Poets of Autumn

Leaves have fallen;
we rake and burn them.
Smoke signals scent the season

O! How time does go on,
the pendulum never stopping.
No need to grieve for the trees,
they will endure.

Though the air is gathering a chill,
our Isadora scarves
dance in the wind. We live
in the miracle of today.

This moment is irretrievable;
store it in your heart.
Time stops for no one,
but it will pause for your song.

October Mist


, ,

the drumbeat of a madman
courses through quickened blood.
blame it on the full moon,
this loss of logic.

the clock’s verse little matters:
not the mundane strophes of the hours
or the miniscule minutes demanding
something spatial in the midst
of so much mist.

it little matters whether lamps are lit
or stars; the key is memory,
that ancient enemy
of the absolute.



Bagging Groceries

He bags groceries
and dreams of making it big.

A garret in New York,
too small to call a loft,
but after the first book
he’ll buy the whole floor
and call it a penthouse..
an ivory tower
taller than the smokestacks
that he escapes.

But this is a dream
between chapters of inaction.
In truth, his big break
will be a job at the mill,
children that are healthy,
and a wife who does not stray
from the little house with a fence
on a street named after a saint.

A Halting Syntax

all a matter of timing
and the taste of sighs
‘We move in circles and the circles turn’
There is much to learn from a poem
those little intricacies
the sways and bends
that undeniable pleasure
of elaborate syntax
when there is no sin

Wearing Time

The toothless cogs of stilled machines,
Mills rusted shut in eternal closings,
The silenced pens of poets
without dreams:

That void
filled with chaotic schemes that only time
can turn toward their true mirror.

Every venture
is born indentured, a slave
to the pendulum’s swing,

What is that bangle
buckled on your wrist?
You wear it well.

Repeating Itself


, ,

The windows shatter,
Shards of yesterday spill out
like pieces of a puzzle jumbled and mismatched,
Fingers bleed from trying to set the picture straight;
splattered fragments hold visions of tomorrow.

I beg for answers but prophets
avoiding my eyes stroke their scraggly beards
with bony fingers and offer wise toned murmurings,
something about this being a season of paradox.

War wears its doom like a ragged blanket,
Only history knows the story; it must be tired
of the repetition.



In the Eyes of an Egret


, ,

Standing before a ‘natural habitat’
enclosed in wire and glass
with a crowd of people peering in,
I looked deep into unblinking eyes
of an egret with clipped wings
and wondered if this might be
life’s defining moment
for the egret
or for me.

I saw white plumage
meant to fly, stark black eyes
that revealed no secrets.
I wondered what the egret saw
when it looked back at me.
Did it see a creature with clipped wings,
with eyes that told too much?
Did it see me
as the enemy?

The silence between us
was a thread unwinding,
a  second of understanding
brief but unending
when I sensed that each of us saw
in the pupil of the other
a glimpse of two universes

To Touch the Sun

Leaving the haven of dark corners,
stepping timidly from shadows
to travel treacherous paths
in search of sun beyond the tempest,

For this second all is still,
The sky, as yet is undecided,
Dark with frown, it wears a hint of smile.

The mountains, stoic,
have seen such storms before.
The lake, a picture of dichotomy,
Who knows how deep still waters run?

Answers are for those
who brave the journey,
one must walk in light to touch the sun.

A Soft Rain Falls


, ,

(in celebration of poetry)

A whispered rain
drifts down and through me.
On a land that is given to extremes,
flood and drought
and raging conflagration,
this gentle mist is a celebration
that settles softly without clenched fist
or wracking sobs, no armament
or artillery, and yet, eventually
it will change the face of stone.