Radiance by Barbara Crooker

My Note: I feel fortunate to have two Douglass College (Rutgers University) classmates who are poets in the true sense of the word. (I consider myself a “rhymnast,” a gymnast with rhyming words, rather than a poet). 

Radianceis one of Barbara’s earlier books, but like all the other books I have of hers, the poems strike a chord in my heart. I am not sure if this is because she is a women and mother, or just because she has a way with words. Whatever the reasons, I love her poetry and eventually plan to have all of them on my poetry shelf. After all, they don’t take up a lot of space!!!

Here are a few samples of Barbara’s words on Life. I chose “October “ because it is my favorite month of the year and since this is the last day of October, I better post it now, even though I was going to post it in early November.  Also, I took some photos this morning and one is posted with the poem. I chose A Woman is Pegging Wash on the Line because of my love of clotheslines. (My newest book For the Love of Clotheslines, is available on Amazon.)


Some October by Barbara Crooker

Some October, when the leaves turn gold, as

Me if I’ve done enough to deserve this life

I’ve been given. A pile of sorrows, yes, but

Joy enough to unbalance the equation.


When the sky turns blue as the robes of heave,

Ask me if I’ve made a difference.

The road winds through the copper-colored woods;

No one sees around the bend.

Today, the wind poured out of Canada,

A river in flood, bringing down the brilliant leaves,

Broken sticks and twigs, deserted nests.

Go where the current takes you.


Some twilight, when the clouds stream in from the west

Like the breath if God, ask me again.



A Woman is Pegging Wash on the Line ”
by Barbara Crooker

This photo by Jockie Loomer-Kruger is in my book, For the Love of Clotheslines. I also reviewed her book with similar art, entitled Valley Child: A Memoir. Link to the review:


She is hanging sheets on a row of rope,

hitching them down with wooden pegs.

She might be pinning clouds to the sky.

They billow and snap like spinnakers.

She is bending over the willow basket,

Pegging up sock sock undershirt

sock sock boxers

sock sock bra.

She knows the use of the singing line

Sure as any fly fisher.

A family of underwear soaks in the sunshine,

Bleaches and whitens, like the Day of Redemption.

On the outer circle, the dark and heavy,

Denims and flannels, arms and legs free

To dance a reel and a jig to the fiddling wind.

When the breeze dies down and shadows lengthen,

She reels them in, pulling and tugging.

Squares the corners.

As she hefts the basket, she smells the sun’s hot breath,

Fresh cut grass, lavender and thyme. She sees the evening

Star rise over the roof, and she brings her cargo in.



Radiance is published by Word Press and is available from:

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