R5 Pure Poetry

Do you think that you will never see a poem as lovely as Westchester County? Since April is National Poetry Month, we figured we’d try to capture the county in verse. Here, we asked the local Longfellows at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center in Sleepy Hollow to write haikus inspired by Westchester.


The greedy river
Swallows shoreline, black hills, clouds.
But gives back double.


What heart rejoices
In conflagration? Mine flames
When the river burns.

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Pendant moon, bright star,
Steady salt tide. The vast space
Between dark with dreams.


Armonk, Waccabuc,
Chappaqua, Pocantico,
Katonah, Sing Sing.

Ann Lauinger is a member of the Advisory Committee for Slapering Hol Press, the small press of the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center, and lives in Ossining.

(Old Croton Aquaduct)

beyond stone towers
long straightaway on the ridge
coyote and pups

(Stone Barns)

through pastures, uphill
climb along mortarless walls—
a five-story oak

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(Pocantico Hills)

the maples have dropped
dense ochre shag underfoot,
shadows by Chagall

(Buttermilk Ridge)

orchard rows, switchbacks,
view down the Saw Mill Valley—
dry creek, powerlines

(Eagle Hill)

scrub pine, thicket vine,
opening—the Hudson, our
pacific, our sea

B. K. Fischer is the author of Museum Mediations (Routledge, 2006). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Paris Review, FIELD, The Hopkins Review, Southwest Review, Ekphrasis, Western Humanities Review, and other major journals.


Orange moon
Laying on Berkshire hilltops
First fog over frost

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Winter (1)

Icicles, frozen air
Drivers’ wheels slicing thick crust
Gritty melting snow

Winter (2)

Quiet tree limbs bend
Terpsichore’s arctic blast
Black against grey dance

Brenda Connor-Bey is the Poet Laureate for the Town of Greenburgh, an arts-in-education specialist, an instructor of creative writing at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and the Kids’ Short Story Connection and a member of the Slapering Hol Advisory Committee.


Drenched and cold in my
shirtsleeves after a month of
late autumn dry heat.

I wear my leather
jacket and open my black
umbrella today.

After the deluge
sidewalks glisten reflections
elms stand radiant.

Long sleeves and sweater
with a leather suit jacket
autumn dapper look.

Cold wind penetrates
my leather jacket today
winter has arrived.

Renato Rosaldo serves on the board of the directors of The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. One of the leading cultural anthropologists in the world today, his first book of poetry, Prayer to Spider Woman/ Rezo a la mujer araña, received an American Book Award (2004).

Saw Mill Sonata

Dusk on the Parkway
A suburban symphony
Of Spring Peepers sing

Cindy Beer-Fouhy is a poet, freelance writer, publicist, and arts consultant (www.thepubliceye.info). Cindy is a member of the Advisory Committee of the HVWC’s Slapering Hol Press and a consultant for Manhattanville’s Master of Arts in Writing Program.

For more information about the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center and its classes, readings, and other programs, visit www.writerscenter.org. Now would be an even more appropriate time to check out the historic railroad station building that houses the Writers’ Center. As part of a recent renovation, the MTA put out call to artists to submit proposals for new windows for the overpass bridge at Philipse Manor. They selected the art of Joseph Cavalieri who, fittingly includes a haiku.

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