To Bryant’s Fountain

“…shall the veins that feed thy constant stream  be choked in middle earth, and flow no more forever, that the water-plants along thy channel perish, and the bird in vain alight to drink?”  (from The Fountain by William Cullen Bryant)

What feelings has a fountain stilled
by overgrowth of moss and twigs?
Your silenced waters trod to dust
by the endless marching years.

The twisting thicket pushes hard
against your stony face; leafy
lances penetrate your walls. Wrens
pass without a pause to rest.

What history lies sleeping, deep
within your heart…unreachable
through the thorns and tangled ivy?
What native brave slaked his thirst

with your elixir, ere it turned
red with conquered’s blood or stain
of  autumn rust? But you, storm splashed
soon washed crystal clear again.

For years wheat fields stood by your side
and children tossed their pennies in
to make a wish come true, ruddy cheeks
glistening with sun and youth.

Then, when the farmer’s time was done,
the sportsman hunted and wandered
through September’s noon, but even
hunters hang up their muskets.

The brave surrendered native land;
the child has grown into a man
and all the men have been called home.
Now you alone remain here.

We pass by and pause to wonder
what dreams hide in a fountain’s heart
when the water has departed
and the ancient tears have dried.

All Things Wild and Wonderful

Today’s breeze is the breath of a warm sun,
Even the mountains wear mica sparked diamonds,
The mind escapes the confines of the cranium,
surmounts all barriers, tops the tall trees
in its freedom.

Everything is new since this morning’s first light;
this is no time for paper roses or wings of wax.
This is a time for flight of fancy to find the innocent
chicanery that keeps us ever young
in spirit.

This is the time to stretch
to touch the sky, to sift warm soil
between the fingers of an ungloved hand,
to smell the sweet perfume of pine
and balsam

and the salty air of the sea.
Neither clock nor calendar has any say
when heaven awakens day with morning’s smile
and all things are wild with the sound
of the sparrow’s song.

Welcoming the Equinox

Alight, sweet Spring and warm the stone cold fields,
Touch these barren limbs with your sable brush,
Set free the butterflies that winter sealed
in dark cocoons that wait your fevered blush.

Send greening vines to sweep up to the door
like guests kept waiting too long in the cold
of tides that ebbed while waiting for the shore,
direction bent and faith fast growing old.

Turn loose a lemon moon to light the sky
in brotherhood with the constellations.
Don’t timid come nor make your presence shy
but boldly paint the canvas of creation.

Once ice-bound voices sing their song again,
now tendered with the gentle touch of Spring.

Take TV, for instance


I celebrate the little things that turned Velcro
into cement,  the bonding more permanent
because they existed.

Take TV, for instance, I am reminded
of times when screens were rounded,
the cabinet,  fine furniture,   the center
of attention

in a room that gathered the family
with shared laughter or the dimension
of drama, all heightened by eyes meeting
in a mutual reaction

or eyebrows raised in the shape
of “what do you think” when Jeannie,
baring her midriff, winked and giggled
her way into the psyche of times changing.

Dark indeed, those  days of no remote
when one had to walk all the way to the TV
to change the channel to one of the three

or, if you had beta cable, ten or twelve to choose
from for the outrageous price of nine-ninety nine.
Paying to watch your own TV.  Who could have known
where it would end?

Except, of course, that we are creatures
of need, blindly following the Joneses
in the lusty longing for more, and I ask you,
When was the last time

the whole family sat down
together, as the scent of popcorn
wafted through the room?

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