Emerging Views poems by Marye Gail Harrison

picture of Marye Harrison
Photo by Jodi Morrissey  

Emerging Views, Marye Gail Harrison’s newest book,combines her poetry and painting. It ranges from images and verse inspired by the Hubble Telescope to those arising from intimate moments and the beauty of nature. Barbara Bennett writes that “Emerging Views conveys the Oneness of experience, from newborn babies to star systems. Compelling, organic, intimate. What a delightful read!" Beverly Spence adds this: “Harrison's words and paintings invite the reader to look down to the flowers and up to the stars. When you come back to your own life, you bless the ordinary and extraordinary wonders of the universe we share.” And this from Jeffrey Dugan: “Marye Gail Harrison deftly weaves art and science, letting her poetry and paintings give voice to her passion for cosmology, and letting that science inspire her art."  Always the voice of the poems in this remarkable book is that of a philosopher, a seer.
  Emerging Views cover image
  Cover painting by the author

Marye Gail Harrison describes herself a person who caught a lot of breaks in life. Her parents made many sacrifices to offer her opportunities they never knew. She was raised in Baltimore instead of in the small farming town in Tennessee where she was born. Mentored by exceptional teachers in Catonsville, MD, she went on to get a BA in American Literature at Brown University and an MA in Organizational Behavior at the University of Hartford. None of that foretold her passions for poetry, flowers, cosmology, sketching and painting that would evolve after her early retirement from a financial services career. Yet in 2012 when Antrim House published her first book of “poems and illuminations,” Full Face to the Light, those interests became clear. As poet Mary Oliver advises, Marye Gail began to pay more attention to both the cosmic news of our universe and everyday events and feelings she experienced. She shifted from sketching from life to painting images from the Hubble Space telescope, and she used that cosmic imagery in her poems. During the Covid-19 pandemic, in an artist support group, she identified her desire to publish what she called a “cosmic” book of paintings and poetry, which would begin by recognizing that we are a part of the whole universe, emerging into daily life and finally continuing into the particulars of the pandemic shutdown. As she selected paintings to complement the poetic journey from macro to micro views, she coincidently created a short art retrospective, starting with one of her first paintings from a photo of her father in 1989 and ending with a bouquet of her summer flowers that she painted from life in 2021. Marye Gail, now 80, lives independently at Seabury Life Community in Bloomfield, CT which cultivates all forms of creativity for residents’ enjoyment. She has a family of three married children and three grandchildren. The youngest grandchild, seven years old, is already exploring the moon, stars and earth.

Click here for selections from the book.
Click here to read reviews and learn about upcoming events.


ISBN 978-1-943826-89-6
First Edition, 2021
112 pages

Copies of this bookcan be ordered
from all bookstores including Amazon
and directly from the author:
Marye Gail Harrison
400 Seabury Dr., # 4178
Bloomfield, CT 06002.
Please send $25.00 per book
plus $4.00 shipping in CT
and $6.00 beyond CT
by check payable to Marye Gail Harrison.


Sample Poems
copyright © 2021 by Marye Gail Harrison





At 4:30 a.m. a seventy-year-old woman parks
her car down the dark dirt road
near a meadow.                                                  
She sets up a beach recliner,
grabs a woolen blanket,
wraps her battery lantern in a red bandana
to protect her night vision.
Her thermos of coffee by her side,
she waits in quiet for shooting stars                             
from the Perseids Meteor Shower.
She’s still there
when birds awake to eastern blush.

I am that woman who loves watching stars,
who writes and paints
to share my awe and wonder.

Join me.




We look in wonder and amazement
at the distant mountains as they arise before us,
or rounding a turn see the rushing waterfall
or watch a newborn baby’s hand grasp a mother’s finger.

What in us sees and feels “beauty”?
What purpose has it served for us to do so?
We understand that our larger frontal brain
combined with opposing thumb
would make us problem solvers, tool makers,
that these would benefit us and our kin. 
But how did joy in beauty fit with such practical skills?
Did what was elegantly made work better?
Who first wanted beads to wear around their necks?
And who first swapped a well-made arrow head
for a necklace of teeth and shells?
Did first humans find relief when their bodies
flooded with gentler hormones
of desire and appreciation?
Did beauty lead us to asking “how” and finding new ways?

I have heard that some crows
weave shiny objects into their nests.




Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder
how all those who do not write, compose or paint
can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia,
the panic fear which is inherent in the human
situation.    – Graham Greene quoted in “Heron
Dance” on February 21, 2012


I woke up too early,
put on my robe and made herbal tea.
I typed and typed
in grumpy detail.
But something made me pause
before hitting Send.
“Wait. Sleep on it,” I thought.
Then from my window in the east I saw
pale peach dawn rise above
low layers of dark clouds
and darker still woods and meadow.
Higher up in deeper blue of night sky
was crescent Moon smiling at me
both “Good night” and “Good morning.”
I smiled back and hit Save.
Went back to sleep easily.




At first in early March
the New England farm
still looked like winter –
trees were bare and fields
were matted down, dull brown.
But in the barn two-day-old pink piglets
snuggled on top of one another under a heat lamp
with momma’s snout close by, warming too.
In the shed two newborn lambs,
still wet with afterbirth, sat still,
their mother carefully cleaning them.
Other mothers visiting
hoisted their babes-in-arms higher on their hips
while reaching back to take a toddler’s hand,
showing babies to babies.
In crisp air, dusky wood smoke swirled,
mimicking rising maple sap now boiling
into syrupy treats in the sugar shack.
A richly feathered rooster strutted slowly past,
back and forth, busy pecking hens.

At home that evening it still looked like winter.
Jupiter chasing Venus overhead in a close race
cheered by passionate peepers in the wetlands
told me spring was on track.



We had ferried from Galway to the Aran Islands,
where for centuries Irish Celtic Christians
retreated to the edge of their world to renew.
My roommate, young enough to be my daughter,
and I were assigned a room in the former attic
of the small harbor inn on Inishmore.
There was a large window that opened inward like a door
reaching almost to the floor.
We could step out onto the roof below.
At dusk we promptly did so.
A quiet harbor before us lay,
with busy Galway across the bay.
Slowly peddling his bike down the road,
a man led his horse trotting behind.
At bed time I waited for dark to see stars.
The Big Dipper poured sparkling familiarity.
Just like home.
I couldn’t go to sleep so finally remade my bed
with the foot for my head
so on my side I could still look out.
In the morning, I was awakened
by my guitar-playing roomie, looking angelic
after her bath, wrapped head and body
in white towels, singing,
“Mother, Mary, come to me . . .”



Sometimes when the sun is pouring in my window,
I just want to sit in the sun.
I don’t want to do anything else –
not prepare my taxes, pay my bills,
clean off my desk,
straighten up from last night,
make lists, shop,
organize my photos,
visit a friend,
wash the clothes and dishes –
not weed the garden,
water my plants,
write the governor
or even call my kids.

Sometimes when the sun is pouring in my window
I’d like to think
I have a responsibility to bask in it,
to absorb the gift of light and warmth,
to hold the pleasure on behalf of humanity –
to think sitting in the sun pouring in my window
is useful,




Kindness goes slowly
as when a mother doesn’t say “Hurry up”

to the preschooler squatting to look
at the ants in the crack
on the walk back home
before supper.

Kindness goes slowly
as when fathers talk late
to daughters home from college
finishing up the evening
snacking together at the kitchen sink.

Kindness goes slowly
as when an aunt carefully reads
the letters from her motherless niece
and writes a weekly reply.

Kindness goes slowly
as when 90-year-old Granny
fries oysters for eight on Christmas Eve
one more time.

Kindness goes slowly
as when a friend listens a long time
without giving advice,
reaching over, instead, to take my hand.

Kindness goes slowly
as when I stretch my body
in exercise class
and hold it until the tightness eases.

Kindness goes slowly
as when I help my husband button
after the stroke, fuss over his hair,
clean his glasses and drive him
where he wants to go.

Kindness like chocolate is sweetest
savored slowly.



I hugged a large tree today.
It was surprisingly satisfying.
Though it was rough and hard to grasping hands,
I reached around in tender greeting.
Harsh and scratchy against my cheek,
it called to mind prickly beards on men I’ve loved.
I held on tight,
my belly and breasts pressing close and long,
until my breath released.



Come September my friend will be
a first time grandma.
She just bought a tent
to travel up the coast
to see her son and grandchild
when the time comes.
She’s too old to risk
Covid travel by train or plane.
She’s not staying in motels
nor can she drive nonstop for 14 hours.
So she bought a tent.
“I have a blow-up mattress,”
she explained, “and a sleeping bag.”