Autumn Drives Once, Out East

Frail leaves of memory I see
As hikes up mountains in
The crisp of
A New England day. Left

To a song on a road. The
Smell of decay and
Beauty that quakes on passes that
We take as light falls on
Wild dreams.

Mountain Rambles on August Days

Often on steep sloping sides I
See shadows by shadows and
Songs of birds in trees
I cannot find. Where

Are we going? The path leads
Up and on. The

Sign-post is broken and
Points off to ruined homes high
Up hills. Nothing but
Old stones still held up

By time and the thought
That us and we can fight
Through storms to summits where
There is nothing left except

Lightning strikes and huge
Pieces of rough-hewn marble with
Dates and names of people long

Since settled back into
The earth. It holds us out
And brings us back once
Again… these views and

Vistas of trails hiked once
And seen now from the distance –

The long view taken from
The trail we never took.

In Praise of Simple Things

Observed on Summer Nights

I.

So often I think
Of vast expanses of
Blue that
Comes up on us

Like storms lost somewhere
In the distance.

II.

The soft, steady
Pellets of rain that
Fall like

Evening shadows across
A red canyon wall.

III.

Birds calling. A
Sweetness of smell as
Wind picks up dry dirt and
Tosses it

Off in bug-filled air.

IV.

Longings and whispers.
Silence and the break
Of branches off
In calm, cool,
Wild woods.

Poem-Hunting in Far-Away Lands

In search of a poem, a line to
Form those more-perfect words that
I can just barely find on
Hillsides in the sun and
A tall, lone tree that stands there
By itself, glimmering…

Like those words I come back to on
Distant days in far
Flung lands where I walk under a
Bridge and smell sweet
Roasting chestnuts in a July
Christmas market. Toys and gifts.

That perfect metaphor, or
A quiet line that spills through to
Bright days in a desert. Such red
Soil, like the blood of
Ancients. Seeping and becoming one
With a pale blue sky that I

Reach and reach off to but
Cannot grasp. It is

Too far away so I
Stay here and think of
That little cryptic word
Wriggling around in

The sinews of a time
In winter gardens and the
Bright blue of deep songs
In dark distant and still
Summer skies.

A Dream of Predators and Prey

For some reason I think
Of water in desert lands. The
Slow suck and pull of it
Down and
Down to some sweet hidden lake
Below. While

Out there by the break of
Trees you can just see a
Shadow pacing and pawing
Perhaps at some ripped up
Side of a tree. But

Still that image. The water.
The heat. The barren, dull,
Quiet, absolute quiet, of
Hot lands in cold
Months when all we can see

Is something out there.
Something out there.

An Ode to the Blue

Observed Once In Silent Hills

You always see it, such an
Endless expanse of blue that
Goes on and on to quiet
Ridges by grasses that blow

Around old fences from a time
Long ago. Like a sadness

Almost, like such extremeness of
Depth that you must drive and
Drive off and away from it like

Wind rattling a door at night but
Then leaving nothing but
A tipped over pot of plants and

A pile of leaves and bark
In a corner. Yes,

It is always there, you always
See it and know that even on
Dark nights it is
There, waiting somewhere…

For you. This pale,
Opaque, translucent
Blue.

A Haibun For a Day, Once

Long ago, beneath frail summer trees, high up by the penetrating sun, we sat. Talking about anything, really. The lake. The joggers. The walkers. The people just strolling, almost aimlessly, along.

And then those long stretches of silence. Sleeping in the grass. In the deep shadows that roll out to long, stately and old, mansions. All with deep vines that twist and creep along, hiding I think something inside of them.

As the road forks off,
And the tall branches break off –
Falling as we sleep.

Songs of the Road, Lost Somewhere

I wonder how it sounds after
Darkness falls, and
There is nothing left by
Pale whimpers across
Steep mountain hills. The

Pools puddling
Over beaten rocks. The
Wind whipping over
Narrow ridges. I

Think that we must
Take all of this with
Us somehow. To

The songs on silent
Nights. The sparse words
Spoken at sunset in
Red desert lands. The
Image of shadows. Wind.
Such quiet late at
Night. The rain

That falls and falls outside
Starbucks by harbors with
Great white wings spread
Wide. This must

Become our song, our
Memories of life lived
Out on blue horizons. The

Streams that just go on,
And on…