Tag Archives: Merrijane Rice

Putting Up Peaches by Merrijane Rice

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_De_roze_perzikboom_-_Google_Art_Project

Beside the garden wall where grapevines run,
a peach tree stands, diseased and bent with age.
Her blackened branches reach up to the sun
in daily supplication for her wage.

Each year, I think, must surely be her last,
but faithfulness is undeterred by whims.
So, not content to rest on harvests past,
she bears young fruit on geriatric limbs.

With every spring, new buds and blooms emerge
and swell with promise fed by summer rains.
Though twisted and decrepit, still the surge
of liquid light flows through her ancient veins.

I’ll gather and preserve her living gold
to line my pantry shelves against the cold.

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MRice-HeadshotMerrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.

Image: Vincent van Gogh, De roze perzikboom (The pink peach tree), 1888.

Serendipity by Merrijane Rice

Erickson Image 1

The sunset splashes honey colors wide
and floods the valley floor with golden light.
It laps the mountains on the other side
before it circles down the drain of night.

Upon the dark blue dusk, the moon floats high,
adrift within the last of twilight’s glow.
Too early for the stars to fleck the sky,
the city lights take up the task below.

I’m one such light, now flowing through a stream
of weekday traffic like a shooting star.
By merest chance, I caught this evening’s dream
because I had to navigate my car

from basketball to piano for my son.
Thank heaven for the errands I must run.

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MRice-HeadshotMerrijane is a resident of Kaysville, Utah, where the mountains loom large, the sky is beautiful even when it’s gray, and the geese are always just passing through. She loves nature in a literary sense, often drawing from it to write poetry. But do not even think about trying to take her camping unless there is a structure nearby with functional plumbing.

Photo by Nicholas Tonelli, 2007, via Wikimedia Commons

Human Nature by Merrijane Rice

576px-Birdnests_in_Tanzania_3549_Nevit

In the city,
glass-skinned buildings
like bitmapped mountains
pulse with interior stars.

Streets flow with headlights
like lambent corpuscles
navigating a maze
of webbed capillaries.

My neighborhood crawls
with progeny enough
to fascinate any ant farm gazer.

My house clings to earth
like mudded swallow’s nest,
bright as bowerbird canopy
strewn with colored nothings.

My children, too,
push over the edge
like wild, young larks
falling into flight.

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HeadshotMJMerrijane earned a B.A. in English at BYU. She then served for 18 months in the Washington, D.C. North mission at the LDS Temple Visitors’ Center. After returning, she married Jason Rice, and together they are raising a family of four boys in Kaysville. Currently, she works for Deseret Mutual in the Media Development department as a technical writer and editor. See more of her work here, and of course at WIZ.

“Birds of Tanzania” (2010) by Nevit Dilmen via Wikimedia Commons.

Like love, by Merrijane Rice

Rice Sky

Like love,

you can only write so many poems
about the sky—

whether saturated with slate-blue clouds,
heavy as huddled bison herds
in leisurely migration
over valley grazing grounds,

or dry and flat
as bone china crisply glazed,
as lead crystal glinting
so it seems to ping
when first light hits—

but every time I look up,
heaven grabs hold and lifts,
pumps my heart as full
as a helium ballon, and I think:
This should be a poem.

Just like when you walk by
raining unexpected kisses
across my upturned face.

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Although she was born in California, Merrijane is a Utah girl at heart. She loves the red southern deserts, green northern meadows, blue mountains, and even the inversion-gray valleys. She and her husband Jason currently live in Kaysville, where they are attempting to raise four responsible, productive boys without killing any of them in the process. So far, they have met with reasonable success. For more works by Merrijane, see her weekly blog here.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons: Jessie Eastland, 2010.

Tease by Merrijane Rice

Black branches sag
beneath fresh snow as white
as blown cherry blossoms.

Sun-bright ice drips
from stiff tree limbs
like flowing sap.

Bluebottle sky strings out
cloud ribbons as clean
as line-dried sheets.

Brisk breezes scatter
powder like petals
over laughing children.

Winter mimics spring today.
Willingly,
I play along.

(Previously published in the Davis County Clipper on March 25, 2010, and the Utah State Poetry Society 2010 issue of Panorama)

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Read Merrijane’s bio and second entry for Spring Runoff.

*Competition entry*

Easter Greetings by Merrijane Rice

Sophisticated trees line State Street,
elegantly avoiding one another.
They pose
with thin, black limbs
silhouetted against the sky
and roots sunk deep
beneath concrete.

Up the canyon,
the rabble crowds in close.
Scrub oak brushes up to aspen groves,
listens for whispered rumors.
Expectation spreads with the wind,
rattles bone-­weary stands,
stirs the lofty thoughts
of quorumed pines.
Sap rises, buds swell, branches reach
to embrace dawning spring.

Back in the city,
trees carefully dress for Easter,
nodding to the new sun
almost as an afterthought.

(Previously published in the Utah State Poetry Society 2011 issue of Panorama)

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Merrijane grew up in Bountiful, Utah. She received a BA in English from BYU, and then served a mission to Washington, D.C. North. After returning, she married Jason Rice, and together they are raising a family of four boys in Kaysville.

For more than 15 years, Merrijane has worked for Deseret Mutual in the Media Development department. In her spare time, she writes, sings, plays the piano, cooks, reads, and occasionally sews. Her two favorite hobbies are writing poetry and arranging hymns for SATB choir.

*Competition entry*