Six Stanzas Found in Old Books

Once you came out of the far
Off mountains and no one
Recognized you. You who

Once came away with the
Sunlight on early morning lakes.
The sweet smell of grasses

And songs lost beneath pillows
We found in the very back of
Dark closet walls. Autumn or

Winter for us on hills and the
Way the mountain felt like a
Way of knowing that was lost

Long ago. The hills and sweet
Rain on broken panes and the
Endless calls of smallness and

The way we walked off as I
Called through trees with wind
That muffled all the sound.

Mountain Days

I went to a mountain once
When I thought the
Snow had subsided,
And the sun hadn’t quite hit
The pale stream that flows
Down from distant hills.

Is this the place I know?
Suddenly,
It doesn’t seem so clear.

Suddenly, as the sun
Falls on frozen paths as
Dogs climb up quiet hills…

I think of drives and time and
Wind that calls across cliffs. I
Think to follow but seem to slip
On ice and snow and songs
That I cannot hear but see as

Distant homes on hillsides as
Clouds that drift across
A mountain meadow.

Posted as part of Poets United Poetry Pantry

The Final Part of J. Humbert Riddle’s Birthday Ode

J. Humbert Riddle’s Birthday Ode,
Delivered on Vacation
In the Isles, 2010

Editor’s Preface:
A new, extended version of
Perhaps Riddle’s most famous
Poem, written during a time
Of supposed sanity, and ease.

VI. For You

In Worcester too
On nights once in
Cell-like rooms, thinking
Of paved roads long
After rains in the mid-day
Of mountains of
Bright sun-light on
Wet leaves that glisten, glisten like

Silence. Silence.
Silence tapping a wooden
Walking stick so gently
Against tar-black pavement that is
A tap
Tap…

Of creeping boot-soles creeping
Against the firm flesh
Of hands rubbing against
Life and a
Tap tap
Of places down roads taken
Past towns I once drank in
By surging streams and hikes
I waited by tall trees with
A walking stick in hand for
You. Waiting

And watching out…
For you.

Posted as part of Poets United Sunday Poetry Pantry