Thoughts in Late September

We all know the snow is coming
forthwith, when we will hunker down
in cave, in house, in cold cellar.

Like dried hydrangeas and goldenrod,
all in our rooms, we’ll await the spring,
when re-seeded with life, we’ll emerge
into the fervent light.

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Videbis, you will see

As you enter the woods, there––
There I want my memorial service.

As you enter the woods, go up
the rise. Then stand there.

There is where I’ll be
waiting for you to enter the woods

to be lost, then found
by the hunter/gatherer of souls

who will carry us
through the woods together

then on into the fields of heaven.
You’ll see.

 

O Holy Day!

What then I saw is more than tongue can say.
Our human speech is dark before the vision.
The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

As words failed Dante to describe Paradise
words fail me as I look to the woods
except for the barest verbal skeleton––
trees, brush, sunlight, shadow.

How common. How plain. How failed
a poet, who can only say thank you
for this holy day in mid-September
rife with aster and goldenrod
before the killing frost.

Hurricane Aiming at the Carolinas

The plywood hammered into place
over plate glass windows.
Survival kits of band-aids, flashlights
canned food––
sandbags at the reaches of the tide.

It’s a monster, they say, the coming
hurricane, christened Florence––
a name for a friendly waitress,
a name that might tame some of its power.

At the hurricane center, who names
has power. (Remember Adam
walking in Eden, naming, naming …)

Forecasters hang their hats on
multiple fictions. Powerless before
Nature, what else can they do but hope?

Deep into April

Easter is three weeks old,
old enough to stand on its legs
and walk the landscape speaking life
into dead grasses, reluctant buds
icy hearts of men who have given up.

Easter is what it does:
renews to left, right, and center.
Its seamless garment passing over,
the grass goes green.

Dream On

The keen return of taste
the sound ear hearing clearly
the grandchild’s song––

To know spring in the smell
of earth and see the robins
run in a burst of color––

All of it clings burr-like
to the lining of memory.

Almost April

March snow inches in
from the edge of the field
to the warming center
where sun and sod converge
in a soggy melt

as our wooden fingers,
our wooden toes
are warmed from the center
when blood flows out to extremities
trembling, and awaiting relief.