Tinder leaf mosaic spreads itself in the fall of day
across the deck. A few green locust leaves spackle
the pattern.

It is almost autumn after a summer too quickly
lived. The deck once unblemished as my father swept
away the confusion, now crackles under my step.

Before it was an old man’s complaint of disorder
at each juncture leaving nothing behind but bare
wood. I never understood.

This first summer after his departure, there is
no one to clean away the chaos. His only
child, I am not like him.

Low hanging branches tap me as I cross
their path, a comfort. He always trimmed
them short, out of everyone’s way.

His lawn groomed for a major league outfielder,
mine a home to rabbits. No place for perfect ball
this season.

I was the daughter he raised, but left a woman.
This autumn I release the guilt of missed perfections
and give myself permission to fail.

I allow nature’s foibles to entertain me, delight me
me with its eccentricities, and paint my days
in luscious amusement.




Author’s Note:

My father passed away in January at the age of 94. I didn’t realize until we moved him in with us around twelve years ago that he suffered from OCD. I would come home to kitchen draws perfectly arranged with space between each utensil. He was always sweeping the deck. I didn’t realize it. He must have done it every day because all I ever saw was a spotless deck and could never understood why he complained so.

Now that he is gone, I am finding that I tried to be perfect in everything to please him. I wasn’t, neither was my mom. I realize I can now relax and let go of this need to please him. I miss him dearly, but am finding my new way of looking at myself and the world a gift that only death could bring.

Animus Barbaric

The sun illumined the thread.

A silver shimmer just so,
I brushed it away.

Not alone in its strength could it hold
tension, sorrow. The consternation.

It was what was hidden. Under shadows,
behind branches, a weaving so complete nothing
could break its grasp of the unaware taken by surprise.

One stilt thread interlaced within others,
perfectly patterned, quietly savage.
Its architect patiently meshing and looping
one delicate noose to another.

A handsome work,
barbaric in purpose.

In pause of light, I see it whole.
In stillness, I choose the way.

I unbraid its tie
with my own singularity
conceived in the image of God.



An overnight dusting
on frontier peaks notified
summer to ready itself for
abdication to a new hemisphere.
And still, a fan whirrs its caution,
fall is not yet willing to settle in.

Cicada tymbal and cricket choir
rise behind a prop plane spurring
toward its terminus.

Finally, softness resolves the day
under dowager locust’s lacy arms
gently brushing away irrelevancy.

I absolve myself at this day’s end
without contrition, tomorrow’s worry
dormant as halftone lines and curves
meld into the shadow sky of bedtime.

Jacob’s Axis

God lives here. Trembling, my heart falls
into depths so deep, so dark I fear the possibility

of vacancy. Jacob grappled, wouldn’t give in,
paid the price, a chronicle to keep his

axis. God lives here in me. I will not fall
too far, tumble into waves that wrap

their arms choking out my breath. God lives
here in me when dawn takes down night

and consumes my being with her fire. God
leaves no room for war. The voice of God

whispers and even lame-legged Jacob stays
without a wobble. The edge of hatred melts

in the blistering of where God lives. God lives
here in my stillness, where I stand like Jacob,

wounded and cradled in such precious
hands. I know where God lives.




Author’s Note:

Psalm 46

How To Write A Poem

August has been a whirlwind for me and the publishing of my work. First my own book of poetry, Filters, hit the shelves of Amazon last week.

Now, I am so very happy to announce that my poem “Permission” is included in Tania Runyan’s new book How To Write A Poem: Based on the Billy Collins Poem “Introduction to Poetry.”


I am honored to be included in this second offering from TS Poetry Press and the talented crew at Tweetspeak in their Field Guide series exploring unique and rich methods of reading and writing poetry.

If you are a teacher or simply someone who wants to deepen your craft, this is a worthwhile stop. It is a practical and delightful book that can be adjusted to all ages and experience. I teach first grade and use it in my classroom just as easily as a college professor could find it useful for her class.


Filters, Poems by Lexanne Leonard

It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce the publication of my first book of poetry at Amazon. com.


I discovered my love of writing in 2009 at the Colorado Writing Project. For two weeks teachers of elementary school students gathered to expand our skills in the teaching of writing. What we didn’t know was that we were going to be asked to become writers ourselves. The mornings were filled with research and lesson plans and the sharing of ideas. In the afternoons, we wrote. There I discovered I am a writer.

Fast forward a few years and another milestone in my life came as I stepped away from the Roman Catholic Church and found Fr. Scott Jenkins at A Church of the Holy Family. It is a Catholic, but not Roman, church of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion. The ECC truly welcomes all.

Here I found a love for the arts – poetry, theatre, music, visual. I also found a place that creates space for Passage Meditation and numerous ways to pray and learn to live a Christ-centered life through a Celtic lens.

Soon I was writing and acting in plays, designing liturgy and liturgical space, composing prayers, and most important to my journey, writing lots of poetry. Filters is an encapsulated account of my faith journey.

During this time my monologues were published in two editions of Audition Monologues for Young Women compiled by Gerald Lee Ratliff. My poetry is included in How To Write A Poem by Tania Runyan, published by T.S. Poetry Press. Two of my poems will be seen in Casual next April 2016 in Tweetspeak Poetry‘s e-book for National Poetry Month.

Finally, my Advent devotional commissioned by A Church of the Holy Family will be available on this coming Advent season.

I thank all of my family at Holy Family, as well as my husband, Leroy Leonard, Fr. Scott Jenkins, and Kathleen Gorman for their unwavering faith me. They gave me the encouragement, the hard-ass-stick-to-it-lady-you-can-d0-its, and led me to discover in myself where the Divine resides. I now realize that I actually do have a ministry – sharing the Word though poetry and theatre.

I am deeply grateful for the harvest of this season.



Mother Tree

Mother tree sings, not in Indigo Girls’ descant,
but Her hymn beneath rich loam reaches out
through roots, searches for fungi,
a give and take of carbon and nitrogen,
back and forth, fuels a network to ease one
another’s survival, feeds a diverse union so some
will be left standing when others cease.
A complex union of tree and decay, fertile
earth and music, this is Her root command.

He commanded us to love, not in law above,
commandments to bow down to,
but twined roots holding one another so close
breath unites us into Being, so close
we cannot be parted. And yet, if we
release, push through deep moist earth,
ken to others, share inspiration, reveal
our true selves, we become One.
Love is the root command.