Never mind counting
The grains of sand on a distant beach.
How many flakes of snow did it take
To raise the horizon, in one silent night,
Halfway up the cottage kitchen windows,
Framing the silled, discount poinsettia
On a purest white canvas.
After I open the draft-ridden door
Shovel aside, with paced strokes,
The feather bed of first-fall
I will hoist the compost pail, and
Gloved and mukluked
Puncture a track across winter’s skin
Tip the rotting fruits from sunnier climes
Into the squat, black plastic,
Returning, slightly quicker this time
Along my own footholes
Hemmed by the slurred steps
Of the night’s trio of deer,
Hungered trinity, en route
Beneath my late-night northern lights.
F r i s k y
The seasons are a neverever ending relay race.
Spring out of the blocks, dewy with hope,
reaching out to gleaming summer, impatient and too swift,
Flying down the burnt brown furrow, easing up to let
Fall, in those shaky bright colours, drop the lead
Pass the frosted stick to Slow-poke Winter,
the team’s token white guy,
who takes forever to slip a dripping icicle
in the budding fist of Spring,
Spring, when little things start to poke,
Through and out and up and up a bit more
Every living athlete taking things clitorally,
lifting to the occasion of a sexy sun.
The bucking beef and the snorting horse flesh
and the fanfaring deer,
Osprey pairs orbiting high over the riverside nest,
The papermaker wasps building patio lanterns in the porch.
And the farmers, outstanding in their frisky fields,
pockets full of seed,
The whole team getting hands on,
soaking up those vital fluids
Eager to ensure the race runs on.
Time to pair up, wave the baton, and take good hold.
The Early Guest
The door swings open, and in strolls Summer
A welcome guest, arriving early
At Time’s table for four
Catching Spring unawares, only partially dressed
The skybound great grow light moves closer,
illuminates the details
Soon the trees can whisper and bend
In the wind that washes through
before the thundering timpani
Forcing the orchestras of bloodthirsy flies--black, deer, shad, into reluctant retreat.
And the storm breaks, and the ditches gargle
Wings fold while in the douched earth
Worms head north, break into rainlight
Winning or losing in the avian tug of hunger.
Later, in the melancoly days of old September
Tanned fingers cross for an encore, for an Indian Summer,
Something else to do with calendars we borrowed from them
And never gave back.
The Last Laugh
Sugar Maples are autumn’s peacocks
Raging against the dying light
In colours that soon will
Grace my fireplace, where the
Corded maple logs will pyre down to ash
On main street in the village
The tourist caravans rumble through
Nose to tail, their troops determined to digitize
The turning, to pixilate the performance.
To witness is to own.
On the hydro poles
The sad banners flutter, proclaiming in capitals
Nature’s song reduced to musak
This season brought to you
By the nearby palace of gambling
Nowadays, even the seasons are sponsored.
Deeper in the hills, side by side
The sugar maples shake in the wind
Knowing that, sooner or later,
Theirs will be the last, bright laugh.