Saturday, September 27, 2014

Plots and Sods

Older than all of us, they say,
The little blades of grass. They'll wait.
Concrete may spall and roots expand
And fire hydrants blow away.
Smaller wins out. And ain't it great,
They say, that they are quite unmanned

By frost and promises? They brown.
Or they're lopped off, sometimes refaced
By maisonettes, by diamond shops,
And yet they farm. They go to town.
They have seen cenotaphs replaced
By plots and sods. Time never stops.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Where Autumn Succeeds

Alder by day, by night the sort of wood
Rubs up against the awning in your sleep,
Good for nothing, except to take up space
Otherwise occupied by fungal gnomes
And fey minutiae sharing golden worms,
It has its dignity. Comets announce
A change of almanacs, a column more
For bloggers who keep track. While children sleep,
Meteors fall on empty fields, supplant
The local germs and breed a race of clear
Benign progenitors of etiquette.
This drops a couple leaves and calls it quits.

The genealogy of accidents
Is difficult: we trace a tangled tree
Back past a pleasant baron, out for larks,
Who never gave a by-blow any name,
And what do we know, who only wedlock know?
The leaf exchanges its petiole for dirt
And is what fed its fruit, itself its self.
Meanwhile, the awning, all percussionist,
Sends a princess her pizzicato dreams
Of ponies, pirates, chaste droits du seigneur,
Exploding firebirds, and the unborn.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

October Roses

It’s cold at night, or didn’t you know
This isn’t when the roses grow?
Under the hawthorns, in the shade,
The birds have gone, but you have stayed,
Underdesigned for taking flight.
Color cannot put all things right.
And now it snows, at which the frost
Declares that delicacy is lost.
And still you bloom, and for today
Keep ice and emptiness away.
So Keats, who failed, and failed in youth,
Let Beauty claim that it was Truth.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Archival Studies

The cherubs in the margins smile and wink,
All rosy incunabula; the winds
Blow puffy cheeked from four directions, there
To warn you off the edge, whence you could slip
Into oblivion, no name, no scribe.

One of the i-dots seems a smiley face.
Nature is natural and carries on,
Despite instruction. “Conjunx” is misspelled
And might mean anything, though nothing good.
The ink is mixed with blood. By DNA

We know he was related to a Name
Still snippety by Domesday Book. Some fee
Installed him here. It wasn’t all the smarts
He evidenced: one comment we translate,
CALL GWENTY FOR A GOOD TIME. Great. Woo-woo.

Over the page the scent of sanctity
Still hovers. Must be subject-matter, all
Those humble dragons, saintly beasts with scales
Who found no virgin wanting. It is not
The ideal cursive hand. Those drips. That smudge.

Survival comes in packages too strange
To be secure. So say the sheep who died
For the appointment faintly on the verge.
A lunch, perhaps, or matins. By strong light
We can discern that something lies beneath.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sonnet

Across the bay there must be people washing
And cleaning bathroom grout and drinking tea.
There must be pastors painstakingly crushing
Hormonal eloquence; but I can't see
Through all that fog and curvature. Despite
Long reading in patristic poetry,
I'd rather they were stomping on their fate
Than knitting bills and purling dirt. Like me.

Let them smash windows. Let them all eat cake
And fart like camels. Let them swive like heroes.
I've had as much of me as I can take,
The careful serrying of ones and zeros.
Let them dance jigs. Let them curvette and break
Upon their shores like Abelards. And Neros.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Elder Than Springtime

He was the elder. So he had been told.
He felt it, too. So much to take on faith,
But this, not this. He grizzled as he stared
Into the mirror recollecting zilch
Of what made him the elder. And of age,
A twist of this, a week of that, whole years
He called to mind in no detail, except
The colors of the calendars and shapes
There for memorializing the months, like May
Bedecked with buds and always breasts, but none
With heft or veins. A birthday cake of shrubs
And columbines like candles, and the wind
Which did not quite extinguish them, but made
Counting unlikely. In the dark he saw
The eyes of March, a fall of fallen leaves,
But no one younger, elder though he was.