The rocks mark the ground
between prospering weeds enriched
by the warmth of a sun surging overhead,
encircling those of us interred
on a planet whose
percussive heartbeat rocks me to sleep.
I sense the presence of wildflowers,
of ants scurrying together in the dirt,
of life — too bountiful to count or name —
thriving in the darkness or
at least out of sight —
I dare not note a difference in perspective.
Photos remain after we pass on
a gentle breeze that thoughtlessly turns
blacks to sepia, discoloring too many memories
otherwise cruelly lost
even though the sun shines tomorrow.
read more Discolored past
As I leap into middle age
I wonder if the greatest adventure
is merely to breathe
(snow meets altruistic land)
In a world spinning its wheels,
(frigid morning scrubs icy)
the eager sound can’t whine for change,
stale taste of winter
(skin burning with the chill)
The calendar will jump to Spring
(teeth rattle loose)
anticipation blooming every dewy night
I snore away
(gray hair wind-blown)
read more Chill
The tree stretches like a snowflake,
a white quilt whispering winter along
evergreen branches, lulling day
to sleep while cold quiet announces
the end of another year.
The tree earns another ring, thankful
for moderation in all things living
and dead. Moments of profound insight
from regular cycles leave a peaceful chill
in the air, holding me close, shivering
in the still afternoon sun.
In the end we still look to what comes
next, hushed faces in the setting sun
bracing against the cold, aware
somehow the light will return.
read more A tree in winter
What does one say to a sky
glowing in scarlet brilliance
at this early hour, blinking sleep
casting long shadows over dreams
half remembered, if all?
These vermilion pigments dance
among clouds, warming to the idea
of another day and whatever
unwraps the blues of normalcy,
I’ll not let this complexion slip
to ordinary, even as trees
envelop us in shade, days creep
shorter, and shadows — those
dark false realities that smooth
us out to remove a dimension
on chilly, fallow ground — lurk
behind but never catch us.
read more Colors at dawn
The snow breathed heavy that day,
a jolt of icy white confetti celebrating
winter’s return. Paralyzed by the cold,
we watched, transfixed by the beauty
and ferocity, as winter played out
its first act. Dazzled by the scene, I reached
without thinking for the cold,
the glass chilly and inhospitable
on my fingers as I tapped myself
into the performance.
A stag, startled, heard my intrusion
and stared at us, a spark of terror
in his eyes, hoofs frozen in fluffy earth.
Nothing moved as he stood
staring in a stupor as snow and tree limbs
cascaded around those antlers, majestic
and stock-still. What bravery to survive
the savagery spitting numbing flakes
on a naked face.
Just as suddenly he stirred from his bluff
and disappeared behind the stormy curtain,
forever relieving me of his second act.
And I, roused and staring only at
my own reflection in the poorly insulated
window, resolved to buy some weather strips
and better protect myself from
read more The window glass
A seamstress swims by
the pirate ship, her hem undone
as her legs drum beneath
the water’s otherwise somber surface.
The sun’s light stretches longer
as it attempts to dip into the ocean
for the night, highlight as it goes
the foibles riding along
the ocean’s impenetrable surface.
The fish – home from school –
tolerate this blemish, frustratingly
unaware that the sun dances in gold
just above the mysterious surface.
The seamstress swims along,
her head bobbing dolefully on the surface,
bubbles betraying her beside the boat,
moments from a maritime scene
marred by murder.
read more A maritime scene
We walk this fall day – a few
more gray hairs than last – beneath
the leaves – rusted coppers
replacing youthful greens – clinging
to the only home they’ve ever known,
on the verge of their final voyage, that
rambling trek to what they know not.
This expedition under gray skies
takes us through the misty uncertainty
of that next great adventure, while
leaves search for courage to brave
one last tour – a change in altitude
if not attitude – of the crisp breezes
softening their descent to a new home.
read more Seasons and colors change
His handsome plumage disguises
a high-flying dark underbelly,
a conniving thief in a tuxedo of feathers
as he lay in wait, silent witness
biding time until he can lunge at dinner
without thanking the unwitting chef.
Is the magpie more crow? A contradiction –
attractive omen of ill fortune portending
no songs for the bird prematurely uncracked
from his egg mid-gestation? Is the magpie
more peacock? Beautiful blue and white feathers
spread majestically, though boastful he
bounds with rowing wingbeats
while lesser birds wilt below.
The magpie is supposed to be intelligent.
He only knows how to be him.
read more The magpie waits silently
The sun screams from behind
darkened clouds –
a crescendo of deep oranges
bustling just over the horizon.
A din of shaggy clouds hang
higher, standing with a clamor
before the blues of another day
waking up with fresh eyes
and stale breath. We inhale
the new day – the tumult
from another revolution
erupting to wake us, wiping
the night from our eyes –
and blinking, step into the light.
read more A loud sunrise