Sketch from the Orchard

As leaves loose summer’s grasp

They become ghostly ballerinas of the still air,

Glistening,

On the annual pilgrimage to winter’s soft cradle.

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Morning here lingers well into the afternoon

And shadows replace light

As the preferred method of telling time.

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Soon, the first winds will stir,

And the old days will be back,

If just for a moment.

Day Three at the Astronomy Office

The dense moments:

A perched and waiting infinity

like the slow approach

Of a December storm.

This will give way

To clusters of days

Grouping themselves into months and

somewhere listed in years and futility.

Some of these more relevant than others.

All this in hindsight, of course.

But all of them eventually get listed equally

Despite their distance from now,

And the patterns to deceive.

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Maybe all these places and spaces are appropriately

Filed as leaves falling from trees,

As they play the light floating down,

Ghostly ballerinas of the wooded air.

Each one it’s own scratchy day

Wringing the counting out of us,

Collecting in the patches of light

And shadow.

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Of course,

Back at the office,

all this started during the pragmatic era,

Which preceded the declining epoch,

Where the rusted pot of drought

Boiled dry, until the metal turned glowing blue

And this time of light appeared as some

Barefoot church-goer:

Enthralled and enthused,

Ready to shake, but still too worn and stiff

To let fall the remaining leaves.

Day Two at the Astronomy Office

Not sure where this experimental astronomy series is going quite yet but wanted to move it here to keep tugging at it…

The eyes of a fish tell all:

Where time is patient and easy,

Measured in long, deep stories,

And every truth,

No matter how awkward,

And probably still unsettling,

Swirls into some great closure

Not yet arrived.

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Take, for instance,

The hotel lobby:

Shuffling lights of the metropolis,

Hub of travel,

And humanity lost touch with real places,

Like the warm sunshine of its own design.

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Here, chances not taken

In the tenor of youth

When confidence was still seeded

Under unbroken earth,

Not yet turned to flowers.

And the wilted regrets that often follow.

But that’s time’s story to tell,

Obviously.

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Outside:

The city,

Painted from afar,

In hard grays,

And street level stains,

Where the lives behind a million drawn blinds

Are scarce and fleeting imaginations:

At least that’s what the eyes might tell,

And the awkward split-second lifetime shudder,

That ensues with a glance,

On another Saturday night.

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Shared purposes?

Or….

Different and far?

None of it really,

They will be quick to tell,

Not here,

Before I dare look again,

And see the stars so clearly.

Teenage thrills

When postcards were written in the sky

And notes were exchanged in practiced banter

Maybe.

Whatever the case,

The drive was always on landscapes

And shaped by weather.

Fabulous letters spelling places loomed large

Across that endless Flat valley.

Where vacations were taken past the edge,

And the familiar was repeated

every thirty-some miles.

Experiments at the Astronomy Office

Fortitude, perseverance, and integrity

Tedious shades of blue,

Like car commercials

Pushing stately,

Always on sale.

Perhaps a subtle gesture,

Books, papers and the undone

Stacked, scattered and up front.

Or swept aside.

Or the noises cast

By trains passing,

While avoiding the other side

Temples of drudgery

Examples from the inspired,

All the same,

In these tiny worlds

Endlessly turning.

Journey to the Rain Latitudes

The pink clouds are a surprise.

A glowing refreshment,

Then a long exhale

Of a wearied man having trudged so long

Through dust,

Succumbed to the dull stone,

Scraped in thorns,

Pasted in stickery sweat,

To a vista:

visited before,

Briefly.

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The slow release into newness,

And old places returning.

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This thirst will not go,

It’s scratching, clawing,

Snatching nights,

And holding fast in the haze of dawn.

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Give me the sweet smells of loam,

And damp leaves.

Passing edens

Languishing

In the softness of decay.

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My long exhale,

Reprieves from these gasping anxieties,

Before I sit and listen,

To the sharpening air,

As the first water

Falls on the dry grass.

Anniversaries

And Summer’s Dwelling.

Now:

The soft urgency of evening comes as a call of light.

Light in windows,

And the closing edge of shadows,

Where far off night calls for tomorrow’s respite.

The last places fold themselves into corners,

Where sounds hide,

Descending,

Slipping into a quickening stop now,

While yielding to the hills beyond

Staring down at our polka dot splendor,

While they wait their turn.

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Now, the calendar gets marked,

Not in numbers and squares,

But in these lines,

Those corners,

And the rough shapes of passed time.

.

Now I remember this path,

Where it led,

How it was worn somewhat,

But tread in new shoes,

At a steady pace,

To the whims of clarity,

And the luxuries delivered

From the old shadows

Lurking all the while

Among the familiar.

Ancestral Valleys

Ancestral Valley

Scales across piano keys

Playing brisk,

With rising hills

Hiding their own verses

from the broad, watery grasslands

Where the deep ebb and flow of tides

And storms

And winds

And floods

And in the great dryness

Things move

In a time not meant for lingering,

Things pass

And begins the vast wait for new:

A return to the gently rocking cradle.

The Many Solitudes of Sun –

Life on the ragged edge of a Mediterranean climate:

Born raw

Again this morning

Sudden, under the monotony

Of unchanged days.

What’s left to tip this scratched record?

Slipping beats, mercilessly turning

To an old song

Still sharp and biting

But in new ways not heard then.

How far south

Or north

Or just across

Do I need to go

For the broad skies

Painted in pastel masteries.

Haunted eden,

Before the waiting time resumes.

The light still slides

But plays to a bad rhythm

A bad rhythm going down.

.

Again,

Some of this time might linger.

Mix.

Into the endless eddies of days

But is quickly lost

On the downhill slide.

.

One day, crazy boisterous

The next,

Of long slumber,

Or the deep haze

Cast across dry fields

And the aches fired by dust and wind.

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Here the days slide with the light,

The rhythm of new times again.