By Dianne Dibb Forbis


The knowing
wasn’t in my mind
at first.
The thirst,
a yearning for the truth
and light,
seemed a birthright.
The need that stretched out
from my heart
and soul
had been with me
so it seemed.
My mind schemed
to find somewhere a
crystal understanding
to satisfy
the thirst.
I was
in smooth and prettied
and elegant elixirs
poured into
my being.
Yet I was parched,
my mind miraged
by words
of men.
And then
the quenching came.
My mind grown cautious
with considerings
perceived the gospel truths
to be too simple
for soothings.
to look elsewhere
for a freshening,
my intellect would have had
me turn away
at the start.
But my heart
already had imbibed
exciting essence,
crystal clear.
And so I stayed and drank
and found
no dregs.
The quenching was complete
as earthlife
can allow.
And now
my mind knows too
that I
will never thirst


To set an arrow upon its course
Requires something more than force;
To launch a youth along his way,
Prepared to face a fearsome day,
Will take more pull, more structuring
Than to bend a bow or stretch a string.
Although the youth may never know,
You are the string, you are the bow.
And if the flight is strong and far
And heights are reached where angels are,
Regardless of the strength you lend,
The string must stretch, the bow must bend.


Unwraps its soul slowly
With flesh-peeling
Its blotches respond
To the bleachings
Of light.

Yesterday Summer

The creek’s still here—
we called it crick, and skippers
skate where water lies in pockets
near its edge,
just like before.
I was leaving childhood
when last I left the graveled road
and started down this path,
so narrow now.
It was then all worn and soft,
with thick warm dust
that flew in puffs
and caught each step
as we went running by.
I show my little ones
the tree that spread
its dark and speckled shade
across me then—
and spreads it still.
We tore fine horses from its limbs,
I tell them,
with great leafy tails,
that reared
and pawed the air at our command.
So they must try it too.
They mount and ride away
and then return,
and, with a shout,
they ride away again.
Were mornings longer then?
It seemed they lasted days,
the summers, years;
and time was broken
into larger pieces.
We didn’t think of hours;
they moved along so warm and slow
that we forgot
to notice them
at all.
The children, hot and dusty from their ride,
want to wade.
“May we?” they ask,
and I, remembering heat and dust,
say, “Yes, let’s.”
The chilly splash is still the same—
it throws itself against our legs;
and rocks, not seen,
are, as before,
still smooth and cold.
They laugh as I come wading too,
for they see me as years away,
but this, to me, is yesterday,
just yesterday.