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.

Unconditional

The sun still shines;
Even at a slant it sustains.
It’s true, the buds have burst,
bloomed their best. Now
beauty has faded but underground
there is the promise of return.

Ash and oak  and spreading chestnut,
the maples most exuberant:
They know the drill, know
the disappointment of leafy canopy
stripped bare. They do not quit
nor do they slink away to shadow.

Even the fragile ferns, bent
by the wind, endure to praise the tempest
for the spores it spreads, and the brook,
ever joyful with its song, gurgles
beneath the crusty ice
throughout the season of freeze.

Each October, it looks as if the lilacs
are gone forever; each spring
they bloom again. To everything
there is a season. Whether we believe
or not, they will return. Such is the love
of our Creator.

Ghosts of Old Cathedrals

In the purple haze of nightfall
ghosts of old cathedrals,
souls of chapels long abandoned,
ease into the nave.

A congregation choired by wrens
nesting in the luxury of peace
laced with nature’s select scents
of trees and trillium in bloom.

Pine branches whisper prelude
and recessional in constant litany;
every day is holy here
where moonbeams illuminate eternity.

.

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.