Lost and found

A nod and a wink to the dverse prompt, but not the prompt. The Bay of Naples.

Lost and found

The wind has lost its way, I hear
it rushing up and down the rows
the soldier-straight stalked rows of corn
that flap their paper arms, wind-torn
and shadowed by the black-winged crows.

The wind has lost its autumn voice,
the brisk and shrill that tosses leaves
like alms upon beseeching earth;
it sings in southern tongues tonight
beneath the stilly stars so bright.

The wind has lost, and I have found,
the path across the holy ground,
to where our dreams begin and end,
where dusk and dawn and moonlight blend
in whispered waves, the scent of pines.

I found the path beneath the trees,
that bend and bow beneath the breeze,
the corn-dry cantilena breeze;
and taste the distant southern sea
that rolled once just for you and me.

Wind changes

Wind changes

Walls run with lizard, ladybird, sun-shadows,
stone baking still though the fierce heat has gone,
shrinking day by day deeper to the core.

Meadow grass bobs with yellow flower heads,
sunspots, dabs of mauve, clover, thistle,
the dash of butterflies.

But wind rattles the drying leaves,
tossing poplar pennies, raining acorns
where furtive fur ruffles,

and the lizard lifts its head, sniffing the change,
aeons of memory of the great cold coming,
and the dark just beneath the hedge.

Coins and other sides

Coins and other sides

There are stories too sad to be told
to be sung by violins
shouted blue as a painted sky
and though we stir the bitter dregs
we find no sweetness.

Shadow is the other side of light
the dark juice that runs through the green trees
that outlines the softness of feathers
the silence behind the whispers
the sharp retorts.

Wind draws mist veils across the sun
and whips the storm clouds
driving ship-death upon the rocks
stripping golden leaves
and scattering the year across the mud

but there is always beauty
in water diamonds
bird music
the eternal light show of the universe.
Even when there is too much sadness to bear.


For earthweal.


When the leaves are drying, curling,
rattling in the rising wind,
sharp as the gunshots that ring
from side to valley side,
autumn’s beauty marred by brutes,
it’s hard to remember

~ spring ~

bird racket and squirrels leaping where leaves unfurl,
the stream racing after the rains,
light falling bright and green,
falling on a mallard turning in the flood,
her chicks bobbing boats in a baby’s bath,
their new voices thrilling.

The sun is on the meadow

The sun is on the meadow

The sun is on the meadow,
the hawk is on the wing,
and beneath the leaves’ dry murmur,
I can hear the chaffinch sing.

But the air is growing colder,
the nights are clear and bright,
and our hearts are growing older
with the failing of the light.

The sun is on the meadow,
though the wind is rising loud,
the hawk banks on the wild gusts,
soaring high, so fierce and proud.

I see winter in the cold stars,
in the glitter of their gaze,
and chaffinch, hawk and lovers
all regret the golden days,

when the sun was on the meadow
and winged the world with song,
but they’re gone the birds and lovers,
and the winter will be long.



Knots silken and hempen
cords wired like pianos
stretch and coil
but the tension won’t break.

I carry the worries of the world
in the mesh of these nets
and sometimes they drape the trees
in sorrow

tangling the light of day
birds’ wings and their autumn laments.
Sometimes one word is enough
to bring the forest crashing down.

The wind beneath the door

For the dverse prompt.

The wind beneath the door

Pain is always present in the cold bite of the wind,
early morning, and the dead leaves swirling,
the bones, too many, too sharp beneath the old cat’s fur,
the deaths and the regrets, too many, too late.
They never go, the needle-pointed jabs of memory,
the jolt of absences, the ghosts at the elbow,
when the laughter gets too free, and the light
seems so bright it will never fade.
There is a reason in the ache but not a remedy,
a wound but not a lesson, a scar but not a healing.
The animal curls around the hurt, seeks not
to measure good times against bad, to remember.
Our pain is the shadow behind the sun;
without it would we even feel its golden warmth?

Everything goes forever

Everything goes forever

in the dark of night rooms,
pattering footsteps
I never dared follow.

The bicycle was too big for me.
After the fall, the earth in my face,
I never tried again.

We listen to stories that make no sense,
laughable, until there is no one there,
and the shadows speak.

When he slapped her,
everyone looked away—
my nervous fingers, the smell of the bus.

On the hill, in the sky, the tree,
a light, a bird, a song—wait,
and in an instant, it’s gone.