Ann Privateer


I started writing nature poems in my early 20’s, quickly jotting down thoughts after the first thaw when it was warm enough to walk on icy creek water without wearing a jacket. Nature consisted of an exciting mix of elements, challenging me to put dizzying feelings into words.

That’s how it was, growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio.

Some of those stark differences made their way with me to California where I married, concluded a BA in English, had two children, and taught school. The water is still icy some of the
time, but now it reflects family as often as it does flowers.



Ann Privateer Poems

On a Sheer Cliff

Climbing through
ungraspable corrugations
of rock, hard slits,
steep drop-offs,

a puzzle of crouches
and crestfallen leaps,
no place to take cover;
yet, exhilaration waits
at every corner. Palpitations

embrace dark air,
view petrified heights
that interrupts stone
Fear worms whisper

of black slopes below,
ledges barrel a curve,
wedged bulk shrouded
in crystal silence.

The summit: immensity
of perilous height to get to
in the end.

Attracted to Light

An ambulance backs
down a driveway
lights flash
no siren

squad car lights
glint as people
fill the street
some carry candles,
or banners.
Some barefoot,
girls wear
blue gowns,
men hoist
a platform, carry
a statue,
women chant

another squad car
follows, bookends
of light around people

above them, a silhouette
of closely
congregating crows
before street lamps flicker,
crows on a wire














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