Poets of Autumn

Leaves have fallen;
we rake and burn them.
Smoke signals scent the season

O! How time does go on,
the pendulum never stopping.
No need to grieve for the trees,
they will endure.

Though the air is gathering a chill,
our Isadora scarves
dance in the wind. We live
in the miracle of today.

This moment is irretrievable;
store it in your heart.
Time stops for no one,
but it will pause for your song.



The First Frost Sweetens

To linger here where time is slow,
To pause in this space just after the first frost
when  everything is sweeter.

To listen to the leaves make madrigals
accompanied by a thrum of wings
ready for migration.

Thinking only of wind and moon
that great gathering has no thought of cold;
they lift their wings and lean into tomorrow.

Guided through the day by sunshine,
they rest in dark of night, blessed
by the benevolence of smaller stars.

The flocks will return come Spring.
Migration is their nature, but I
will linger here  where time is slow.

Bagging Groceries

He bags groceries
and dreams of making it big.

A garret in New York,
too small to call a loft,
but after the first book
he’ll buy the whole floor
and call it a penthouse,

an ivory tower
taller than the smokestacks
that he escapes.

But this is a dream
between chapters of inaction.
In truth, his big break
will be a job at the mill,
children that are healthy,

and a wife who does not stray
from the little house with a fence
on a street named after a saint.


The Poet as Gardener

The page as blank as fallow field
until a seed takes sprout. With bloom
there comes a crop of thorns,
some weeds, maybe an aphid or two,
to mar the petals’ silk,

But look!
The rose stands stately, bright.
Such is the creation that we crave,
Reason enough to prune, and weed.
and graft.

There is joy in the crafting.
The constant tending, even when
flowering is no more than dream.
We’re gardeners all
in quest of the impossible perfection,

The Quiet Paws of Night

My cat has taught me
that the knock of opportunity
is a quiet sound. She wakes me
to an attitude of gratitude
as she peeks in the door and ambles by.

It might have been a dream
or maybe an overdose
of oxygen. It’s as if suddenly
the world has been bombed
with Crayola…

No meager discount box
but the giant sized, special edition
containing all one hundred
and twenty invigorating

I know now
this day can not be painted
without mango tango
and mountain meadow,
wisteria and wild watermelon.

Give me unmellow yellow
so I can paint forsythia.
Don’t leave out the almost bruised
of egg plant so that I can truly sate
the taste for aubergine.

When the painting is done
and twilight creates it’s special purple
mountain’s majesty, may it be true
I’ve taken only memories
and a dream
to see me through tomorrow.