Mid-May Day

Bluets first, then violets
backdropped by dandelions.

Daffodils going by, tulips
opening pastel wings.

Promise of iris in rising spears,
lily-of-the-valley set to bloom.

Across the field, the lilac tree
lifting soon-to-be fragrant cones

that one week hence in full bloom
will assault the eager bees.

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Night Visitors

It’s the first week of February.
Wild apples picked in October
have shriveled into themselves.

No longer suitable for apple pie
we dump them out for the herd of deer
that haunted our woods through

January, scavenging among spruce,
standing on hind legs in the snow
to reach the buds of high-bush and tree.

There’s no distinction on the ground––
everything was eaten as we found
the morning after a moonlit meal in Maine.

In arboribus credo

Where shall I set my listening chair?
In the oak wood behind my house
where hemlocks stand and pines blow?

In the slightest breeze they wave their leaves
and needles as if in greeting. Through rain
snow, sun and ice, rooted in place

they live and die, making more beautiful
that one place, and that is enough, I believe.

Left with Questions About …

stewardship of the land we bought
when we were barely old enough
to grasp the meaning of being stewards
of what we had been given.

With age comes understanding.
With age comes sense of responsibility
to history held in the rings of the oak
in the whorls of pine crowned with cones

and even deeper in glacial stones
raked across this land in a distant time,
all of it passing through our hands
like water, as do the passing years …

And what we choose, our actions now
are the future for stewards who follow.

For Want of an “E”

I thought you exclaimed, Oh, my dear,
and quickly my mind bent toward trouble.

But trouble had nothing to do with you
when the spelling of “dear” became deer––

Five of them in a pretty line, crossing
the field to the other side of the road

from whence they disappeared
into the stand of pines.