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.

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.

Poets of Autumn

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

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.

A Great Anticipation

A page turns;
the duration of daylight
becomes noticeably shorter
and the temperature drops.

Equinox or calendar,
the cause little matters.
Blood quickens,
geese flock.

Apples take on a sweeter crisp;
a tang of frost gilds the hills.
Gathering is done;
the river runs swiftly.

Pumpkins grow round
on the vine. Soon they will move
to the stoop, wearing grins
or grimaces.

God is in His heaven,
Mom’s in her kitchen.
The air is rich
with a promise of pies.

Easing into October

Evening is serenaded
by the seventeen year symphony
even though it’s only been ten years
since the cicada’s last song.

Caught in the rain of changing seasons,
gentle and misty with the possibility of storm,
night wears a gauzy moon
and a hint of clearing.

The smokestacks along the muddy Ohio
will never be mistaken for the Eiffel Tower
but Weirton in autumn holds all the magic
of Paris in spring,

There is a promising, an anticipation
that swizzles the air with excitement,
It quickens the blood and stirs the soul
with gratitude.

Storm or sun,
tomorrow is beckoning.

Between Seasons

On a day so light
the glint of a goldfinch
almost (but not quite) blends
with the sun,

flashes of spun gold
spark  as the wee bird darts
to and fro on his mission
of mercy,

or industry,
without ever stopping
to smell the roses, a creature
caught

between seasons,
transient as the leaves
just beginning to turn,
giving up their green

for yellow
and gold, and red-orange.
Debutantes all with no thought
of tomorrow,

they enter the gala
singing  the songs of summer
as they drift
into fall.

One Last Look

Oh sweet mosquito song of summer,
thrum of wings and splash of fish,
the praying mantis on a green leaf
almost hides itself in piousness.

Nothing is colorless, even the air
wears tiny prisms of delight and sweet perfume
of gardens, bursting pea pods and pine scented
thyme, flowers blooming everywhere,
too exuberant to contain.

Summer…
a time when children increase a grade,
but shoes and clothes can’t keep up
with the growth spurt, cut offs
at the mill pond,

Shirt drying on a shady shrub
and twilight,
O! blessed breeze
that dries the sweat and tears,
the comfort

of grandma’s squeaking porch swing.
Three generations of flaking paint
and still, no update
has replaced it.

Leaves are writing poems
of the coming fall, dreaming colors
heretofore unseen,
as poets ply their pens
to season’s end.