Category Archives: My Books

New! Breaking the Surface, a book of poetry

One of the 24 poems in Breaking the Surface and the Importance of Breathing

I Am the Colorado Sun.

 I am the Colorado sun.

I come up on the flat plain

And fly

Over the most beautiful blue sky

You ever saw.

I change to red

And drop behind Mt. Meeker and long’s Peak

Just for you.


Burn—more sunny days than anywhere;

Makes people smile,

Go outside,

Act proud and cocky—not like Texas though.

Colorado’s special; it’s joy.


I’ve come through for you, haven’t I?

You come, and I shine.

Your new dogs run.

They run in the joy of the grass,

the trees and the squirrels—teasing.

I make Rainbows because they dry your tears.

I call the swallows from your barn.

I say “Fly through the rainbow,”

and you take pictures and laugh

—just as I hoped you would.

And I stop for rain, hard, astonishing rain

—because it makes you stop.

My corn is so high and sweet-scent alfalfa, no soybeans.

Remember, Jim tried to grown soybeans on the old pasture?   Too many weeds.

You and Donald work to beat back the weeds.

You plant seeds: Big Bluestem, Side Oats Grama, and Indian Rice Grass

“I want a medium-grass prairie. I want it to wave in the wind,” you said.

The seeds don’t take, not even trailing, little Buffalo Grass! It’s too dry here.

You work in my sun and become taller and happier than you had ever been.

Colorado and sun.

Hunters, blinds, trucks, gun racks, even holsters, flat prairie,

Furrows, seeders, tractors, harvest, plow to fine dust—a storm, brown air coats everything.

December, January, and February:

I snow on ten-thousand-foot-tall mountains; they glisten.

Snow, spring, snowmelt

to rivers, to creeks, to ditches, to fields, rushing, cordoned off, shares—of water!.

I show you all this that is new, you smile, and your mind breaks free.

“Shares of water, can you imagine that!” you say.

You thank me every day.

By Nancy Haydon Gray, Newark, Delaware, November 21, 2010

Introducing a new and beautifully illustrated book of poetry

Introducing a new book of poetry

Breaking the Surface and the Importance of Breathing, by Nancy Haydon Gray. Published by Peace and Poetry Press, Newark, Delaware, 2013.

In this beautiful, illustrated book of poems and stories, Nancy takes readers through 25 years of her life. It begins as she is newly widowed and writes, “That is the hardest thing: to hold on to my right to my own life each day instead of someone else’s.” She works her way through her husband’s proud and daunting mindset. Then, on her own, she moves to the high plains of Colorado, and does, indeed, breathe deeply, joyously. Her serious themes give way to delight in mother- and childhood, and she leaves readers at the end with a whimsical version of the creation of the earth and a plea that her brilliant friend let her be right at least once. She has built her own feminist theme that runs through her poems. She becomes more and more confident. She ceases to questions so much. And, as her title tells her readers, she truly breaks through the surface of uncertainty and breathes free and confident. She will celebrate her 80th birthday in January, 2015, and plans a big celebration. Nancy is a native of Pennsylvania and now lives in Newark, Delaware. She has lived in Helensburgh, Scotland, and Galway, the Republic of Ireland, and travels to Sydney, Australia, and Boston, Massachusetts, to visit family there. She looks for new ideas everywhere and is working on a children’s storybook and a new book of poems.