More Splendid than Byzantium

No fantasy,
this mossy forest floor,
the decay, the spoor,
the symmetry and artistry
that cushions sole and soul.

The tiny wren
or lowly sparrow, no golden bird
on golden bough.  This song
is real – a trill
that’s born of being.

No drunken merriment
pollutes the air.  No shining
armor here.  All highs
and lows
are measured by the trees.

The breeze a voice
that comforts weary  travelers.
The spirits here are friendly,
complex without complexity.
No artifice in this eternity.

‘Life’ in the Pitch Dark Middle of a Noon Storm

Part highway, part pothole:
part my way? Not necessarily
but that would be nice too.

Every day is not always a poem
but it should be. The failure is ours
if we can’t see it.

“La vie est plus belle que les idèes”
(Life is more beautiful than the ideas.)
My thoughts are as dark as noon.

Nature loves mixed metaphors, but
a poet can’t get away with that.
Maybe it’s true what “he” says:

**The eye sees less than the tongue says,
The tongue says less than the mind thinks.
The poet is the priest of the invisible**

With nothing about life decided,
the storm has passed; the power is back on.
Go figure.

**Random quotes from Stevens’  Adagio

Reconnoitering the Perimeter

have cast their seed
on this rocky spot.

Here, where mankind’s
industry conspired to kill
nature’s beauty,

where concrete slabs
covered irises and bluebells
and toppled

mighty trees, scarring
the face of the land, here
good Earth reclaims her rights.

Rust and stone, unyielding
until a seed borne on a vagrant wind,
and another, and then another one

gathered to make a garden plot,
a paradise created by God’s own hand,
here, in the unlikeliest of places.

The Pines Outside My window

The pines have grown tall;
handsome in their emerald trappings,
their balsam scent pleases the air.

Decades ago when I moved here
they were foot high saplings, shrinking
from the wind.  Tonight they engage in flirtation

when it whispers past them.
In branch tip touch with their neighbor,
they make no demands of each other.

They accept the storm without question.
They accept the sun as a benevolent kiss
from heaven.

Their splendid backs bent or straight,
each day is a celebration.  Engaged in play
or test of will, the pines stand strong.

Their roots are firm.

A Little Bit Country

There are some things you live your whole life
without knowing, some facts that nobody cares
that you lack. Of course, if you’d be a farmer,
you must know  a mule from a horse.

If you are asked to write for Farm Journal
you should be aware that the fruit of the corn
is  a kernel;  chickens gathered to eat said fruit
are rightfully called a flock.

A bullock (or ox, if you choose) has never
been noted for curls. That mentioned, two bullocks
are oxen, single one out,  it’s an ox. Furthermore,
if it’s a cow, it’s always a girl.

A sow  (as in cow) is a hog that’s had babies,
before that she was a pig, and even prior, in a time
somewhat remote, that pig was known as a shoat.
Then as now, in good times and worse,
you can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse.