The First Snow

The first snow
A chaotic
hungry wind snakes its tendrils into my sweater

A greedy wind
that would eat every calorie of my tropical body
And having consumed every BTU i have to offer
it’d continue on
just a hungry as ever

In its windy voice
telling me a Fahrenheit tale
An intemperant little free verse whisper
Wherein i have utterly failed to slake its thirst
That my puny offering hasn’t made a degree of difference

It hurls wet leaves at my feet and pants legs
Rusty insults that can’t sick to wool

I pull my sweater closer
Fuck you old man
Not today

Grandmother Spider and the Chasm

 

It was sunset and
I had just noticed that the trees were swaying
but I couldn’t feel any wind through the car
Suddenly the road just wasn’t there
I fought to lock the antilock brakes
Coming to rest inches from the Abyss
I mean inches

I got out of the car
There was no bridge
no sign that there had ever been one
It looked like miles to the bottom
The pavement just ended
and I turned from the ledge
because the wind was roaring in the trees

When I turned back
the front of the car was over the edge
I grabbed the back bumper
Like I could have done anything
Inch by inch
the Beamer crept over the brink
Taking me with it

“Let it go.”
There was this little voice in my ear
just loud enough in the howling
“NO!”
“You must let it go.”
“I need it.”
“You don’t need to die.”
And suddenly it was gone
It fell forever
in slow motion
Exploded on impact
just like in the movies

Suddenly
Something grabbed at my coat
A gnarled tree limb had somehow snagged my sleeve
Another had the back
The thrashing trees had been no where near the road
when I stopped
They ripped off my coat
pants
glasses
Everything
And then they stopped
just like that

Figure this
Here I am on top of a mountain
Naked
no car
On a road into the biggest freakin chasm
since the quake
Yet somehow it didn’t really matter

“Be patient
the moon will be up soon.”
I looked down and there was this spider
Now I have never been one of those guys
who hates spiders
In fact I kinda like em
But this one had just spoken to me
“What’s the moon got to do with it?”
“Be patient.”

And so we waited
It was like the sky was full of stars
and there were millions of tiny
whisper sounds
The dew gathered on the grass
but I was not chilled
“Am I dead?” I asked
“Oh, hardly that.
You are alive, perhaps for the first time.”
And I noticed in the gathering moon light
A web
gossamer threads spanning the abyss
Glimmering in the pale light

“Can I cross now?”
“I think so.”
I started to grab my coat
and the trees went wild again
“Let it go.” came the whisper
I shrugged

I put my bare foot on the cable
It wasn’t the least bit sticky
“You’re not gonna eat me are you?”
The spider made this hiss clicking sound
that could have been laughter
“You’re not my type.”
“I’m afraid.”
“Don’t be. Let it go.”

Now I’ve never been one for balancing acts
But on that night
I was magnificent

In the Rain

He smiles
sky tears running the wrinkles in his warm
smiling face
 
Drenched
he waits for me to speak
 
“Old man
why are you out here in the rain?”
He says
“My thoughts were a bit dry
Needed a little watering.”
 
“Aren’t you guys supposed to wear a pointed hat?”
He says
“I doubt it would do much in this deluge.”
 
A time passes
 
He says
“You are walking in a darkness
and though you can’t see it now
You are not alone.”
 
“Old man
why are you out here in the rain?”
He says
“A dear friend is standing in the rain
and she looks so lost and alone.”
 
“Maybe your friend is cursed
Has no right to happiness
Has no need for society.”
 
And he laughs
(might be a cough)
“Not this one, she lives on the edge
She is spirited and gifted
She is a swan raised by ducks. . .
Indignant, resourceless ducks with really bad attitudes
but she is not cursed.”
 
“Old man
get in out of the rain.”
He says
“I’m am far too old to do as I’m told
Never done it before
Not gonna start now
 
Gentle one, your soul, your heart are not dead.
Love never dies
Even if you resign
it will not leave you.”
 
And just like that the old fool starts dancing
Dancing in the rain

No Longer Afraid

 

Having spent a very long and stormy night
losing the ‘what if?’ game
For no reason at all
I decide to play the ‘mindfulness’ game

Here
in the trailing days of a lingering summer swelter
I become – unstuck
Somehow this moment falls away
swirling like that leaf

I reflect on the refractions of Autumn
Autumns past
Autumns to come

Yellow poplar
Scarlet maple
Rust red oak

And look
Pathways in the dancing leaf shadows
Pathways beyond number. . .

The Wizard and the Storm

The harvest moon ascends into a roiling late-summer night
Cloud dragons delight in concealing her dreamy glow
The stars have gone
the sky is darker than a lost lover’s heart

The Wizard sets aside his hat, his coat and vest
Withdraws a wand from his vest
He addresses the darkness

A tone poem builds in his chest
His bare hands reach into the firmament
A sizzling electricity builds in the air

His weathered face does not crack when he smiles
(though there are those who might say it would)
His eyes are closed but there seems a dancing light
flashing behind his lids
He lifts his wand like a conductor
calling an orchestra to order

The howling winds flow through his fingers
Barely contained
Waiting for his domination or a moment’s inattention
Lightning fire fuses water and air
Sonorous thunder
dragon laughter seeks to crush him
His laughter answers

Pelting rain bombards everything
adding staccato to the dark drum thunder-music
He weaves the night into a symphonic poem
All of a piece
A single continuous movement in maelstrom minor
Chords of discord collide and sizzle

Franz Liszt would have been proud

In the center of the tumult
Soaked to the bone
The Wizard cups his hands and gathers the turbulent waters
Lifts to to his lips . . .
Ferocious sable silk, the song of the storm flows
down his throat
Quenching a thirst
centuries old

Shooting Star in Autumn

The cinnamon sky
The gentle brush-stroke, glowing ash clouds
A residuum of a fiery summer sun

Flash

A shooting star arching across the wispy vault
Quick, then gone
Was it real?
Did I imagine it?
A traveler moving above the horizon

Does it count double if the meteor cuts the twilight?
Did I even make a wish?

The silence of the coming night
says all that needs to be said
It is enough

Chapter 10 ~ Untitled

The Magician has not left the beach, except to hunt for food. He stands and watches as the tide rises and ebbs. He waits in fear and grief. There are no echoes in the dark chambers of his heart.
Suddenly!
There! In the shallows.
She fights for the surface. She fights to clear her lungs.
She bursts into the light, coughing and spitting.
He drags her to the beach. His tears baptize her.
She opens her eyes to a blue-sky world and in his chest, she hears . . .warmth.