Lancaster County’s second Poet Laureate Daina Savage works as a freelance journalist for magazines and newspapers in the Mid-Atlantic region, with more than 3,000 published stories. She is a co-founder and co-director of the Spoken Word Festival in Lancaster, Pa., now in its 15th  season. As the director of the Lancaster Poetry Continuum, she organized numerous poetry reading series in Lancaster museums, bookstores, and coffeeshops. She is the co-founder of the Lancaster County Young Writers Workshop. Her poetry has been published in numerous regional journals, and garnered many writing awards, including a nomination for a Pushcart Prize. Her collection, “Traces,” was published by I. Giraffe Press in 2013. She has been a featured reader in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Lancaster events.


The Angel Gabriel

You strode across the desert,

the red clay slipped from your soles,

fell away from your fingers as you

scooped up the soil in great handfuls.

You brought the taste of ground

to your lips, kissed the hot earth.

The sky was a circle above you,

stars clean and bright and pure.

You placed your body inside each

one of them, for a moment,

feeling the contours, the space

each occupied in this universe.

You remembered what heaven

felt like. You. Dressed in white,

the rich brownness of your skin

shining through.

When Haying is Over

There must be some way

to see god, somehow in climbing

an apple tree in October, when the fruit

is gone and the branches are reaching

to heaven, there must be an answer,

his arms must be there, or

when haying is over, the wagons

swept and sprayed down,

the barn full of the rich

smells of hay slowly molding,

and the fresh coat of creosote shining

from the wagons, burning eyes,

nose, throat, stinging all senses

into a high-toned perception – somewhere

in the perfect mirrored blackness

of the creosote barrel is his face, is the place

where all the answers lie.

Used by Permission of Daina Savage. Copyright 2010.

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