Jenny Bates: “Patience not Panic”



Patience not Panic

Grandfather on the farm in Michigan
was a dowser, he’d raise his willow rods
their pendulum swing and shudder
always found water.
Back and forth, twisting down toward
underground flow.
Patience not panic, he’d say as his
body shivered with water witching.

I’d watch him suspend power 
in quivering air like the

           soothing trill of grey tree frogs
           at morning pond
           the rustle of wild turkey
           leaves a call to prayer

I’d watch the rods bend with grace like the

          prowl of feline
          shares a ritual hour
          vibrates stones and sometimes,
          the moon
          vain and vacillating as opal or rose
          a reservoir of temples and ditches
          lit by tapers,
          extinguished altar candles

I’d drink the cold stream cupped in hands like
they were a chalice of divination.



About the Author: Jenny Bates is a poet from the foothills of North Carolina. A member of Winston-Salem Writers, NC Poetry Society, NC Writers Network. She has two published books, Opening Doors: an equilog of poetry about Donkeys (Lulu Publishing, Raleigh, NC); and Coyote with Coffee, a single poem fine craft volume (Catbird on the Yadkin Press, Tobaccoville, NC). Her work has been published in Flying South, Wild Goose Poetry Review, and Old Mountain Press, and Hermit Feathers Review. She is a consecutive contributing poet in Poetry in Plain Sight and in 2017 she was a top 10 Finalist in the Press 53 Single Poem Contest. Jenny’s poetry has appeared in laJoie 2017- 2019a quarterly publication of Animals’ Peace Garden, dedicated to promoting appreciation for all beings. In 2019 her poem “Fame Looks Both Ways” was included in the Walt Whitman Bicentennial Celebration for publication in Poets to Come.  Her new book, Visitations has been published 2019 by (Hermit Feathers Press). Jenny currently volunteers as animal whisperer and helping hand at Plum Granny Farm. An organic local farm in Stokes County, North Carolina.


Image Credit:  Historic American Buildings Survey, Stanley P. Mixon, Photographer September 11, 1940 EXTERIOR VIEW OF FARMHOUSE & BARN STONE GROUP, SEEN ACROSS MILL POND. – Farm Group & Mill Pond, Cocalico, Lancaster County, PA. The Library of Congress

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