Monday, November 2, 2009

Sunset Two Ways

A reader, a critic, said
“Your poetry is not
poetic enough. Not
enough layers and what
layers there are
are too damn thin.”

What point obfuscation,
What point incomprehensible simile,
What point hairy metaphor,
What point the flowery
Language of

Isn’t the story enough,
Aren’t the realities
Full of adequate
Wonders described
Fairly well
Don’t need to make
One wonder.

I took the criticism
To heart and looked
At the sunset…

And I saw blood on stones
I saw a melting
Into orchids of shadow
I saw a christening
Of stars flying slowly free
And I saw changes
Unwanted but

There was more…

Clouds like silver ships
Breezes like the breath of cowards
Eyes fading and shrouded
With sensual doubt
More blood
Fewer stones
Cascading shards of concrete
Clear glass and computers.

But then…

I grew tired
I longed for a mountain
The sun slipping softly down behind
Leaving a bruised sky
Showing gentle purples
Powdery blues
Elusive greens
Then finally, darkness.

There are two ways to sunset.

An Artist In Film: Nature Series # 24

for Linda

She faithfully records milkweed
With silver nitrate reactions
On the purest white paper
As silken pods explode in
Chilled near winter
Bursts of wind.

She takes note of footprints
Wild tracks of wild things
As they lead her on trails
Pushed softly down
Into freshly fallen
Clean white snow.

When spring arrives with
Fiddleheads fine pushing up
Through leafy loam she is
There with her close-up
Lens making pictures, lying
Still upon the earth.

And then on a hot summer’s
Day I find her in the nearby
Woods lifting logs, searching
Stumps full of hidden mushrooms.
She is seeing, sensing, snapping
An artist in film, my love.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Big Rock: Nature Series #3

Steely grey it rises along
A country road veiled by
Trees shedding their
Summer finery.

A cottage sized hulking
Presence living there since
Cold white masses left
Scars and boulders.

This huge rock stands
Alone in a field of
Yellow flowers and
Autumn’s glow.

Like a sentinel through
Centuries it watched the
Passing of aboriginals
Pioneers and machines.

Native folk and pioneers
Must have noticed and
Used it as a marker on
The old time river trail.

Rare is the walking person
Rarer still the pausing driver
Who goes up to the solid rock
To stand next to the past.

Those who do are treated
To strength and silence
To rough and smooth
Surfaces carved by time.

A coolness lives there
Perhaps an ancient remnant
Of the passing ice as it
Left this great stone.

I stop often to consult the rock.
Massive and steady it listens
Words of sympathy are unspoken
But shallow worries fall away.

It’s said that stone is a living thing
Someday I hope to hear it sing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October Morning: In Memoriam R. V.

October winds shake seasonal
Death from the trees sending
Waves of debris rustling around
An empty back yard.

Last night’s news leaves an
Empty spot at the family
Table and a void in all of
Our saddened hearts.

We look on as life sends good
And bad without regard for
Changing seasons hopeless or
Hopeful or indifferent.

At today’s end rest will come
Memories will be shaken through
Our mind as sleep eludes us
But only for a few moments.

Those moments will fleetingly tell
A story of days past and laughter
Shared yes mostly laughter
Always shared with joy.

Apple Pie

There’s an apple pie baking
All cinnamon smelling
Full of autumn’s pickings
And the house is alive with
That warmth.

Apples from a farm way
Up in the North Country
Are the heart of the creation
Crisp and clean
Hand picked and fresh.

Woe to the calorie counters
Those who refuse to savor
A gift so fine and true
Worshipping at the altar
Of cholesterol free food.

What could be so bad?
Some fruit and flour
Sugar pure and fine
Spices butter lemon
Lovely stuff melded gently.

But oh the fat and oh
The ice cream on the
Side of that warm
Delicious dish so
Rich and good.

One slice only I
Promise with fingers
Crossed. I’ll give the
Rest away tomorrow
I lie sincerely.

Damn it’s good.

The Dying Goes So Slow

They sit a death watch
Now for the not so old
Man lying still slowly
Slowly breathing
So close to the end

His wife years younger
Confused yet sure of all
That must be done in hard
Days looming ahead and
Seeing painful relief.

Grown children gather
Bewildered watching the
Strong man laid so low
Sons and daughter
Waiting waiting.

Strangers come to the house
Helpers along this final path
Caring and careful
They’ve seen it all
Many times.

The dying goes so slow
A list of those to call
Sits ready on the table
Another list of final
Things to do.

Far away we wait for word
No comfort to take or give
We go about our daily
Business as the dying
Goes so slow.

We wait not watching.

Winter Forecaster: Nature Series 17

Today my walk was
Interrupted as I paused
To watch some
Woolly Bears those
Colorful crawlers as
They crossed my path.

Pyrrharctia Isabella
Science books say
Soon to be a sunlight
Shade of yellow
Flying towards my
Back porch light.

Grandmother said
Brown bands wide
You’ll play outside
Brown bands thin
You’ll be
Staying in.

Harbinger of winter’s
Strength or sign of
Nature’s power to
Renew I watch
As you make your
Way to greener grass.

Today furry friend
Your brown band seems
Very wide.