Mary Rice

 


Photo by Irene Koronos

Mary Rice of Cambridge, Massachusetts, died August 13, 2011. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Mary graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1971 with a degree in English and received a masterís degree in art history from Boston University.  She was a writer all her life; her poems, essays, and reviews appeared in a variety of publications, including Ms., Sojourner, and the online WHL Review.  She was an editor of the feminist magazine The Second Wave, and recently an editor of the poetry magazine Ibbetson Street.  Mary will be remembered for her warmth and kindness, her courage, her devotion to poetry and history, and her wonderfully original spirit.

Mary Rice
submitted these poems months before she died, and she was happy to know they had found a place at The Tower Journal.  Her poems take on a deeper meaning now.

 
Flying

I always wanted to fly.
Not so much like Superman,
straight up into the stratosphere
with a whistle of wind,

more like a dancer, leaping
gracefully into the air
and staying there,
floating along a few yards
above the ground.

And sometimes when I jumped,
I thought I did fly, just for a moment.
But then, I saw fairies, the ones
who lived in the oak tree

in the back yard, which was
also where I imagined
I could fly.
And when, I wonder
did I stop?


 

Looking for Rainbows in Tanner Fountain

Rocks
in circles
within circles

with jets of water
in their midst
arcing from the ground

causing pools, and moss,
and an overhanging haze
of dancing drops

revealing,
in the morning sun,
a rainbow

drawing children to jump
and climb,
and elders to exclaim

A constellation
mineral, fluid, celestial,
human and changing


 

Poet in Autumn

Now in the fall
acorns drop to the ground
    a barrage
        of life
distilled, encoded

Before the loss of leaves
and winter's sleep
a brilliant farewell
fodder for squirrels
and the hope of trees

 
 

Cause of Death

Dementia with complications
the death certificate read,
but really, it was just time

to die, the body and soul
agreed, one left inert,
the other moving on.

When the dying stop eating
doctors see dementia, but
it's the body's wisdom,

a sudden acceleration
of old age's decay,
to let the soul float free.


 

Spiral Labyrinth
 
Following circles in the sand
spiraling in to the center
merry meeting where sky and sea
come together
The jewel in the heart
of the lotus, the embrace
in the heart of the rose, five-fold
entwined now, and then
apart again
spiraling back, like separate galaxies
constellations of different worlds
yet each a part of the other
holding in memory
the circles the waves erased
in that eternal dance


 
 
Copyright
© 2011 Mary Rice


 

Mary Rice of Cambridge died August 13, 2011. Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Mary graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1971 with a degree in English and received a masterís degree in art history from Boston University.  She was a writer all her life; her poems, essays, and reviews appeared in a variety of publications, including Ms., Sojourner, and the online WHL Review.  She was an editor of the feminist magazine The Second Wave, and recently an editor of the poetry magazine Ibbetson Street.  Mary will be remembered for her warmth and kindness, her courage, her devotion to poetry and history, and her wonderfully original spirit.