Door County’s Poet Laureate, Barbara Larsen

These winter-themed poems by Door County’s Poet Laureate showcase her talent, as well as the power of poetry.

Final Curtain

Some days sun settles into the bay gently,

spreading her delicate chiffon scarves

over the pale sky and silken water

like the pure melodic line of a Chopin nocturne.

Other times she is Carmen who erupts

out of dark clouds to dance a fiery dance,

tossing her bright skirts with abandon

in the air over churning water.

In the opera of deep winter she is the sorceress Medea

who wins the day’s last battle with the Snow Queen,

sending a river of blood across the Ice Palace courtyard

to bring down the curtain of night.

Originally published in Finding Tongues in Trees, Beach Road Press, 2010



Icicles hang from eaves

backlit by the soaring moon.

Stars shoot flames into the night sky.

I stand in the darkened room,

trace shadow patterns

of crooked-branched plum tree

on the snow just beyond the window,

embrace this moonstruck moment.

O magic night! I want to

throw open the window, step out,

and dance in your floodlit space!

But–the warm bed waits.

I drink a long draft of your moonshine

and carry it in my veins

where it will intoxicate my dreams!

Originally published in All in Good Season, Beach Road Press, 2005


Vivaldi On a Starry Night

Finishing in the kitchen,

I delight in music

coming from the other room.

Violin, cello, sopranos, piano –

the Gloria in rehearsal.

Then I remember.

The mail is in its box.

Outside the woods

stretches up to touch

a crescent moon rising

in the eastern sky.

Two brilliant stars ride outpost.

The sharp clean air

quite takes my breath away

as I walk the country road

singing “Laudamus Te” at top voice.

Dark spirits of the day dissolve.

Light hearted I walk back.

Positive, life-affirming Vivaldi!

Could you have dreamed that

three centuries later

you would fill a woman’s heart with joy

on such a crisp and wintry night as this?

Originally published in Beach Road Year, 1989


Haiku for Dark Months

Whirlwind of dry leaves

rises from the garden

last fling before winter sleep

A gray army of waves

marches across the bay

under the command of General Wind

Sleep comes to growing things

who wait for snow

to lay a blanket over them

How many brush strokes

to dab each twig of the cherry tree?

Winter artist begin!

Originally published in Finding Tongues in Trees, Beach Road Press, 2010