Seasons Cycle Ever Onward

Sweet summer sun,
you cause the flowers to bloom;
the grass to green, the trees
to flaunt their splendid form.

Then autumn comes; the air
takes a temperate turn. The vines
go brown; leaves wear brighter hues.
The harvest is in.

O’ joyful reaping,
the journey has been long.
At last the labor’s done. Winter
is upon us.

Even as the days grow short,
we turn our face from darkness,
The seasons cycle ever on;
we celebrate this time of rest.

Winter is a temporary thing.
The pond will thaw, the ground
will warm.  Spring is waiting
in the wings.

Every bud that ever bloomed
will bloom again.


A Daisy a Day

At a little café
on a side street of the Pittsburgh Strip

Sidewalk tables,
wrought iron chairs sprayed white
with curlicues to match,

The houses, old but proud,
wore wrought iron railing on balconies
that sported red geraniums in terracotta pots,

You bought me daisies.

We sipped lattes
and pretended it was Paris
in April.  A rainbow slicked puddle
was the Seine

— until a taxi splashed by
and stained my dress with runoff
from Alcoa.

Sometimes reality lacks respect for dreams.

Gathering Firewood

The crackle of green pine flames
with hearts rising toward the exit flue,
too wet behind the ears for substantial fire.

From the stack beneath the tarp
last year’s seasoned cord*,
the savored hard woods
gleaned from past storms’ fellings.

Oak, Walnut, Cherry: no easy task
the wielding of the axe; its sharp blade
a survivor of many handles.

A raging blaze will burn
with such intensity
it consumes itself, and after such a frenzy
naught is left but ash.

It is then one must rely on stauncher fuel
gathered in quiet times;
a labor that sustains the certainty

this gentle flame will keep us warm
when winter is upon us.

*A cord is the amount of wood that, when “ranked and well stowed” (arranged so pieces are aligned, parallel, touching and compact), occupies a volume of 128 cubic feet (3.62 m). It got it’s name because a string or cord was used to measure it.


Perplexing Questions

If pro is opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?

Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?

If 7-11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

If nothing ever sticks to Teflon, how do you make Teflon stick to the pan?

Why is it when you transport something by car it’s called a shipment,
but when you transport something by ship it’s called cargo?

If a cow laughed really hard, would milk come out her nose?

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream?

Does a fish get cramps after eating?

Why are there interstate highways in Hawaii?

Why do ‘tug’ boats push their barges?

If a man is talking in the forest, and no woman is there to hear him, is he still wrong?

(I found these questions in a file dated 1981.  Not sure who thought of them, but hats off!)



Allusions to Frost

One of my great sorrows
is that Milton was born before I was.
I could have written brilliantly
about the ‘infinite abyss’,
if he
hadn’t done it before me.

Ginsberg, I don’t mind so much.
His reference differed from my experience;
even his desolation was personal.
That signature made his writing great.
Still, I must admit, ‘The alchemy
of elipse’ would have escaped me.

If I’d preceded Dickinson,
I might have dreamt the lines
she penned on pain, but I doubt
my mind would have apprehended
the elegance of ‘those little anodynes
that deaden suffering’.

It little matters when Frost was born.
He was one of a kind. His lines
would work only for him…more’s the shame.
To Stevens, I would say, It’s not just
‘the mind of winter’
that has regard for Frost.

On reading, ‘through the thin frost
that gathers on the pane in empty rooms’
I pause and sigh,
mourning briefly
that ‘only God can make a tree’.
Robert Frost, you were an oak.

Allusions were made to the following poems:

Paradise Lost Book II…’infinite abyss’…Milton
Howl…’alchemy of ellipse’…Ginsberg
The Heart Asks Pleasure First..’those little anodynes of suffering’…Dickinson
The Snow Man…’one must a mind of winter to regard the frost’…Stevens
An Old Man’s Winter Night…”‘through the thin frost… that gathers on the pane in empty rooms’ …Frost
Trees…’only God can make a tree’…Kilmer



At the Ending of the Day

In the lavender tinged shadows of October’s gauzy haze,
when the light is softly slipping at the ending of the day,
memories from the long ago have a sure and gentle way
to stoke a dying ember into a steady glowing ray.

The seasons past, as now recalled, know little of regret,
for though the footsteps faltered, the path was surely set
by a strong and mighty hand and a thorn-strung coronet
that forgave our every stumble without counting up the debt.

Oh sure, it is the twilight that invites such reverie,
for we too often weave our dreams with a fragile stitchery,
Sometimes the breeze is all it takes to come and set them free,
Sometimes that’s all it takes to make them fall to thievery.

Even after darkest times when unsure steps would stray,
there is a peace that brings us rest as shadows softly play,
This precious time, like whispered rhyme that doubts do not betray,
is the treasure that we garner at the ending of the day.

Shadows at Twilight

a far away look blends

yesterday and tomorrow


in the haze of day’s ending

we see without seeing

we know without knowing

and there in the shadows

we are without being


This poem was inspired by a painting on Doodlewash.

Doodlewash is a go to site for me.  Both the paintings and the writing
set my muse to dancing.  In fact, in this instance it was the title of the
painting that most inspired.  “Shadows in Mulled Wine”  Now there is a line
that would launch a thousand poems.  Since my conscience would not
allow me to borrow the title verbatim,  I let it lead me and it led me to
the title of this poem  “Shadows at Twilight”, which in turn led my pen
to spill the words of this poem.