Soul Music

A man on a downtown street,
sunglasses and an empty cup…
it’s warmer there by the grate;
steam rises religiously
as the pious avert their eyes.

The cynic wonders if the glasses
hide blindness or hunger.
One never knows and will not
get a look into those windows
of his soul

but when he lifts the horn
to his lips, notes rise
from deep inside. No sunglasses
can mute the truths
they tell.

Savoring the Song

More song than sight,
the birds when trees are leafy green,
Hidden and yet
I recognize each one of them,

The air has begun to remember Fall,
a ritual this progression of the seasons,
Not until the colors fade
and every leaf has made its leap of faith
will the birds reveal their hidden nests,

Then, all too soon,
they will be gone ’til Spring,
all but the sparrow and the wren
that grace my sill with song
through all the seasons.

Early Morning Light

In the pale light of early morning
when grass still wears the sparkling dew,
dawn’s sun peeks shyly over the mountain,
waves goodbye to the passing moon,
Their paths are set, there’s no conundrum.

In the meadow wee things are stirring,
Beside the stream a rising mist
wakes frogs and insects on the wing,
This biosphere a wondrous thing,

As new light  filters through the  curtains
 Mr. Coffee whistles twice, The brew is done;
ah, the joys of this life. In the oven rolls are rising,
spreading scent of cinnamon wafting
through the kitchen. Day has begun.

The paths before us left and right
demand a choice with each turn,
and when with thought the way’s determined,
pray let our footsteps be sure and firm.

For Helen Gurley Brown

He said,
Gruntle is a word you know
and she said
Yes, I do

then she pencilled in ‘pending’
hoping it would grow into the ‘de’
but there was the vacuuming
and meetings, so many of them.

First thing you know
the kids were graduating
and one day
while reading Cosmopolitan

she thought about gruntled again
added the ‘dis’
left her coffee unfinished
and packed an over-nighter

then another
just enough
for the journey
to herself.

Helen Gurley Brown, past editor of Cosmopolitan,
departed this earth on August 13, 2012.

The Moon and Dawn in Passing Nod

In the peace of contemplation
when night is comfortably astir,
the moon sneaks in my window
leaving streaks of silver
in my hair.

A multitude of memories
untouched by time’s extent
rise and swirl around me
like a candle’s drifting scent.

Shadows on the wall
sway to their own symphony,
drifting safely towards oblivion
as the pyrite moon is fading
into new morning light.

Sun at Steeper Slant

    “To face the weather and be unable to tell
    how much of it was light and how much thought”

    Wallace Stevens in Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas


The thing about autumn
is when you take away the poetry,
pare it down to bare reality,
you still have the colored leaves,
the harvest’s ease, the bounty
promised by a blissful spring.

When the air turns chill,
the warm hearth is even more
than crackling fire and cider’s kiln.
I feel the poetry creeping in
like Jack Frost with his wily smile
and it occurs to me

that autumn is more than poetry,
more than reality.

The Drought

The umbrella lay dry rotting
as flowers on drooping stems
struggled to last their season,
It wasn’t autumn frost
that browned the leaves..
No rain for days, then weeks,
cracked the riverbed
and left it drained and wrinkled
as if some Golithian monster
had inserted hollow tongue
and sucked the lifeblood
from its veins.
Even the farmers’
eyes ran dry
as their dreams curled up
like withered corn
and died.