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  • NYS Writers Institute

A poem for Poetry Friday: "suspended"

"Red Winter Berries in Snow" by D. Sharon Pruitt licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

Ellen White Rook is a poet and teacher of contemplative arts residing in upstate New York and southern Maine.

In the pre-COVID-19 world, she offered workshops on Japanese flower arranging and led Sit, Walk, Write retreats throughout the Northeast that merge meditation, movement, and writing. Since early in the pandemic, she has been leading a daily meditation session on Zoom. Each meditation begins with the reading of a poem, which she posts to Facebook and Instagram at and

Ellen is a member of the New York State Writers Institute Poetry Workshop and the Evergreen Poetry Workshop. Last summer, one of her poems, titled "Day 72," was published in the NYS Writers Institute's Trolley journal.


By Ellen White Rook

this is the time of year

when I’m a root-wrapped stone

dull under weeks-old snow

as more falls in slanted

lines that layer soft

orderly ashes


a poor exchange

for light

(the empty sun

forgot to rise

and the morning cardinal

at the feeder was black

as a crow)


a memory of blood


requires transpiration


approaching death

or just the end

all shapes

still wanting

to be born again

into this life




sky frozen

under foot

stone wishing for sap

sap wishing

for heartwood

By Ellen White Rook © 2020 All rights reserved.

Special thanks to Gary Maggio for connecting us with Ellen on this poem.


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