Moonlight on Snow

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

The clock’s verse little matters:
not the mundane strophes of the hours
nor 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.

If the World Were Upside Down

What if the sun’s purpose
were fire, not light, a smile
façade to cloak a snarl,
a perverse boiling of the universe
its dream?

What if the moon
were just a round faced idiot,
a crater where the brain
would be supposed, the stars
mere coincidence of sparks
from flinty opposition
in the heavens?

What if birds’ songs
were mechanical aspirations,
air dragged across the rough terrain
of tongues that twisted
brittle with harsh phrases?

What if rabbits only twitched
their darling noses because
they thought the world
smelled rank? Suppose
that squirrels were just rats
with fuzzy tails and the rose
had no purpose but the thorn.

If all grapes were sour, their
nectar acid on the palate
and hearts were stone
from ventricle to aorta,

would the rain still whittle
minds to melancholy
and the west wind set souls free?
Would our hardened hearts
be fit for eternity?

 

At the Ending of the Day

In the purple deckled shadows of November’s gauzy haze,
when light turns pima cotton at the ending of the day,
memories from 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,
and sometimes that is all it takes to make them fall to thievery.

Even after darkest hours 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.

By the Winter Sea

Silence
echoes the absence of summer;
no cricket,
no insect hums,

just the song of the winter sea
venting uninhibited
by thrum of wings
or splish-splash of fish.

A crescent moon
nestled atop the hill
speaks the color of clouds
in tongues

of dun sand
and the gloomy red
of a sun
gone down;

a somber scene
but for the shifting dunes
and the ever whispering song
of the sea and the wind.