Six lines on an early September front porch, for maple, bird and twilight
The maples are still green. I can hear the Canada geese
Sloughing below vision. Noisy in the west, where clouds break
Against the invisible shoreline of the livable world.
Their calls drift east, first in a foam of chaos then spreading
Like a wave disperses, one voice eddying out, diminishing
Then rising again, with a single repeated wish, good luck, good luck.
September moon song
The mist blows across the moon
And makes the low sound of time
That you hear in your bones and eye-sockets,
That old houses hear. The floor boards
Remember when they were part of something bigger
But when they sing to the moon it sounds
Flat, like uncertain foot-falls in a dark hallway.
The screech owl in the backyard
Is like someone who laughs before they have told
The joke and then had no reason to tell it.
And the two voices talking about a dream
One had, up at maple leaf level; they fade
And drift, like a moon across a window pane,
Or the impression on the grass of a possum’s pink feet.
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.
Looking Backward Across an Early September Day
Geese evacuate beneath the moon’s thin retraction
Trees are whispering their new addresses to each other
and now the houses breathe without coughing
I shrug free and share the sigh of open windows
In the blue morning the sky’s a cut-out
key unlocking summer’s heavy stockade
When the world was upside down
you fell into my arms and I woke
Driving Through A Small Town Full of Churches on a Friday Around Dusk
The buildings vibrate like an old color
postcard whose message has faded
time lifting the letters off the back
one dark bit after the other
which now gather wordless on the horizon
rising without a message to take back
the sky which for a moment shows red
through the church steeples with no bells
At the Overlook on Afton Mountain, Last Morning of September
Cloud Ocean lays over the valley as an unnamed sea
did before names, only the southern peaks
visible like islands in the distance. Clouds crash
into a coast of trees and in the slow motion violence of
white spray rising I sway unsteadily
on top of 400 million years of unmoving rock
Outside My Window, Last Night of September
So quiet except for fall crickets hanging on
In the rectangle of black behind the screen
I hear the soft pattering of rain and lean over the sill
and see two moths, brown like faded leaves
beating forgotten wings against a night full of stars