sugar mountain


From across the dark water,
The sound of music-

Oh, to live on sugar mountain

Above, in the starry black sky,
The crescent moon descends,
Her cheshire cat smile disappearing
Behind the western ridge.

With the barkers and the colored balloons

Small drakes with their drab little hens bob
Together on the dark deep water
As the moon’s reflection ripples past.

I grab the night’s music and
the sky’s sinking moon
Stuffing them deep into my chest,

You can’t be twenty on sugar mountain

Hoping to fill the empty space you left there
With the sound of music
And the light of the pale waning moon.

Though you’re thinking that
you’re leaving there too soon,
You’re leaving there too soon.

*** the lines in italics are lyrics from Neil Young’s song Sugar Mountain, one of my favorite artists and songs.

well and rightly

Oct afternoon 8

Loss becomes more common
place next to years lived,
well and rightly,
left to grass covered hillocks
and gravestones.

I know now that kith and kin
includes the land as well as the relations
that one inherits in blood
and bone and breath
and love

and life,
the last time I thought about it,
includes losing those
both kith and kin
and I will end
with a small hillock of my own
of green grass and
the breath of wind,
well and rightly.

Autumn Song

Nov Fog

Pale and threaded,
the needles nest in rough patches
releasing the scent, resinous
of pine forests
and her true home.

Tall trees stand
in her dreams, waking
and sleeping. I brush
the leaves from her hair.

Gathering fog,
I nest my heart in clouds,
its hollow sound echoing
with the song of autumn
and loss.

(This is a repost of a poem written last fall)

Ecclesiastes 1

Winter Field

Such vanity,
the wind remarks
to the old oak and young willow,
in a season when all is loss
and fields are fallow.

Leaves have flown
on the wings of migratory birds
and furred creatures have burrowed
deep into the cold earth,
gravely sleeping under cover of frost
and snow.

The year dies,
resting on its hind legs
upright until the end.
The quiet resignation
of the turning earth,
its rotation of season
to season.

Everything is vanity,
reminds the wind.
All life stills in the end,
cold as stone in the deepest winter,
certain as old oaks stand sturdy
and young willows weep and bend.

Buttermilk Sky

Buttermilk Sky

The bright winter sky is dappled with high clouds
The color of butter
The light and shadow play across the landscape
Light then dark
Then light

A dark shadow comes across my brow
And the grief returns to my heart
Though our lintel was marked
With lambs blood
Blessed with prayer
Adorned with mirrors
The dark angel still came
Her beauty, awful,
As she sat at our table
And the losses became uncountable
I wonder still when she will return,
Because, oh yes, she will return
Or perhaps, she is just waiting
Sitting on my porch step
Waiting for another shadow to form

My face again is in sunlight
The dappled clouds moving away from the sun
Casting shadows on the winter landscape
Bright in the buttermilk sky.

I Dreamt of You

I dreamt of you last night
But not really
I didn’t see you or hear your voice
It was more the essence of you
The idea of you
In a photograph
Or a thought
I dreamt of you last night
But not really
It was more that you were
Still in my world
There was no feeling of loss
Or grief
Or sorrow
But not really
I dreamt of you last night
And woke to you missing
Gone so long ago
But not really
Gone just today

*** Dreamed of my dad last night – gone almost 19 years now – still miss him everyday.

Copper Beeches

Copper Beeches

It is believed that one may get rid of bad luck by dropping a copper penny on the ground. The bad luck will go with the coin and be acquired by the next person to pick it up

Its not the copper in the veins of the land but the hand that hold the redeeming cents since it no longer scents the air with that just before lightning smell ozone fired kiln of oxygen hydrogen carbon, sweating against the blue of the sky, the taste of blood on the tongue.

Put the pennies over my eyes and let me rest.

The coins feel cold against my palm,
Their tarnished light gleams silver
And gold on pale skin,
Heaviness pulls me down
Until all I can do is hold
The thought of you
Against my breast
And weep.

The leaves turn to yellow and gold
Falling into the silvered season
Copper beeches drift in the north wind
Drawing the sound of autumn with it
Casting golden coins before the fall

— written for the dVerse prompt to write a prose-poem or incorporate passages of prose into your poem. The first stanza of Copper Beeches is a line from the penny entry of Wikipedia.