To an Oak

Wind-shook, gnarled tree,
bastion of Earth’s slow breath
and Spring’s sap rising,
you are brave
and I, at best, am brief.
There are no such things
as small deaths. Dreams
die hard; wisdom
is a slow learning.
Having long since flown
the nest, I return at last
to embrace these roots.

Sunrise by the Sea

Where rolling surf laces the sand with foam
and emerald seas sit calm beneath dawn’s sky,
dolphins roam the range from shore to depths
spied only by the blest; or by the wise
who rise and shine with the morning sun.

Beyond the sidewalks, beyond the boardwalk,
far beyond the antlike industry of man,
When Nature talks waves crash, not markets,
The bombing here is done by gulls and terns;
they need no war to make them free.

Stay the hawking vendors from this temple,
a garden paradise fit for the likes of Eve or Guinevere,
Apples here don’t bear the bite of asp,
Where sun and shore share sanctity
the signs are of the seasons, not neon.
Rapt in the peace of the new horizon,
lulled by soft sonatas written in those holy times
when man and elements blend in harmony,
meager mortals
touch eternity.

A Taste of Honey

(with thanks to Herb Alpert for the title)

The language of sweet clover,
of honeysuckle’s nectar,
the bloom of flowers
from the meadow,

Honey surpasses
this dull pen.
It is treasure stashed
in a labyrinth of cells,
Unlike the catacombs

honeycomb is a haven
lush with luxury,
a latticed bliss
of Nature’s gifts.

O! Honey, you are poetry.

Some Things Should Never Be Unlearned

…like how to be still
in a field of crimson clover
so chipmunks will seek the comfort
of your heartbeat, and honeybees
will gladly share a stem with no sting

or how to paint your lips ruby hued
with raspberries big as your thumb
while saving enough to fill the bucket
that takes the makings of a cobbler

When shadows visit earlier
each day, pray memory keeps
a fond recall of summer
even as pied leaves
begin their fall.

Before Sleep

There is much to do before sleep,
more than the miles to go
or the bucket list made just for fun.

There are flowers to tend,
oceans to swim
and projects to bring to fruition.

There are things that need remembering:
guitars and bonfires, full moons as yet unseen
and sunsets that steal the breath away.

There are seasons to attend, prayers
to amend, and truths to consider,
a blending of fact and dream.

A gentling at summer’s end when leaves
begin to fall. They must be raked you know
Before sleep.