November hymnal (7)

November hymnal (7)

Like walking in the afterwards
I smell October’s grim vanity in the air

and beneath my feet little liquids in stems
of star shaped leaves fret July losses

and beyond that along the stubs of garden cut
a stray moonflower waits like a scout

Oh months I have no more time for you
I know you made everything up till now it was

all you but each of you could see around
the corner of the library December tensing

in the shadows already forgetting why
it will launch out as I walk by and take

the wind out of me and not
one of you warned me

November hymnal (6) / Trench cello

November hymnal (6) / Trench cello

When the box was out of ammunition
someone now dead made a cello of it

and tuned it to the trenches as mud spilled
over the edges and they played elegies

for themselves in the space between concussions
listening for those who’d not hear their voices

again unless they were as lucky as that
ammunition box outliving its usefulness

and becoming song

November hymnal (5)

November hymnal (5)

The leaves alight with morning rain fall
straight like skimming stones thrown

wrong    light as our names like our lives
they did not have too far to fall

On the morning air your soul floats
over the frost   newly alone    leaves

a scattered gritty rainbow reaching
for the one color it can’t contain

Blue soul blue sky blue frost
like all the memories of laughter

November hymnal (4)


November hymnal (4)

On a cold November morning a man’s
Soul puts on his fifty year old body like a scar

Of his twenty year old’s dream of this morning.
The dream itself was a jacket that wouldn’t fit

Any future. The man steps under the maples
Across the street as the sun takes out its

Paintbrush; he chases leaves to the grass.
His children join him, stuffing their pockets

With color that will never go to ground.
With every stumble he gets younger.

With a gold and red season between his fingers
He takes off his jacket and leans

Like a bare tree against the sky.

November hymnal (3)


November hymnal (3)


All the angles of the sun on tomorrow’s hours
will be awkward like when you arrive late

to a friendship that began before you
understood who your friends were

If you catch up then everything changes
the number of leaves on the autumn trees

the sun rose over that morning
or the hour of the note left on the door

that is still on the door of the heart
though it said nothing less fleeting

than any butterfly of fate
Tonight while you sleep an hour will

come back but from which night?
when you could count the moons

you’d loved together on a single hand
or to a life that has been waiting for you

but now is going on as if you had been there
all along? maybe it never needed you

like the moon never needed you walking
on it but walk on it we did

November hymnal (2)

November hymnal (2)

Showbiz being
a thing of tickets

and tickets of time
and place   thoroughly

entertaining in their own
right    and time of seconds

and place of firsts
as in first happenings

replacing what took
place there as if staged

for a closeup before
flowering into song

and song of summary
with the perspective of

an oncoming roundhouse
right to the flowering face

of death for which you
need no ticket and are

never late god I hate

November hymnal (1)


November hymnal (1)

Now is the blowing song of leaf lidded
lips lifted to the sky in the color that

knows love leaves. Now is the open
your books to page reach for me in

your dreams eyes. Now is the parting
from the family tree. Now the figure

eights of indeterminate holding,
Now golden combs in the air, now

the squirrel sprinting beneath the
carriage of wheels at the hour

That disappears and returns to
The hour before. That brings sun

Down at the third cup of coffee.