Tag Archives: october

Late October

The sun molts behind its cloud chrysalis.
Into something colder. Something staring

Through a dirty window. Face with no
Features from which there’s no sense of being seen

But the possibility of being seen feels like a violation
Of a rule older than writing. Who’s breaking it? This old

Morning, who is in the wrong? Starlings carelessly
Scribble song across the lower skies. It’s fun

Being a troubled young man; but a troubled 
Old man is a different bird. And the trouble

Bursts out slowly, like a butterfly pulls 
Itself from its insufficient tomb.

The last warm day of the year

The last warm day of the year

The October sun rests on a loblolly pine.
Late afternoon, slight breeze. River

of leaves sliding along the street side.
I am too old, says the sun, for this: I get

up later every day and I’m tired earlier.
The pine squints at the sun’s single ring

of fire: Try having as many rings as I do
says the pine. Try living in full seasons

instead of skating above it all. Try,
just once, standing still.

October 31 [Book of October]

October 31

The end is artificial. We always knew
And put it there to make the shadow

Of what follows seem smaller


In the end’s private library
Past volumes beyond count

Each with only the last leaf
Tucked between dusty boards

The end finds a bookmark


The end is a bridge
We have crossed before

From the other side
So long has passed all

That’s the same is the bridge

October 30 [Book of October]

October 30

October, like a bird my son has never seen
Until today, in his tenth time through the month.

October the penultimate, telling you the end
Is next but it’s the one after.

October shown without commercial interruption
With the generous support of spring, summer,

Birds, skunks, possum, screech owls, moonlight,
Children, snowmelt, drugstores, the sandman,

The sandman. October the candy wrapper
And the not knowing who opened it

And if it was you and was it yours
And does it matter. You blink your eyes

Because of all I’ve left
Out and which only you could tell yourself

And how it wouldn’t fit,
None of it, and that’s October, too–

The mirror you’ve been looking at
Forever that’s actually someone else.

October 27 [Book of October]

October 27

Before the soft rain the leaves
Finally sing their groundswell chant

They who met the sun first each day
Now embracing the earth without regret

Walking through the leaves releases
Whispers of crisp wishes burning

The air we breathe is on fire with wishes
The soft rain gathers in the branches

Overhead, hovers, a dark respectful canopy.
It’s not used to going any farther but where

Are the hands that caught it so easily
And sent it to the center of things

October 1 [Book of October]

October 1

It’s dark before we’re ready.
The house hums its electric song to itself.
The breath of the song is power
But the song is not about power.

There’s a borderline to the month.
If you wake on the far side of it you cannot sleep
And lay in the dark, awake early but rested,

Aware of the wind listening to the trees
Say their prayers, like a foster parent
Not yet ready to talk about growing up.

And gradually the notes of the day
Arrange themselves across the earth
Like sheet music. And the trees dream.

When the month’s song is over
And the dead hands are done clapping
The house’s song will be louder.
I remember waking up on the other side
Of that border and I remember the words
I tried sounded like windows shutting.
The house encased in its song’s glow
Like an egg. One spring day we will not be reborn.
It’s dark before we’re ready.

September 30 [Book of October]

September 30

We know what the year’s worth
Like we know a coin from its size in our palm.

The month’s full moon. A gumball in a gumball machine.
And once in awhile, two slip out at once

Into your hands. When did the fall’s first
Cold night become a harbinger for a life

Shifting seasons? I look out there:
Not a leaf has left me. Still, if what’s ahead

Is more than loose change, you’re going
To have to get a lot closer to keep

Us both warm with what’s coming.