I find myself
strangely in a home
I never dreamed nor wanted.
Its a feebled reach from the water
to the seas I dreamed.
A small beautiful vessel
where I found you perched,
its white bow striped blue,
the color of your eyes.
I saw the horizon and knew how it would feel
not to remain as we were
The possibility of here and stay
and the choice was made
with the tenderness
of how the key was held and the lock
no longer needed.
Because I had dreamed how it would be
to drift in that moonlit ocean,
Then you were there at my shoulder,
tiller in hand,
steering us toward home.
and the coolness in the air is more figment than
mixed with heat rising from parched pavement
and aching ground.
It is quiet-
only an occasional lilt from passing birds
and laconic buzzing
from red wasps
busy at the old board bench.
I lean against the hickory,
it bark worn gray from seasons changing,
readying yellow to overtake the dried green
of its saw toothed leaves
in preparation of shedding it all
for a long winters dreaming.
I leave ex votos, tamata, milagros
wedged in the folds of the hickory’s skin,
bits of tin in the shape of my grief
and lost years.
An altar good enough for most deities
and the angels that linger
in autumn woods
on the first day
of my fall.
the scent of night rain lingers on the morning air
mingling with the first fallen leaves
and white blooming autumn clematis clambering
over ledges of stone and fences in decline
resettling the summers meadow into colors
of buff and tan, then flames of sumac spark
stringent sun fades and softened the harsh tones
of late summer drought into early autumn dusk
when the grand harvest moon, oh so far away
graces the sky with her golden beauty
and the crickets sharpen their bows
first song of fall
The west wind furrows the clouds,
mirroring the newly shorn hayfields
terraced in the colors of late summer,
golden and green.
Driving along the ridge, I enter
a Thomas Hart Benton painting
of undulating landscape
and sky. Fluidity of wind
cloud and leaf mural-ed
across the ridge.
May pops bloom wrapped
in vines of autumn clematis
their exotic flowers mingle
along the rocky path. Doe
and her fawn, still in dappled spots,
graze the ditchbanks
along side wild turkeys
with their celtic blue faces.
A day, late in August,
when the earth turns toward
autumn. A day as ordinary
as any other in its vast
extraordinary way, just
an ordinary day.
The sharp retort of the jays cries
strike the air,
his grief too much for the cedars to bear.
What greater woe is there
than summers ebb?
Yellowing leaves, spent and melancholy,
as though weeping,
for their passing will soon be forgotten
in winters bare and spare air.
The elegies of wing and wind-
the sighing trees sorrow
in the mourning doves song
of summers passing.
Odd over ripe days of late August-
Heat drifts by in waves to be washed out
In the darkening dusk.
The sultry night cools minute by minute
As the earth tilts towards the autumnal equinox.
We sit on the porch eating peaches,
The last fruit of the orchard
Now swept of debris.
Only the wasps and bees remain
Still searching for that last drop
Of sweet succulent summer.
I have promised a long walk,
sitting on the shady porch,
dark against the morning sun,
no sound except the chorus of cicadas
humming at the open windows
their late summer rasps.
Reaching for the blue sky hat on the hook
in sun yellow bedroom
decorated in birds
and their songs of August,
I enter a long ago summer room
layered in chenille bedspreads
and feathered pillows.
The scent of fig and over ripe pears
mixes with must of old paperbacks
and Ivory soap. My grandmother’s face powder
and Pampa’s pipe tobacco mingle together
in such a strong sense memory
that I have to sit down.
That long ago room of Waco childhood
spent lazy and loved, surrounded by
a charm of cousins and beautiful aunts
with handsome, laughing uncles in tow.
It has become gilded and foxed by the years,
not quite fact and not quite fiction.
The small dog breaks into the room
ready for his promised walk
and hat in hand,
we slam the screen door,
trailing the scent of figs
and sun ripened pears behind us.