In Mossy Verdigris

Moss swept roots and leafless limbs,
the mighty tree stands bare
and without shame;
it knows no sin.

Scarred by lightning strikes
and lovers’ hearts, graceful
in the harshest wind, it stands its ground
unflinching.

In younger days I scaled its heights;
we both had greener limbs
back then,  and all those years
I was away

it kept on growing.
Oblivious to encroaching trends,
it resisted blight and storm, surviving
youth with fickle hearts

and even their return. New children
climb upon it now. Their hours of play
will make a poem
when old memories come calling, clad

in mossy verdigris.

Autumn’s Eastern Shore

A sepia daguerreotype;
the flat fields, the stubble left over
from October’s second cutting,
the shocks of corn
like rows of teepees ,

Some see a morning monotone
but my eye
sees a thousand shades and hues,
a palette unmatched
by any mortal hand,

O beautiful bronze of autumn
when you are gone
the year is all but done;
in spring the clover
will bloom again.

The crocus and the daffodil
will decorate new green
but my soul still finds its solace
on the Eastern Shore
in autumn.

Echoes of a Hush

The woods are awash in moonlight;
the only sound a single pine needle
tumbling from limb to limb
in search of ground.

It leaves a murmuring trail
or is that the moon
whispering sweet nuthins?

My back against an oak,
a carpet of leaves
beneath my feet;
stars shine through a gauzy wrap.

Fog mingles with the sound of sparkle
as if it knows such harmony
is another miracle.

Somewhere
back there
in a world beyond the trees

a light shines from the kitchen window,
the refrigerator hums,
the heart beat of a clock
adds cadence to the night.

Swaddled in the familiar, all is one
with the rhythm of the universe.
A collective sigh echoes
‘Peace’.

A Time to Take to the Sky

O! Autumn,
is it your slanting sun
that severs summer
from the vine or is it
our anxiousness for rest
when the harvest is in
and the grapes are making
sweet promises?

Is it the squeak of baby mice,
pink and hairless in the granary,
soon to gorge on kernels plumped
with August sun or is it the hint
of winter tingeing the air
with magic hats and snowmen
that dance?

Whatever it is, pied season
of russet and orange and all
the reds and golds that God
can conceive,  when October
kisses the wind with frost
and geese form great honking vees,
my heart gathers a great hunger
to spread my wings and take to the sky.

The Remembered Scent of Lilacs

The scent of lilacs never fades
even when the leaves give way
to frost’s most lethal bite.

What matters if the foliage
has lost its splendor?
Lilacs are not noted for their shade.

I dare say none have ever bloomed in vain.
For what is life without such simple charm?
Remembered scents

are known to brighten darkest haze.
More than ember, they are the spark
that helps to keep us warm on winter days.