Wonders of the Web

A cache of 1940 photographs
taken of my county,
aerial photos.

[Download]

my range, township, section,
and see the farm from above.

Woods have slowly encroached
on the fields since then.
A pasture ran from the barn
down to the creek in the grove,

crops and trees
now divide
the former bovine demesne.

[Zoom]

on a dot in the yard
to the shock
of a boy waving,
looking up
at the airplane
high above.

I look down,
wave back,
waver between
decades,
for a moment forget
my absence then
his absence now.

Father.

No Sunrise

I wake well before dawn,
carry a white resin chair
out to the field road
through a constant dull roar
of frogs and crickets.

Then I sit and watch.

At first, all is black, except
solitary stars
revealed for a moment,
then swallowed whole.

The vague outline
of wooded horizon,
barn, silent sycamores
take form.

Above, thick gray bands
resolve,
stretch across heaven,
back in against
the usual West to East flow.

The sky brightens to overcast.
I carry the chair to the patio
then head inside

for a day of neither sunshine
nor rain,
just dull speculation.

Where The Heart Lies

The rare walk in the woods
fills memory
with its bird calls,
the scamper of squirrels
from limb to limb,
their leaps between trees.

Spring beds of may apples,
faint breath of air in summer heat,
the autumn tinge of sassafras,
winter bare limbs.

I follow the forest paths
of deer along ridges,
ground falling away
on both sides, then down
to rivulets and dry branches
far beneath, fingers
from Horse Creek
a mile away.

The brass clang
of the dinner bell
echoes across time
with vague recollections
of spider webs
and catching thorns
on the way back,

arrives at a landing
then three stairs
to a luncheon menu
rotating between
loneliness,
unspoken agenda,
bitter invective
and cold rage.

===
My entry for dVerse Poets’ Pub Open Link Night #43

Evening Storm

Blackout

Electric spider webs
blazed orange light
throughout the clouds.
An east wind blew from fields
and woods behind us
as we sat on plastic patio chairs
placed in gravel
at the top of our long lane.

The neighborhood was dark
except these sparks
from God’s great hand,
which lit
the full western sky.

Blind, raw gusts
ripped through,
scavenged with ease
the spaces found
between us all,
between us
and the skirting storm.

Dream Work

Harvests
for Randolph Parrott (1863-1943)
and Amos Parrott (1895-1990)

Great grandpa remembered
when the woods edged the back of the barn
and raccoons raided the corn crib
every night.

That was the old barn, burned
over eighty summers past.
It sat on the same spot
as this, though the woods have crept
a field away.

Great grandpa dreamt
his missing rifle rested
against a familiar tree
deep in the woods.
He awoke, then walked
to where it leaned, ruined by rust,
and carried it home.

Great grandpa’s son told me these stories
long years later,
then spoke his own dream:
He and his father met, wordless,
in front of the high-steepled church,
climbed its stairs, entered
into its solemn depths,
sat side by side in silence.

The son awoke and understood,
never saying
what we now both knew.
Within six months he was gone.

Harvests

for Randolph Parrott (1863-1943)

and Amos Parrott (1895-1990)

Great grandpa remembered

when the woods edged the back of the barn

and raccoons raided the corn crib

every night.

That was the old barn, burned

over eighty summers past.

It sat on the same spot

as this, though the woods have crept

a field away.

Great grandpa dreamt

his missing rifle rested

against a familiar tree

deep in the woods.

He awoke, then walked
to where it leaned, ruined by rust,

and carried it home.

Great grandpa’s son told me these stories

long years later,
then spoke his own dream:

He and his father met, wordless,

in front of the high-steepled church,

climbed its stairs, entered
into its solemn depths,

sat side by side in silence.

The son awoke and understood,

then told me his dream,

never saying

what we now both knew.

Within six months he was gone.

St. Valentine’s Day is Coming!

Wrote this back in 2005.  After a bit of critique I am revising….

—-

First Things

Snow feathered bird
I meet in the blossom unfolding,
in scraped-knuckle scabs,
in a wild forest held by countless eyes,
why am I drawn
to your beauty?

In us both
rhythmic cycles of breath
and blood course coelacanth
cold ocean depths
through memory.

Shall I reach my hand
to your untamed frame?

In me alone,
a bright garden — fresh
for naming — burns in my bones,
its dew laden leaves
and bright wings aflutter
in distant past
ever present.

Eden’s sorrow
unmoved by years
of quiet song.

Grief is riskless slow decline.
Snow-feathered bird of my meeting,
I chance this joy;
your red crest flourish
vivid in a cautious wood.