The Orionids


With  a crisp sky
and  temperatures dropping
there was a prediction of thirty an hour
streaking through the air
as if on a mission, flashing revelations
in brilliant shades.

The moon turned in early,
jealous of the competition, or
maybe just taking a night of R & R,
really not much opportunity
for a lunar vacation
so who can blame him?

It was a show to be unmatched
the astronomy buffs said and so
I opened the shed, rummaging
through web and dust to find
the aluminum lawn chair; the same one
that waited in the rain to see the Perseids
that never showed.

That should have been a warning,
an ominous omen, but I’m an optimist
famous for believing
in what I want to happen, and so
I sat, skin freezing to the aluminum,
head locked in a most unnatural position,
eyes tilted skyward.

The heavens as clear as a calm lake,
the air a harbinger of Hell froze over
as in forty minutes just two tired stars
fell from the horizon. Apparently
mourning their own demise
they were neither fast nor dazzling.

Considering my lack of success
with skywatching, and the frightful state
of the economy, I’m seriously considering
resignation from the local astronomers’ club
but I guess I’ll wait, at least until December.
They say the Geminids
are going to be super this year.

Random Musings on an October Evening

In the obscure voice
of wind turned breeze
limbs brush in finger-tip touch
as trees turn to thoughts
of winter.

Jack Frost air
invites twilight to make
an earlier arrival
to paint in shades of reverie,

I sit with memories
on an old porch swing
and listen to the absence
of crickets. Autumn
tinges earth with trust

and the joy
of a harvest in.
The work is done;
time now
for celebration.

A House Near Luccoli© by Diane M. Denton is available at Amazon in Paperback and Kindle Edition, and at Barnes and Noble as a NOOK Book.

Most of you will know Diane as Bardessdmdenton. She is a talented artist, poet, and novelist. While waiting for her novel to arrive, I have been reading excerpts and I wanted to share one with you. Her name on it is enough to make me know it will be an excellent read, but if anyone does not know her work (visit her blog at ) here is an excerpt from the novel to whet your appetite for more.

Excerpt from A House Near Luccoli by Diane M. Denton:

In the middle of the night Donatella rose to a dare and the third floor, bare steps as uncertain as candlelight on an unknown artist’s commission of cherubs and festooned fruits and flowers in muted greens, grays, and sienna. The floor of the apartment didn’t keep her entry quiet but it seemed only her carefulness was disturbed. The trestle table was set up in the salon, too close to the fireplace with its escalloped oak mantle and triangular copper hood illustrating Vulcan and Venus. Windows on both sides were almost hidden by red curtains with gold scrolling around the Garibaldi coat of arms, the moon somehow casting light on the secrecy of her endeavor. She unpacked Signor Stradella’s clothes, carrying the pieces one at a time or in piles to the bedroom and shelves of the wardrobe that threatened to be too small. He has more of what’s necessary and unnecessary than a woman, a much indulged woman. She opened another trunk holding the rewards of beautiful music, smiles and connivances, too, doubtful he carried the family heirlooms while by invitation or escape running around and hiding. Whatever explained the collection, he was aristocratic in everything but bedding and especially fortunate in moveable assets, even indifferent about some of them with silver candlesticks and snuffers, trays, bowls, spoons, toothpicks, and boxes as tarnished as his reputation.
Silver wasn’t unusual in a city where even the lowest had the chore of it in their homes, while gold wasn’t to be seen in any ordinary way, and she supposed he took pride in what he had of it, from buttons and medals to a locked tobacco caddy studded with diamonds.
She sensed some fraud, too, and quickly deposited a reliquary with the scapular in the chest at the foot of the bed. Otherwise she arranged with an eye for practical and creative importance, or just not knowing where else to put things without cluttering incidental surfaces and the narrow mantle. A candelabrum belonged on the trestle table as did a bookstand and bundle of folders with ribbons untied for a chance of revelation, placed next to a decorated writing slope for composing more than little notes to honorable ladies.
Three lutes huddled against the emptiness of a corner, stepsisters born separately of rosewood, maple, and ebony, sharing an inheritance of long necks, head backs, full bodies with rosettes like intricately set jewels on their breasts. Theirs was harmonious rivalry, recalling a master’s touch and understanding. On the settee a leather case contained a violin resembling a dead man on the red velvet of his coffin, not mourned but celebrated by nymphs dancing through vines on the friese high around the room.

Occupation: derived from Occupy

knowing you couldn’t go far
on a plastic horse
you learned to dream early.
We never doubted
that you would be fruitful.
Burned grapes turn into raisins,
Langston knew about explosions.
The past has a way
of dragging the future
to it. 

 Two separate headlines inspired this poem:

Dan Carlson, Shell’s general manager of new business development,
said that the company signed a land option agreement for fracking
with Horsehead Corp. to evaluate a site near Monaca, about 35 miles
northwest of Pittsburgh.

and in a second, unrelated headline:
Protestors gather to celebrate One Year of Occupy Pittsburgh

May We Be as Sparrows

This life of changing trees,
the seasons passing
faster than I care to count;
the moments golden
even in the slanted sun.

You speak of aging;
my bones listen and groan
but, oh, this sparkling autumn,
it claims the senses,
soothes with gentle hands

as the days grow shorter.
The stars that light the far off void
shimmer with a drunken splendor.
Great planet of the oaks and aspens
you cherish us

even though we do you harm.
It is as if you understand
the ways of puerile humans
and struggle to forgive
our transgressions against you.

I would say that we are sparrows
with nothing but faith to sustain  us
but then I see a sparrow, feathers fluffed
against the storm. 
There is much to learn.


Summer’s broods are feathered now;
the roses are frozen.  Frost etched,
they stand prominent, immune to change.
They will remain so, held up by sheer will
until snow blankets them
into blissful oblivion.

The calendar does not mark the end of time.
Reality is limited by our senses, but core
and mantle, star and black hole —
they do not rely on our perception. Beware
false disasters.  When autumn tinges earth
with gold

it is easy to believe our limitations.
We might chop the tree and burn the wood
and leave the forest gaunt with our destruction
but, when our bones have bleached in sun
for days unnumbered by the best imaginations,
new forms

with greater eptitude will rise up
from the ashes.  The rock endures,
the sky is unbroken.  New springs
will bring new hatchings.  The eggs will pip,
the chicks will break free. Summer’s broods
will feather.

Pray that we awaken from this edge of sleep,
from this darkness of unknowing.
May we be as stone in stormy weather.
Let time take care of Time. This is our day.
May we rise from it



for Malala

Malala Yousafzai, 14, a symbol of defiance and an advocate for the education of girls in Pakistan’s Swat Valley, was shot in the head and neck on Tuesday, 10/10/12, by masked Taliban gunmen.


Think carefully
before you willingly give up a right
that was won by someone
who had the courage to stand up
and say
This is wrong