First Frost

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Supple droplets coalesce

in morning mist, whose cool caress

embraces all in loneliness,

sinking into shallow ground.

Follows then a breath of air,

whose northern accent chills the fair

unfinished droplets, held with care

there upon my glass found.

Shining into crystal likeness,

bright and white and round –

they harden without sound.

Beaded strings of peasant pearls

twined about in crescent curls,

crawling up my window, whorls

unbroken in a line.

There beset with misting sweat

they bind together, tight and yet

their seamless sheen and coverlet

grows gently as a vine.

Silently, with silver strength,

they reflect the moonshine –

until the night’s resign.

Morning brings a glassy sight

a world engulfed in frost-fire light

and painted crystalline and white

in heavenly decor.

The dusted streets stand glistening

while festive boughs are listening

to birdsong southbound christening

the mountain to the shore.

The fragrance of festivity

wafts in and out my door –

til spring returns once more.

Blank Verse for Autumn’s End

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The window pales murky in the fog

covered morning as summer falls away

and chases dreams of life and light and dance

and warm embrace

when chance is spent for good

and feeling leaves withdraw, detach, and fall

to their subsequent slumber in the earth –

I know not where

the morning glories bow

their sightless eyes to depths unfathomed

the clock cooing in the distance again

disturbs my rest

upon an angel’s lap

my body purrs, awaiting patient’s pull

on tail ticked left bereft of rhyme or right

this autumn night

fading into the blue

gray haze of winter’s ice-cold grip of sleep

less pain and shaking fever flowered dreams

beneath me lies

receding warmth and life

outpoured in shudders gently held within

and trickling down through softly shaking hands

upon my neck

a gentle gaze is fixed

and founded in the face of saving love

that spared me from a mother smothering

my infant breaths

in faint and feeble steam

my gaze away peers through the glassy shield

which shelters me from feeling harsher change

as winter falls.

spiritus asper

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valor colored moments in patient days

lean into the wind just to feel its breath

to hear their name sung by the prairie grass

in the Rollingda Bultryple – my heart’s meter

drumming up from the dirt that coats my bones

 

there is another side I cannot see

facing out-taken fragments of mortar and pestle

crushed memories, congealed in tears

and painted like salve to balm my regret

off-white and sterile, dimmer and clean

 

perversely palatable these winnowless spaces

which pull on the edges of cheekbones and lips

turning backwards against their internal setting

until vigilance snaps with a rack-shatter clatter

and diligence stretches the joints out of keep

 

where is the storm to send what is the matter

at hand four beforehand and afterward never

when it’s time to fall back to the spring of complacency

comatose solitude frozen insensitive

bulwarks to blame for the faith of the enemy

 

lessen the teaching of carpeted clamor

when fire resounding is what my heart dreams

and fills my grip over with precipitation

that flashes with wonder and coddles the rage

against white-washed solutions and desolate gain

 

loosen the fount of Chimaera’s gullet

buttress the bridges that bide in between

the time to rush forward in anticipation

the time to crawl under the plunging debris

to the solace of six spaceless moments of motion

 

oh bring me that wind to blow through my bones

and peel the layers of paint worn and past

from the top of my head to the tip of my chin

and down to my toes where the cleaners crawl through

and make me anew

and make me anew