The Sun at a Steeper Slant

“To face the weather and be unable to tell
how much of it was light and how much thought”
quoted from.Wallace Stevens in Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas

The thing about autumn
is when you take away the poetry,
pare it down to its bottom line,

you still have the colored leaves,
the ease of twilight’s peace, the bounty
of a harvest done.

When the air turns chill,
the warm hearth is even more
than crackling fire and cider’s kiln.

Come January,
when the mercury dips,
and bare limbs quiver in the wintry wind

a skyward look
reveals a slanting sun.
As the axis tilts, I feel  language

waxing poetic
as if atoning for the pallid star.
I see Jack Frost’s kiss turn to snow

and it occurs to me:
Autumn is truly lovely
but winter is reality.


“Extracts from Addresses to the Academy of Fine Ideas”
by Wallace Stevens


Surprisingly, the Weather

the weather has nothing to do
with this poem. It was only when
I looked up from my writing that I noticed
the sun coming in the window.

I laid my pen down and reached out
to catch a sunbeam. I saw it, I felt it’s warmth
on my hand, but when I tried to hold it,
it slipped into some other realm.

I ended up with a handful of air
and a warm feeling. On a Monday
in the middle of January,
I am thinking that is more
than enough.


Jan. 10th…Wolf Moon

(forgive me Joyce Kilmer)

I thought that I could surely be
a scribe with wisdom of the trees

if I could use transmogrified
and keep the meter in full stride.

But in my search for helpful muse
my eyes the night sky did peruse

and it was then I chanced to see
amidst tall trees so shadowy

the stark bare branches of an elm
with a full Wolf Moon at the helm,

a work of art with tiny stars
to sparkle back-light from afar.

‘Twas God who made that handsome tree
then stripped it bare so regally.

Exposed and trembling, tempest tossed
no poem is born without a cost.


About  the title:

The Wolf Moon will be truly full at 2:21 p.m. ET on Friday January 10, according to Smack dab in the middle of the afternoon doesn’t exactly offer that brilliant, light-up-the-night shine, however. and viewers on the United States’ East Coast won’t be able to see the moon at that time of day anyway.

Saturday, January 11 is a good viewing option. Moonrise is at 5:53 p.m. on January 11 and moonset is at 8:54 a.m. on Sunday.”


When was the last time you read Trees by Joyce Kilmer?

Severe Weather Report

Judging by the wind
it must be a wicked storm;
shadows dance with trees bending low
to kiss the ground
in deference or defiance
I do not know.

A light flittered by the window,
perhaps a broken star.
The storm might be really mild
where we are and raging
worse above and below.
I do not know.

Five warm days in a row
in January; that is gift
enough. I’ve seen colder days
in April, but now, tonight
there might be blinding snow.
I do not know.