All is a-melt, including my soul
bound tight these months
by cords of cold that release it
gently, so as not to shock
with the feverish heat of change.
To what extent do I mock Antigone
as I pass the beheaded hen on successive mornings,
her position altered by some night beast
perhaps, or just the wind
stronger at intervals
than the resistance of feather and flesh
I walk past on hardening ground
to give hay to living cows, higher
on the scale of likely return.
I would sweep the world clean with my yellow broom
but all I am asked to do is sweep my own
room, which is my world in this latter hour
when the sun sets early and naught flowers,
when all sinks deeper with each passing day
into the freezing ground that calls to sleep.
White paper. Black pen.
Ready? Let’s begin.
A fall day. Is that enough to say?
Do I need to list colors? Not Roy G. Biv
but fiery orange and wild pink
sharing branches of the same tree
even the same leaf,
and that’s the beginning.
Ready for a day of walking, looking
in order to really see and faithfully
deliver the Good News that life goes on
in spite of politics, including politics
falling at our feet each day in newspaper,
on television and now on line––
wars and threats and rumors of war
started by irresponsible men. And
women too, who get on the wagon
that climbs not to any star, but rolls
its way to hell on wheels of stone.
That given, remember the colors
of orange and pink that share
the veined space on the same leaf.
If this is the first day, if this is the last
it will be enough to have lived it
giving thanks for the red of the swamp
maple, the yellow of dandelion––
for lilac on the edge of the field
and red-winged blackbird’s pale blue
eggs spotted and scrawled with brown
and purple, hidden in a cup of marsh
grass, visible to One who watches over
and calls forth the life that stirs
in that reedy grass.
To borrow from the mail deliverer’s mantra, no matter the weather, tomorrow, April 2, 2017, we will be gathering at Annie’s Book Stop, 65 James St., Worcester, MA, for a reading and signing of The North End.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette features the reading at:
Hope you can make it!
The calendar says the eighth of March.
The porcupine says, good night.
What dreams does he dream, this porcupine
asleep in the woodshed of my writing house
on this rainy morning in early March?
Does he dream of the first green shoots
of spring he dined on only last week
before cold descended again like the fist
of Odin, freezing streams and ponds
in a single night, and reclaiming seasonal
sovereignty, until this rain broke through
like a Viking horde?