Clement

Sunny days, by noon Promethean –
summer stretches before us
                   disconnected
from clocks.

Calendars
are a faint memory, their pages
rippled by the breeze.

Turn them slowly, Zephyr.
Leave us this time to count the stars,
to taste the fruit, luscious
                    in its fleshy sweetness.

Let us linger in the wonder
of extravagant bloom
                    and resonant wing.

Butterflies, dragonflies,
a hummingbird
                    hovering
at 1200 heartbeats a minute.

                    Intoxicating memories…
guitars and bonfires, the wild rhythms
of resilient Earth,
                    the continuum of generations.

We savor these hours.

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The Children’s Choir

Sun splashes through stained glass,
makes patterns on upturned faces
that  history has not yet scarred.

How proud
this gathering of smiles singing,
this innocence of silver notes ascending.

We glimpse hints of tomorrow in their eyes,
a flash and then a quick laugh. We are not ready
for whatever will be.

They sing unaware of life’s stages;
God bless their unquestioning faith.
Middle C has never sounded sweeter.

Children of War

Let them know a mother’s hands
to comb out the snarls and the burrs,
to pin the bows in long, shining curls,
God bless these children of war.

Let them be poets and dreamers,
let them know peace. Spare them
the cries  of their comrades dying,
Spare them the guns’ mighty roar.

Let them be children for as long as they can,
but never children of war.

Summer Storm

Rain silvers the window,
Indigo and moonlight
swim on the pane.

We need the rain, but
hope the storm
will be a short one.

Clouds gather, frown,
then wistful
slip from the horizon…

The air is fresh and clearing
but memory of the thunder
leaves us fragile.

For Maryland

I am sitting at my ancient desk
gathering wild strawberries into tin buckets.
The memories
are bigger than my thumbs
but the poems
always seem to come out smaller.
I wish you could have tasted the pine trees
whisked about by summer winds.

Past the curtains at my window
I see them sway and bob,
those trees
five hundred miles away; 
I marvel that they’re even sweeter
than they were yesterday.