Love Poem to My Daughter on Turning Forty-Six

       for Alex

Vow to do what matters:
love hard, yourself
as well as others.
Take to heart your worth,
no matter what. Continue
to discover the unknown.
Be involved with weather.
Ride the ferry. Sit outside
in the wind. Get wet. Walk
briskly up Market Street.
During lunch walk down
to the museum. Find O’Keefe’s
Black Place l then Lake George.
There will be an understanding.


Meditation on Radiance Sutra #39

In the aftermath of renewal,
I’m left alone.

One red-headed woodpecker
in the woods off Noland Trail.
One osprey over Lake Maury.
One house sparrow in the backyard.

Nine days after Easter. A Tuesday.
Could be any Tuesday. We could say
distance doesn’t matter. We could say
we are all one. We could say
separation is a myth. We could say
we are beyond space and time.

We hiked by the bay,
through the meadow
and down the winding path.
We sat on the bench and looked
over to the other side of the lake.

Afterwards she returned to Oakland.
I returned to my desk
to cast aside those ten thousand things.


Elaine Fletcher Chapman (formerly Elaine Walters McFerron) is the author of a volume of poems, RESERVOIR forthcoming in late 2020, Hunger for Salt published by Saint Julian Press and a letterpress chapbook, Double Solitude published by Green River Press. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor teaching Literature at Old Dominion University, Chapman worked on staff at The Bennington Writing Seminars, Bennington College for 18 years. She founded The Writer’s Studio where she teaches poetry, nonfiction and an ongoing class, On Keeping a Journal. She also provides editing services and organizes Poetry Readings and Crossing Over Writing Retreats. For the last 39 years she has worked as a therapist in private practice. Also she is a Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation teacher. She has poems forthcoming in Hoot Review, Cloudbank and Poetry Pacific. Her poems have been published in 8 Poems, Rabid Oak, The Tishman Review, The EcoTheo Review, The Cortland Review, Connotation, The Sun, Calyx, Poet Lore, 5AM, Salamander, and others. She was guest blogger on The Best American Poetry Blog and The Solstice Literary Magazine blog. She now lives on the West side of the Chesapeake Bay near the James River in Newport News, Virginia. She also spends a great deal of time in the San Francisco Bay area. Trailer and Poetry Videos for Hunger For Salt: or