Observed along the country road,
a bed of russet leaves
beneath the drift and spin of autumn
foreshadowed by an ancient Yew,
its needles green as midsummer
Watching the season so keenly,
Studying the daylight shrink,
October dances toward its finale.
I’m counting on the conifers
to foliate the coming days
while cardinals, like crimson gems,
perch, ornamental, on winter’s doorstep
The candles want to burn
who am I to hold them back?
There is something perfect
about fire, contained
a calming sense of order
as the tiny flame hovers
above liquefied wax
I feel my own sorrow
crackling like brittle wood
at fire, released
If I burn all the candles down,
every single one,
maybe it will release me
from clinging to dust and memories
the truth wants to be known, fulfilled
holding it back won’t stop time,
but it might drive me crazy
it might destroy me
I catch each thought between my palms–
a tiny fairy with damp, burdened wings.
When I dry them off, setting them free,
the deep quiet of my uncluttered mind
frightens me, echoing the stillness of a grave;
bottomless and mute.
It wants me to see it, needs to be seen.
A place of solace beckons me
through the uncomfortable dark
where more tears and pain await.
Oh, but I’m so tired, so very tired
of the impenetrable black.
I only want to close my eyes
and see you.
Are we the things we leave behind?
The faded jeans and coffee mugs,
and dark, silent phones.
Are we our data?
I don’t think so.
All this rational thought
is going nowhere,
and that’s a place I can explore.
Nowhere is the coiling and uncoiling of stars,
expanding and contracting,
like my grief.
Nowhere is the deck of a sinking ship
sliding below the surface of the water.
Nowhere is the space where souls drift.
Is that where you are;
Halfway to me and halfway gone?
I’m looking for a place that is no place
because you’re not here,
but nowhere’s wrong too.
Maybe you’re everywhere?
When I fall from consciousness,
the fading imprint of the day
is waiting behind my eyes
I peer into that space,
hungering for the emptiness,
imagining you, a hair’s breadth away
But I can never find you
though I search until sleep descends
unmooring me with a cascade
of nonlinear thought
a false promise of freedom
from the heavy boundaries of time
as my brain reshuffles,
playing games with space and memory
I know my spirit is widest then
my awareness spread eagle
my arms, gone, yet reaching
If you sit outside long enough
you notice that the trees change,
the creek of aging wood,
the lichen on gnarled branches
even in death, the trees offer refuge
countless perches within exposed branches
a high vantage point to observe
the neighborhood cats
with their fat bodies and languid eyes
The abundance of my backyard surprises me
the tenacity of growth, as if my tiny plot of land
is on the cusp of being consumed,
swallowed by the encroaching mountainside
with its wild dazzle of swaying pines
and the tangled vines that choke
the hickory and ash
I wonder at the strength of trees,
how the wood wants to reclaim it all
this lawn, this house, this feeble garden
it’s likely to succeed