Gathering poems   |  By the River   |  Dillard Mill   |  Maramec Spring   |  Twilight   |  Peace of the River   |  Cascade Song   |  Milk weed   |  Ice   |  Snowless winter woods   |  Leaves talking   |  The summer went   |  Autumn Haiku   |  The end of summer   |  Winter rain

Gathering poems

I went into the woods
To seek solitude
And found poetry,
Uncovered words
Under old leaves and
Decoded secret messages
In the pebbles by the stream.
The stones whispered to me,
And the silence
Distilled into song.


By the River

Where the great blue heron stands and waits
Patiently among the rustling reeds
As the morning fog lifts from the stream,
By the river I will sit and watch.

Where the swallows swiftly swoop and dart,
Skim the water surface in their flight,
As the turtles climb on sunny logs,
By the river I will walk and think.

Where the doe steps from the woods to drink,
Evening sends cool air from the hills
As the limestone bluffs throw longer shades,
By the river I will lie and dream.

Dillard Mill

It rained all night. The day rose dripping grey.
The cool air, welcome after summer's heat
Smelled finally like fall. The first red flames
Of sumac bushes shone beside the street.

At noon, the mill pond mirrored clouds on blue.
The Huzzah Creek splashed sparkles off the falls.
The solid mill stood watching silently,
Machines asleep inside behind red walls.

The buckeye trees, already bare of leaves,
Had strewn their shiny fruit across the ground.
And I collected, joyful as a child,
The great brown treasure: chestnuts, smooth and round.

Maramec Spring

The water rises from the silent cool
Deep cave whose mouth is yawning far below
The crystal surface of the clear blue pool:
A river is emerging in full flow.

The wiser trout weave rainbow bodies through
The labyrinth of rushes, and their fate
Is to grow old - unlike the youngsters who
Rush downstream where the patient anglers wait.

Twilight

Sounds seem softer, colors milder,
Daylight fades and shadow falls.
Noise recedes as night awakens.
Crickets chirp their mating calls.

Western sky glows pink and orange.
Silhouettes of cedar trees,
Rows of fragrant sentinels, sway
In the gentle evening breeze.

Fireflies send coded signals,
Blink and wink in random dance,
While above, like a reflection,
Stars appear in sky's expanse.

Peace of the River

Leaf filtered sunlight
Speckles the water,
Tunnels of branches
Shading the stream

Little waves, lapping,
Knock on the kayak,
Paddle stroke rhythms
Rocking the boat.

Heron is gliding
Silently greenwards,
Peace of the river
Filling my soul.

Cascade Song

On the barren lava soil,
Windswept pines stretch out their arms,
Gnarled white bones against the sky.

Mountain wears majestic white
Glacier robes that flow between
Buttress ridges of black rock.

Rushing rivers tumble down
To the valley, where blue lakes
Greet like eyes in seas of green.

Milkweed

The capsule burst open
Fuzzy floss spills out
Soft white parachutes
for small seeds that yearn
to float away like dreams

Ice

The woods are a crystal cathedral,
trees sculpted of glass.
Brittle branches clink
when the wind whispers -
glistening, deadly beauty
frozen in time

Snowless winter woods

The oak trees are an endless sea of grey;
The waves roll over hills until they melt
Into a grey horizon under dim
Midwinter skies. The world is sepia toned;
The flowers in the glades no longer wear
Their splendid summer colors. Dry and brown,
They hold up their spent seed heads full of pride
Because they have achieved their destiny.
A dogwood tree lies cut, its swelling buds
A promise that will never be fulfilled.
Behind pale pointy palisades of reeds
The lonely pond does still reflect the sky.

Leaves talking

As long as I can remember
I have been green and on this branch.
They tell me soon I will become tinged,
Glow bright red,
Burn orange,
Or shine like gold.
I can hardly wait!

And soon after I shall
Embark on that journey
They have been talking about,
And I am a bit scared.
A wind will come, they say,
And rip me away,
Fling me wildly into the air,
Whirl me around in mad dance,
Toss me up, smash me,
Lash me
With rain
Before I crash
To the ground
All wet and ripped.

But maybe, some say,
One a quiet sunny day,
A tiny breeze, almost unnoticed,
Will gently pluck me off,
And I shall sail on the air,
Swaying to and fro,
And descend softly
Onto a rustling pile.

The summer went

The summer wore a flower crown.
She danced and twirled in joyous game,
Garbed in a lily scented gown.

The summer went, the autumn came.
The burning bush's green leaves turned pink
Before they burst in crimson flame.

The sky is colored in blue ink.
Soon fall will pour us leafy gold.
Too fast the evenings now sink

And daylight fades. I want to hold
The last long days, the lingering light,
Until the north wind blows the cold

Crisp winter air with all his might,
And we will yearn for summer's warmth
As we wait through the dark, dark night.

The end of summer
 
Late August afternoon. The sun shines softer.
The summer wears a wise crone's gentle smile
And waits, hands folded in her lap, that autumn
Drives her from home and land in but a while.

Then she will leave without complaint or struggle,
Serene and calm and with a quiet glow.
High summer's fiery passion and wild radiance
Are spent. Before the harsher North winds blow

Still comes a golden time that smells already
Of apples and of wilting leaves. The night
Brings crisp, cool air that tells the end of summer.
I wrap myself in the last lingering light.

Winter rain

A bleak morning, I waken
     To relentless rain.
       Drops pearl the redbuds.

Broken branches beckon
     With slimy fingers.

A deserted nest perches
     In the plum tree;
       Black and wet, it does not
         Remember the fledglings

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