call of the Whippoorwill

By Michele Habel-Coffey

A static breeze floats

full of electric charge and knows

what way it longs to go, meandering

Pushing forward

Pushing back

Closed in, it stays

the twisted path

The aged spine of a wise old man

Crooked but true

The windy rivers passing through

skies and waters blue – touching

Wet lips that graze

Pulsing waves

A humid haze

That rises in the heated atmosphere – stirring

For a moment

Clouds form in between

The natural scene

But in the end the wind does know

Just where to go

It follows the river’s energy


The years have deepened

flowing lines

Now intertwined

Now undertow

Still, they pass through misty mountains

Rushing high

Rushing low

Then at once

Or perhaps at length

The range comes to an end

And the breeze no longer needs

To twist and bend – yearning

I wonder now

When freedom rings

Does the breeze grow wings?

And travel on, outside the lines…

Forever or

For just a time

As a lake comes to gather

And from the river fills

Deep and still


for the nighttime call of the whippoorwill

To announce the breeze has yet returned

To meet the water now still and sure

Some days my wondering

Leads me to the lake

Where I sit and watch

For watching’s sake

As the wind pulls the water

Into waves and breaks

White with crested foam

And I know for sure the breeze

Will always come

To tease the lake

For teasing’s sake

Dancing tempest

Prospero’s ache

A moment there

A lifetime gone

All summed up by the sparrow song

Calling its own name

Symphony #5

Michele Habel-Coffey: Wine on the Lips


Art Credit:

Wine on the Lips

By: Michele Habel-Coffey

I breathe in deeply and hold

Hoping to stave off the aftertaste

Of cheap wine and dying dreams

But the nine dollar red

Is soft on the palate

A delicious bitter-sweet

It leaves no after taste

It bears no acrid smell


It is yet cheap

I know a treasure when I taste it

Undervalued, underpriced

Underneath me

The world shifts

As the innocent wine envelops me

And sends me off

In a warm blanket of waking dreams

And a smile that arrives

The moments the memories permeate

And bring me back

Wine, you and I

We will see the future bound together

On cheap shelves

Touched by dime-store hands

And we will rise to the occasion

Passing one day around tables

On the lips of giants

Who will smell our vintage

And declare us rare indeed