A Distant Wind

September sun
bronzes limbs in preparation
for the bareness sure to come,
that time between green
and ermine

when, statuesque,
they stand tall in unforgiving
wind, sentinels that buffer
the storm despite
their shivering.

Do trees
know of Stevens?
Do they have a mind of winter;*
Is that what sustains them?

swirl in unison
with the leaves. Oak and pine,
maple and elm, they watch
their children go. The empty nest

is a universal thing.
Each generation prepares
its children for the leaving
with a sure faith in the return
of spring.

There is no need
to mourn
the falling leaves, no need
to dread the winter cold
nor fear the distant wind.

*from  The Snow Man  by Wallace Stevens


The maple at the end of the lane
has begun to reflect a changing.  Subtle now,
but noticeable, there is a shading toward
a paler green, then a remembering of red
as brilliant as any flame, boisterous but muted
by the tinge of a more mellow maroon.

Calendar pages move at snail’s pace compared
to the turning leaves. Liver spotted yellow wanes
to philomot on the palette of fall. Sepia, demanding
to be seen, adds a vintage tone that mingles well
with the red oak’s russet attire.

Pine and birch and the stately elm, caught
in gossip, rustle as they bend their heads closer
to whisper of whose colors are bolder and who
wears the finest gold.  The stories are old
but not shopworn,

no more so than the nip of wind cavorting
in a madcap dance in step with the swirling leaves .
A matter of days and even the flashiest red
crackles brown in contrast to flamboyant orange
as multitudes of pumpkins delight furrow and field.
Autumn is underway.

Beyond Imagination

What we leave behind
returns to greet us… unplanned,
unsought, unexpectedly.

Ever ancient, ever new,
the universe is a finely tuned
microcosm of miracles

and the human race, all string
and tin cans, is a discordant blip
on its echocardiogram.

Walk softly and carry no stick.
Life is not a fiction.  It is not
a spectator sport either.

Life is an amalgamation of dreams
and deeds that will return to us

to comfort or accuse.
We become the sum of our imagination
guided by the will of a greater God,

of miracles and dreams
and a microcosm yet to be seen.


The Trouble with Technology

It was old but reliable, when you turned it on,
it stayed on.  The green light was glowing, and
the words were flowing.  The mind is an amazing
thing, it kept on working (the mind, not the keyboard )
So many pearls ago, I just kept on typing but it quit
responding, oh woe.

A quick trip to the expo nets a fancy new model
with bells and whistles and a spot for a light.
I jiggle the on/off switch, sigh, and try it again
but alas, darkness reigns.

No, the light doesn’t come on, but you can see
it responds to each keystroke I make. Problem is,
in the ensuing dilemma, the mind has gone blank.
The pearls shrank from the light, the wit quit, and here
I sit with a brand new keyboard that is ready and willing
to reveal my deepest thoughts, and I have none.

Astronomical Anomaly

Ivory, rose, cobalt,
The Northern Lights contest the stars;
The sky, replicating grass and blossoms
as if earth had become too promiscuous
for all except extinction… angels
long since gone to higher ground.

Sons born in Spring
seem stronger. That long season
of flowering no more than metaphor.
Earth also gives up her fruit…
in due time is reunited.
The axis is not fixed in space.

is the third discovered motion,
Dark comes quickest
on the Winter solstice,
Someday we’ll celebrate
converging rays.

September Rising

no modifiers
no metaphors
keep the sun and moon
save the scent of peaches
ripened on the tree
the hum of happy bees
keep the quiet
and the expanse of sky
no   need to venture
no need to weep
at season’s end
just breathe