By Rose Nielsen

As April mist blew chill against the rocky beach,
the wishing pines, the trembling birch and cedars
leaned out as if to catch a glimpse of Mary Lake’s
ice petticoat swept to shore on last night’s tempest.

Divining rod in hand, stem pointing at the lake,
Y hugging at my hips, I felt no tug;
I thought the misty air, the soggy forest floor
must be too drenched to dowse a single source.

But when I looked again and saw the leaning birches
reach out their limbs, each one a pair of arms
held out to greet the lake, I turned the stem to point
toward me and felt the tug as it divined a hidden spring.

Today’s poem appears here today with permission from the poet.

Rose Nielsen is a writer, poet, musician, and a physical therapist in a small mountain town in British Columbia, Canada. She also teaches biology and English at the local community college. She recently received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her work has appeared or will be appearing in RiverLit and CV2; and she is working on a novel and on a collection of poems about water and the bonds humans hold with it.

Editor’s Note: Rose Nielsen’s poetry reminds me of Alaska’s Poet Laureate, Peggy Shumaker, a favorite here on this series. These poets share a love of the interconnectivity of nature and the written word. Simple, yet rich, and working on the micro level, with sounds lulling and inspiring us, with images clear as if painted by brushstroke.

As tomorrow is Mother’s Day, I dedicate today’s selection to my Mama. The woman who taught me the wonders of water, witchcraft, nature, and poetry alike. For my mother, and for Mother Earth, the Great Mother of us all.

Want to read more by Rose Nielsen?
River Lit


  1. So delighted to see Rose’s poem. I loved it. It reminded me of when Rose and I trudged through the forest and found ourselves out upon the walkway across the water on our way to the little chapel across the lake. Thrilled to see Rose’s work and that others can enjoy it as well. Great poem. Insightful, wise. Yes, that hidden spring. Thank you Rose,


  2. Hello. In 1988, in Calcutta, I met Rose Nielsen and I wish to make contact with it. Can somebody help me? Roseline Séleck (Belgium)


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