In the kitchen

In the kitchen

In the kitchen, music fills the room
from wall to wall.
Outside dusk deepens;
first owls call.

From wall to wall,
echoes of a farewell, back and forth,
until each shining spoon
is full of sadness.

Outside the dusk deepens,
and silence settles like a pall,
a coat of dust, mouse-patterned,
while fox questions from beneath the hedge,

first owls call,
and in the kitchen the music plays
to an empty room,
and I put away the shining spoons.

Sun rising

Sun rises with feathered wings,
beating the silent clouds to wisps of spun sugar.
Pursed lips blow them away
into the deep dark of the west.

Beating the silent clouds to wisps of spun sugar,
the restless wind churns the treetops,
scattering pigeons and morning green-gold;

pursed lips blow them away.
This day will grow with the butterflies,
and the scent of honeysuckle will spill

into the deep dark of the west,
where memories of night linger, and the winter
I hear pacing beneath the horizon.

Storm breaks

Storms have lapped up the summer.
The dull-billowed Atlantic rolls overhead,
while earthfire sinks deep among roots,
yet still the butterflies dance.

The dull-billowed Atlantic rolls overhead
grey as pigeons, and running rabbits listen
to the rumbling deep in its diaphanous throat
that says, the season is turning, burning,

while earthfire sinks deep among roots,
and even we feel the cool coming, then the cold.
Burrows yawn where the dogs know,
and whiskers tremble, remembering.

Yet still the butterflies dance
among flowers, stalks, and, braving the deluge,
bees gather while they may, before the next storm
breaks the wheel of the year.

The wind blows warm

The wind blows warm this end of summer day,
the wind that bowls the clouds across the sky,
the grey of gulls and pigeons sky that swells
with rain and dark dull night.

The wind that bowls the clouds across the sky
strips petals, scatters brightness in the mud
and ruffles feathers, lemon-yellow, orioled,

the grey of gulls and pigeons. Sky that swells
to fill the world with feathered sleep, the dusk
of dying sun, when sun was never seen,

with rain and dark dull night.
No moonlight bathes the meadows, sleep light, birds,
the fox walks with the roughly blowing wind.

Wind of change

When will this wind change,
herding rain-laden clouds from the west?
Nights of hidden moonlight
bring only storms, no golden dawns.

Herding rain-laden clouds from the west,
the tempest flies, bringing
on ragged crow wings

nights of hidden moonlight.
Where are the deep sea pearls?
The diamonds that seed the sky

bring only storms, no golden dawns,
and no birds sing in the teeth of the gale,
no white-winged ships fly the cloudy seas.

There is this

There is this,
the fading orange gold of summer evening light,
the scraps of dusk caught in the western hedge,
a warbler singing softly in a willow tree.

The fading orange gold of summer evening light
slips like silent perch and bream among the weeds,
until the ocean night flows darkly, smothers

the scraps of dusk caught in the western hedge.
The songbirds all have found their roosts
except for fussing blackbirds, pheasant summoning,

a warbler singing softly in a willow tree.
Other feet will tread the grassy tracks, and I content
to listen for the hunting owl, because there is still this.

There’s a bird

There’s a bird that sings
in the trees by the stream,
a song repeated.
Another bird picks it up and replies.

In the trees by the stream,
hidden in shadows cool and green,
the summer sings

a song repeated,
slow and lazy,
a handful of notes.

Another bird picks it up and replies,
the echo of cool green and dappled gold
stream-babble of bird-peace.

Humming death

Another one I never sent in to the Ekphrastic Challenge. The painting is by Marian Spore Bush.

They let the boat drift
with its cargo of petals
and the woman, who some said died of boredom,
others, from sinful curiosity.

With its cargo of petals, the boat
carried to the sea by the great green river
sighed as the pearl-light called,

and the woman, who some said died of boredom,
sank with her petals into the sea-green arms
her moon-face silent as the pearls that were her eyes.

Others, from sinful curiosity
watched from the shore, how the humming death bird
hover-sipped the petaled soul, setting it free.

Cloud scraps

Cloud scraps,
the debris of a storm,
a glimpse of blue before the night,
and our eyes fill with the light.

The debris of a storm,
broken branches crush rain-weary blooms,
striving to curl and cup

a glimpse of blue before the night
falls, before the clouds gather,
the stars dissolve in the rain,

and our eyes fill with the light,
streaming a million years ago
from the debris of a full-blown star.

Eve of the cut

Purple light and the bruised sky,
dusk falls with the rustle of silken rain
on the golden-stalked meadow,
the last silent cry before the cut.

Dusk falls with the rustle of silken rain
from the purple-bruised clouds.
Night creeps from hedge-shadows

on the golden stalked meadow,
tomorrow to be shorn, scattering raindrops
and the purple flush of the storm-sky,

the last silent cry before the cut
of scythe, the refuge fallen in swathes
of insect flight and voracious swallows.