November on the Klamath

Night’s silent choir,

Patiently gathered around the roots of trees,

Inside the river’s long bend,

And in the shadows of boulders,

Passing time under morning’s great bridge.

.

Across:

The orange of maples.

Ahead:

Paws of a lone bear.

Behind:

Tracks of a fisherman’s boots

Through the damp, grey sand.

.

These might be cobblestone dreams

On a lazy afternoon,

But that was October’s rhythm:

Summer’s back porch, shaded

In creaky planks

And sliced tomato gluttons.

.

Now, the soft arc of light,

Chilled in air gone stiff and still,

Begging for hunched voices,

That dare not stir old winds,

From behind sedge and willow.

.

A conversation,

The groans and gripes of water on rocks,

Goodbyes of frogs and leaves and liquored blackberry sunsets,

The gratitudes of full moon clouds,

A gift of rain.

.

Hurry,

The long gaze of night

Will soon turn us to pebble and stone,

Smooth and round, barely colored,

In the fading light.

Maybe this time

Maybe this time

You might stand a bit taller

Framed

In October’s teasing words,

Where summer wanes

In its wandering light,

Barely holding on

While the romanciers take flight.

.

There was the time we fell asleep

Playing along the tracks,

In between a train,

On the day,

come and go:

our rhythm,

Calling clouds,

Whistled story

Of great valleys

And toys

Still scattered

On the dirt bank.

.

Before we hid under the bridge

On a dare we answered,

Rolling in our slumberous child ideas:

Notions of far off places, tall buildings maybe,

Or wild woods,

We would soar.

.

While this air is changing,

I wonder if you look back,

To the dawn of memory,

And find in this day,

The stillness of space,

That open quiet

Calling once again.

.

I sometimes stop and wonder,

if the air we breathe today

Was our gasp at the trains

Passing overhead

Back then.

patience in a rainless world

Where is this hard line?

Through forest, over hill,

And across water I’m told

By the old men, gathered along

The river bar, waiting years for a fish

To be caught so they might move on

To the open fields to spend their days

Released from those toils.

.

That thin, frail string stretched

Through dark woods, and

Mirroring the sky,

Where the hard line of a storm

Challenges a stale afternoon.

.

The jagged line of rocks against water,

And the silent boils, softening a long seam

Where currents meet, reunited:

Partnering again in their purpose

As they explore a single winding path

To the place where land ends

And the great depth of the sea begins.

In the Time of the Solstice

How you might slip into this light

Lured from bedtime curfews,

Signatory of winter,

With it’s wet ink faded into those days,

Remembered now in the tender branches

Still sliding through the wind.

.

Ever freshening days,

Alive,

With new things illumed,

In this one last moment

Before it all pulls us in

Returning us, gently,

Into the rhythm of our souls.

Winter’s Grace by the Numbers

How might I count the days?

.

By the sounds of rain

On a field at night?

.

Or should I tally mornings

Of fickle, teasing light,

On the edges of storms?

.

Could it be the screeching egret,

High overhead in dark skies,

Framing chilling air into promises

Of frosty tinkerings.

.

How might I add these days?

Where a single leaf,

Bright star fluttering,

Shuffles to rest,

To dream in the soft cradle of spring.

A Climate Lament

My sweet river

Where have you gone?

.

I knew you

Of bygone places

Wrapped in icy mornings

Beyond time.

.

Sweet songs of your seasons

Passing stories

Like childrens secrets,

Magical and suprising,

Refreshingly indifferent.

.

That was us.

.

Among your soft curves,

bantering about,

Often silenced in reveries,

While whispers passed across

Your eyes

Sparkling of emerald dreams.

.

Not you,

Not me,

But this.

.

Different now

In a sadness.

Lost

In the bony grip

of a relentless routine

Unrehearsed

And unwelcome.