Colors at dawn

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,
mundane. Routine.

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.

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A catalyst

The flamboyant flame stands before me,
framed by garish smoke rising
to meet an aloof sky. The crackling embers —
embarrassed to be seen laying down
on the job — pop out of sight,
making way for flashier lights.

The bonfire demands to be seen, illuminating
places undiscovered, too dark to survey.
Is it possible my caustic humor burns
those who venture too close? Do I dare
take stock of myself now — already gray —
biding time ’til I pop where I lay?

Perhaps, as winds breathe smoke
unexpectedly back in our faces,
I merely shift my perspective.
There’s magic in turning sticks into wands

read more A catalyst

The window glass

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
nature’s cruelty.

read more The window glass

A maritime scene

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

Seasons and colors change

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

The magpie waits silently

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

A loud sunrise

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

Even now

Sunlight cascades through clouds,
pushing to earth, demanding to find land
no matter the season. Two trees
separated by brown grass and silence
ache for warmth or a melting touch
of companionship or at least life
to interrupt the isolation.

But still the light comes, through clouds
or night or some other wretched evil
may obscure its beauty, a veil
they’ll shirk today
or tomorrow or some other blissful day.

We need only remind ourselves
tree branches do not stay empty,
nor birds quiet, nor the world dull
and hateful. Monstrous monotony may
move us to seclusion
alone through the trees. Its end nears
even now.

read more Even now

Fallen leaves

Tucked beneath the fallen leaves,
autumn pokes a head out, unsure about this
particular odyssey as the fire
of one last surprising summer day whirls

among the wind and whispers of
winter mocking healthy pumpkins, waiting
with rotten thoughts of browns
before whites before whatever. For now

I’ll hide myself underfoot among those
crunchy reminders of winter’s ephemeral
whimsy while I taste sunlight’s sweet
sting, dusk closing its eyes at last.

read more Fallen leaves

Let’s return

Let’s return, you and I,
to a dream – that one
we shared, hiding from the world
revolving around us
(Was it sunny?) I remember
only echoes in the dark
as we bounced off walls,
the world forgot.

The greens and browns
crossing the landscape now,
hostile in their indifference,
existing as though we care,
will slowly turn dark,
forgotten again, shadows
playing by themselves,
the world forgot.

read more Let’s return