RURAL REFLECTIONS: Vestiges Through the Old Door
         I Heard It in the Wind

The wind has blown the memory of summer away,
The last leaf that clung to fall has fallen,
And farewells are a sad hanging on to remembrances
Of all that was warm of a youthful yesterday.

I’ve heard that wind before―the calling,
And the changing of the seasons, the passing of time,
Sussurances of goodbye through swaying meadow grass
And the bareness that autumn is now exposing.

It is a coming on and a coming forth,
It is a silence and a portend to sleep,
That the cold winter wind likes to keep
The silence of birds, as it blows from the north.

And what I think: the breathing of that wind―
A moving of emotion, a time of change
That comes and goes in the silence of its own,
To blow in some other bare place within.

And in the far distance I heard the raven call for what it is:
And for the listener, who listens in silence
This is the sound of his own reticence.
For the nothing that is there and the nothing that is his.

Nature’s Way

There is beauty on the shore
And rapture on the wind.
There’s a song in Nature,
Leaving me wanting more.
Gentle waves journey in,
A simple serenade 
From the seas timeless score,
The wind sifts through the pines,
And aspen’s rattling din,
Amid nature’s confines;
Where it restores my soul,
And I’m invited in.
Where grassy meadows roll
Across the morning dew 
Sun-washed in daisy haze;
Where songbirds sing for you. 
The sun was but a rose,
I rose to greet it there.
Forever on it goes.
Through the misty morning air.
A light breeze did stir,
The leaves of touching trees,
I thought that I heard her 
Whispering in the breeze.

The Good Maple

I come to the old maple amid the meadow,
That venerable good tree with its voice.
I love to listen where the wind breaths,
Its warm breath through the dancing leaves;
Eyes closed, listening―listening.

And a sweet smell of meadow grass,
Sweet clover and alfalfa freshly cut,
That the wind draws fresh across the warming earth;
Eyes closed, I draw in its freshness,
Sweet, so sweet this good earth.

I know all the shadows of that good maple,
Where the sun has yet to find,
Where the crickets make it known;
And the summer birds sing their song of life.
I settle in the tall grass―lucid I lay,
Eyes closed, listening―listening.

And in my solace and silence of my mind,
I find a peace in this place,
That only the good tree does provide.
I watch the lazy clouds pass above me,
In the midst of that quiet,
And I find a sense and sensibility
To live simply on this earth.
I closed my eyes, listening―listening.

                    The Renewal

The day is bronzed and bright.
The summer days will be coming on.
The virescense of the emerging leaves,
The earth, fresh and fragrant in the
Spices of a fair and balmy breeze.
Every thread of spring is at last woven,
And the last patch of snow dissolved.
From an earth-warmed washing of wind,
Somewhere in the great foyer of spring,
I welcome back all its illustrious green:
The sunlight dancing in the new leaves;
The croaking crane’s cacophony in the far field;
A hawk indolently sailing on a thermal lift;
Wren and catbird flitting in the thickets
Of lavender lilacs lined with yellow daffodils.
A bird, small as a leaf sings in the first light—
I find a song in myself in the grandeur
Of that large green day coming awake.
The light of spring—the warmth it brings,
Renews my take on so many things;
I’m as light as air—I am just there. 

                   The Essence

She was glad he had his poems to write,
They were something he believed worthwhile,
Of something seen that he remembered.

His creations were forms found sometimes in sound,
Where the welter of life eluded him,
And his poems were makings of his self.

It was important that they survive,
They were created from in the moment,
Where the past and future cast his reflection.

The affluence's of his thoughts conceived
In the poverty of his time;
He found warmth and dignity in his words.

He found no sense in the waste of society,
He lived between his heaven and his earth
He found his sound of sense out there.

Where he captured it from her essence
And put to page his poems of life,
That derived from an awakening of being.

That is where he framed his musings,
That she said, he found in the sound of wind;
A discovery―a moving of emotion.

He called this emotion―a stable muse
That gave him a sense of self-worth;
In his craft learned from listening,

Listening to nature's offering and order,
He escaped the trappings of disorder,
That he believed shed dark cold shadows.

She was glad he had his poems to write.
She believed they found each other in his words,
That he gave to her from his inner light.

                      Evening Star

For him, it was only the sound of evening—
The sound of the last song of meadow birds,
In the last of the lingering light.
Only this evening, he saw low in the sky,
The evening star, at the onset of autumn—
The star that in spring ruled the western horizon.

What had this star to do with the world it shown below?
With the darkening skies over the meadow,
Over the forest, over the bordering bogs?
There it was again in the autumn sky
As if it came back-as if life came back,
As if evening could always give solace
And the star comfort in some diminished light.

He thought he had this that he could love,
Like the evening sound and the song of things.
How the capricious night sky sparkled in silence.
From the middle of the meadow and mist
The odor of earth penetrated more deeply than any word,
There he touched his being
There as he is—he is.

            Empty Places

Somewhere I felt this way before,
When western skies turn red as wine;
A place where people dwell no more,
The idle windmill's wrapped in vine.

The empty house across the way,
With darkened windows staring cold.
The barn burdened by slow decay;
And disused wagons bear no load.

I've heard before this easy breeze,
Through broken sills that whisper, moan
Forsaken songs. Graveyard of trees
Is where the orchards once had grown.

A still silence pervades this place:
No sound of cows, no pastures green,
The fields now ruled by Queen-Ann'e-Lace,
Wherein rusts the mowing machine.

The sun has set - dew's sifted in,
And birds are silent in their nest;
For they don't dwell on what has been,
What was once I must leave to rest.

                  A Moment of Silence

Like burning embers, clouds hold the last light
From the setting sun that gives up the day,
To the purple veil of night and rising moon.
A flock of geese, like an arrow on a compass,
Pointing south, silhouettes in the amber glow
And deepening red above the empty fields.
My ‘iron horse’ as Grandpa called her,
Rumbles under my steel saddle, ambling
Over the corn stubble in the back forty.
It was late October ― a chill pervades 
The land that falls deeper into silence.
The trees along the fence line let loose some
Lingering leaves. The last vestiges of autumn, 
Before the onset of a winter’s sleep.
I throttle down, break, and kill the cough
From the rumbling cast iron Farmall “B”.
Her warmth warms my legs and feet
As the last belch of smoke from the stack,
Disperses into the heavy night air ― then silence.
I thanked God in that becalmed stillness.
I thanked God for the quiet beauty before me;
And the quiet content that lay within me
And for at least a moment, I got it.
I got what pure joy and rapture meant.
I understand now Grandpa’s gift
When he uttered the phrase “silence is golden.”

As the last of the lingering light waned and went,
I caught the faint smell of wood smoke.
I saw it languidly rise from the chimney,
Of that great farmhouse planted on the hill,
Where Grandpa’s sweat and toil gave us shelter,
And sense of where lives began and dreams were made.
I saw the warm light from the kitchen windows,
Wrapped by the grand porch where we all gathered
To talk of the day and listened to tales of yesterday.
Once again, I thanked God for all my blessings,
And for that moment of silence;
Then started the Farmall, breaking the silence;
And headed for home for a piece of warm
Apple pie and a hot cup of Jo.

                 Carlin’s Point

The heady fragrance of balsam and earth
Lies heavy in the mist of morning’s dew.
Treading down the old logger’s path
Where last year’s leaves leave a carpet, soggy black,
And the glory of morning in its gold and green,
Become hues of life in the dawn of spring.
Something about a path makes us follow.

Somewhere in the distance a gull laughs,
The sound of wind-whipped surf sifts through trees.
To know the water is near and yet to keep
This easy stroll from racing to the shore,
Where water sparkles in the sun’s blue eye,
And long green sedges bow to wind and wave.
Something about water sets the mind adrift.

From this driftwood strewn point at morning’s edge,
Is where you come to find yourself exposed,
To wind, water, and sky. The shattered light
From morning’s sun splits the scud of low clouds,
And everything becomes so much clearer;
You find all that is left is the earth and sky.
Something about the sky sets your spirit free.

Only then can we teach our eyes to see
And our ears to hear and in the end,
We come to find how body from spirit
Slowly does unwind, until we are pure,
And all that is left behind is driftwood
Scattered upon the wind washed grassy shore.
Something about eternity we must follow.

   Door County - A Piece of the Past

Roads now paved over the once dusty lanes,
Through fields where weathered poles lean slightly still―
Stable perches for birds lining to leave,
Orchards stand like old stewards of a fruitful past.

Either side of the road, a few old barns,
Left forsaken to a long-ago prosperity;
The loose lap-strake boards and broken windows
Dulled by dust, cobwebs and musty hay,
Hide idle tractors behind the gray clad.

So this is Door County―late in August,
Driving along a road that led somewhere;
A  windmill with its fan blades frozen― forgets the wind.
Meadowlarks sing on every fence post.

Remnants of a roadside stand and a faded sign,
Behind, a farmhouse, empty with darkened windows―
A rocking chair left to rock no more on the porch.

A highway leads a new society, new people
To the promised land, where billboards loom on every side.
This land is your land. No! This land is my land.
Purchase a parcel of our past piece of pie.

Condo-clad escarpments; gift shops (the new crop).
Pick your own cherries, apples and Real Estate.
The once bucolic beauty bought and breached-
Purchase the past for a price - people and more people.

Gawkers gawk at a goat mowing a grass rooftop;
Gust Klenke's blue truck planted with red geraniums.
For now, the "Bee Keeper's" garage, paint-peeled,
Is left to the passer-by; a sad reminder,
That a way of life has passed us by.

             The Companions

Lost in thought, I felt the onset of evening,
As the darkness settled over a perfect autumn day.
Down a country lane, I drove slowly
Past and old farmhouse that ensconced the couple.
At the kitchen table, I saw them in their light 
A light to no one but themselves in a silence of their own.
He played solitaire, she looked in a photo album 
(Vestiges of youth in sepia reflections) 
Warmed by years of togetherness; the stove glowed
Behind the grand table that seemed to consume them.
I slowed to a stop, so far from my own home
Two deer grazed from a corn feeder in the front yard.
Two companions look out at two companions;
Neither saw me - a lonely spectator outside
Of their place of familiarity and comfort. 
I saw them both smile, distracted briefly
From their tasks, cards laid down, album set aside.
They began a conversation in the glow of the large window,
The deer moved on, he picked up his cards,
She kissed him on his head and walked away into darkness,
Leaving him to his game of solitaire - I drove home
With an indelible picture planted in my mind
Of the two companions seasoned by time
Behind the window, framed by the old farmhouse.

                   Dog Day Afternoon

I came to the edge of a sun-splashed meadow
Of a now late August afternoon.
Within—looking out from the darkened woods.
Where August breezed in with its sultry-breath;
The buzz of cicadas permeated the heavy air
In an emphatic cacophony cadence;
Far away—so long from autumn’s becalming silence.
The freshly cut hay in the far meadow,
Drew fresh and sweet on the fair breeze.
I remained in the cool shadowy-shade, 
Under the verdant canopy of the touching trees;
Juxtaposed to the meadow, consumed
By painted butterflies and buzzing bees.

Something about a mid-summer afternoon,
Where time seems to slow and stumble;
The passing of June now dialed in to Augusts’ tune;
Of meadow lark and a song sparrow’s ensemble
Somewhere between the languished morning
And the indifference to the coming night.
(Interspersions of time, tasks, and light).
I rested on the flat field stones of the fence line,
And watched the blooming cumulous mount.
The meadow seemed to shimmer and dance
Like wavering apparitions in the heavy air
Where finches flit and fly in fancy flight
And the dappled haze of golden rod
In the fields of green and hazy gold.
Reminds that the summer hues are to hold
And the autumn days are drawing near,
When the meadows fade to russet and brown,
Under matted clouds and hard sky.
But, for now, I hear summer in the winds sigh.
The light softens and slips into long shadows
And I moved on along a grassy road,
As the leaves gently rattled overhead.
It occurred to me, I really had no other place to be.

                           The Long Night

When the trees moan out in the night,
Sleep my love, for the rain cries outside.
Let’s not stay awake―let dreams alight;
With you, my love, warm at my side.

There is much the darkness knows,
Where winter shadows are dark and  deep,
Behind our window in warm repose.
Lay with me, my love―let us sleep.

And when the fire wanes and embers glow;
Where long nights obscure the light of day,
And north winds conspire to blow,
May we sleep, my love―in silence we lay.

And sleep peacefully in light of the moon,
Of a winter where our slumber is long.
Morning will break, but not too soon,
May we wake, my love to a lover’s song.


In the earliest light of memories:
In the dry duff under the new green,
Amidst bird song and a warm breeze―
Stirred the redolence of a warming earth,
I found mayflowers rising from dried leaves:
Pale and pastel―white, lavender, pink; rising
To the sun that danced in the trees.
The sweet fragrance juxtaposed the musty
Litter of the forest floor. Ripeness of spring,
Heady and new―born again―alive.
A meadowlark on a fence post sings alone.
Winter washes away in April showers;
I found the philosopher’s stone,
Under the bloom of a new day,
All went my way―I was not alone,
I was just home.

               The '42 Dodge

Within the goldenrod, aster and overgrown grass,
A final place of rest, retired to rust and ruin,
Sits Pa's faded green '42 Dodge pick-up.
Turned out to pasture, wheels planted in the sod,
Headlights peering through the thistle.
Milk cans, bales of barbed wire, nail kegs,
Still stored in the weathered gray oak bed,
A warm reminder to what it was worth,
To pa and all the loads it carried:
The hay it hauled, loads of lumber, and tools
To frame the farmhouse, trips to town,
With us kids on its back to cool off on
Those hot July afternoons and trips to the fair.
Dependable in endurance - proud in its prime,
Time and seasons it rolled on through:
The Big War, and the cold war generation,
The sultry sixties, the gas shortage seventies,
And the farm foreclosures of the eighties.
The old reliable runner rolls through the years;
Until one day she ran no more.
Pa said, "she's gone!" the engine seized.
The beloved green Dodge was laid to rest
On a Sunday in the back forty meadow,
Where time and seasons settled her deeper in silence.
Its final place of rest; as was Pa
Laid to rest one year later.
Monuments of memories to themselves.

          Cloud Dreaming

The boy came to a hill and his favorite tree.
His world was his own, so were his dreams.
He sat in its shade where he would see,
How clouds formed to shape his scenes:
There came a bear right out of thin air,
And a unicorn with a swirly horn,
There swam a dolphin with only one fin
And a chimpanzee, he could clearly see.
He made a wish, then saw two fish,
Where another he swore was a dinosaur.
Looking to the east, he saw a beast,
And a cat all billowy and fat.
So what came forth out of the north?
A dragon pulling a white wagon,
And a giraffe―but only one half.
Out of the west formed what he loved best,
An elephant with its trunk all bent,
And a polliwog that turned into a frog.
It was in the shade of that old tree,
He came to see what clouds could be,
And what forms his mind could set free.

                The Genesis of a Poet

Far across the autumn meadow
The waning evening light,
Turned the swaying grass fire red―
Windswept, it looked ablaze.
The last lingering light from the,
Setting sun created this for me.
Deer grazed along the shaded woods;
I heard a meadowlark sing its song,
The last trills languished in the wind;
And the sun slipped behind the trees.
Nothing now but the balmy breeze,
Making the meadow grass hiss.
The boy found poetry and passion,
And never again was anything the same.
Sounds and sight.
Eyes and ears.
Paper and pen.

  The Hay Rake

Autumn winds sweep across a fallow field;
A hay rake, rusted, leans with planted wheel
(For goldenrod had tried but not concealed)
Now falls deeper into time and seasons.
Sapling oaks fence it in away from the shed,
Dried leaves have gone the way of the sparrow,
And winter brews upon the brow.

    The Bridge

As time comes, and comes to pass,
And time and time again I pass
That little bridge over Quiet Creek.
Her rambling rivulets I’d come to seek,
Weaving through dried thistle and matted grass.
In the still peace of a March morning’s chill
Stands the old bur oak becalmed and bare,
Keeping its silent vigil there,
By the weathered bridge that bears no load.
Only ghosts now manifest in the wind
Where once travelers crossed on their mortal road
Between heaven and earth now born again
In a memory of long departed kin.
The sun arose from the grassy ridge,
And I, I was water under that bridge.

  Evening Bliss

I watch the soft light of a summer eve,
I see the long shadows of the trees.
A deer moves indolently along a fence line,
Grazing on the fresh grass of a burgeoning meadow;
The sun nestles into the rolling hills,
Everything is still and silent.
A robin sings it's sonorous song in the last light,
And the dew settles in, and contently, so do I.
Through the drowsy dusk of evening,
I see the warm window light of my home;
I shall get there, but not too soon,
I will wait here awhile for the rising moon.

The Moonlight Ride

The moon showed up again late last night,
Full in form and countenance; I had found
The meadow laden with dew glowing in her light,
Where the night's fragrance drew fresh from the ground.

The air lay heavy, it faintly stirred;
I ran through the field where cricket's sing,
Their cadence louder than any daylight bird,
Was of equal value - both had a song to sing.

For me, a sudden renewal of myself and sense,
Through the drowsy mist and balmy air.
I was all too aware of this evanescence,
For when daylight comes, and I'm not there.

                     Seasons of Change

It was a good day, his day, a simple solitude,
Found in the fall woods - a favorite season.
Through dried leaves, his thoughts pursued
Out of the silence and semblance of reason

Of a sound caught in the autumn air,
In the shelter of trees, his place of peace -
A realm of repose - summer birds no longer there,
Save for a jay and sounds of southbound geese.

Under the maple's crown of October's flame
Shuffling through the old trees litter and duff,
An aroma, rich, redolent it came
In reflections of his past, was just enough

To fill his senses of a day golden and bright.
A wind swirled on high letting go some leaves
Vibrant hordes tumbling on their earthward flight,
Left him in awe of autumn's splendor, he perceives

Taking what is, and seeing it as it is.
How the season turns summer leaves to rose,
And all that changes in time become his
Reminder that winter will come, and autumn goes.

He walks in silence and listens to the wind
And knows some things end and others begin.

           Passport to Winter

Hints of autumn found in the frost,
On dried leaves, under matted clouds
Where rustling corn whispers farewell,
And noisy leaves of sleeping oaks
Hold their own to winds and hard sky.

Gone the nights with open windows
Where moonlight sifted through maples,
And a whippoorwill perched to sing.
To find winter sets in so fast,
One must have known her chill a long time.

Fields now lie fallow and stubbled.
Winter’s silent emptiness lurks,
Behind the warmth of autumn winds;
A raven alights on dusky wing,
Cold is the sorrow in its eyes.

The change of seasons, like the hands of time,
And like the wind that changes too,
To blow in some other bare place.
To find that first glitter of frost
On fallen leaves; then I for one,
Know the sadness when summer’s done.

                      Sonnets for the Seasons


Awake―listen to the songbird’s aubade,
In the mist of morning’s essence,
Where peace comes to me readymade.
Albeit fleeting in the dawn’s evanescence:
Deer grazing in the sun-washed glade,
The flight of a goldfinch portrayed―
A golden light―the morning gives no pretense
As dawn goes to day―the light delayed.

Moments in time between daylight and dark,
Across thresholds of sunlight and shadow.
Nature’s hues of light found their mark;
A breeze draws across the meadow,
Wherein sings alone the meadowlark.
Inside inspiration flames from a spark.


The ragged low clouds of a day gone dim,
Against the lucid green of the still harbor,
A beached dory cast to rest on her shore.
To late in season for swimmers to swim,
To early for the northwester to roar
And strip the leaves from a sleeping tree’s limb,
And blow out fall’s flame. The gold seraphim
Finds freedom from flight summoned to soar.

All is now calm―autumn’s light pacified;
The water like glass, turns a deeper hue
The silence in season―the sedges all dried;
And when summer birds leave, I shall leave too.
All colors colder, I dreamed I had died,
While overhead a soaring gull cried.

             Winds of Thor

The weathered boat and cloudy sky
To live life between the two
And come to rest upon some shore.

The old sea we once knew as wild
Where we’d cast our nets and ascend our sails
And tell tall tales of Leif;

Of never ending storms at sea,
Of strong wills and strong men,
And wind that would shatter water.

It is the sea that steadies the soul,
Where desire lies beyond billowed sail;
The breath of Thor turns seas to white.

It is the sea the Norse winds make,
And the sea that makes men old
Leaving them driftwood on the shore.

And the cloudy sky, hard and grey,
Like the old boat that lies broken
When winter washes into the shore.

                          The Respite

That day there was a kind of sunshine,
Old fishermen come to love. The kind of day,
They sat silently on the south side of their
Weathered shed on the stone-crib docks.
The sunlight warmed slowly all through the day,
Like a warm kindled fire in a stove.
It was mid April―ice out―still a chill
Lurked behind a slight northerly breeze.
One after another, the gulls soar and cry
And passed by like white clouds in the sky.
Reflections of northwesters and surly seas,
Serve no offerings and relevance this day.
Everything was lit by a halo of light,
The harbor glinted bright like shards of glass.
From a breeze across the harbor,
Came a chill and freshness from the water;
Of reminders of fish to harvest, and long days
That was not there today, this day of respite.
Their sea weathered hands hold no nets,
Only a pocket knife to widdle wood
To while away those quiet and reflective hours,
A few stories ebbed and flowed in on
The noon-day sun: of storms fared,
Strong wills and sea-worthy boats.
They were always heard to say: “May the fair
Winds and falling seas bestow upon us.”
That day there was a respite for the fishermen.

Long Light of June

In June's long light, We heard the bobolink;
Our song of summer, out on the fence line.
I watched her in the kitchen by the sink,
Yellow skirt, shapely thighs, drinking her wine.

The opened window let in a light breeze,
Parting the curtains, sifting through her hair.
From our garden, she shelled the fresh peas;
I, at my typewriter, inspired from my chair.

She glanced over at me and gave me a smile,
I composed her poem, it came to me fast.
I met her in the doorway, we kissed awhile,
And made love like it was our last.

We lay spent in the late light of June,
The bobolink went silent - I heard her sigh,
We held each other - night was coming soon
Dinner would have to wait, was her reply.

She pressed her lips to my ear and softly said,
Let's bring our love and go up to bed.

The Answer

The beautiful innocence that I see,
While my children lay there becalmed and asleep.
I can’t help but to watch them in slumber
And ask myself, in wonder, of their dreams.
Are my dreams any different than theirs?
Are dreams reflections of something hard to hold,
And scatter like leaves in the wind?
Is there some vicariousness I seek
To find in that great green hope of youth?
I ask this question because I need to;
Because life is a question of itself.
We tend to run before the winds of fate,
We think it will carry us forever,
And not vanish as clouds in the sky,
Nor wither as do the autumn leaves.
So I see them in their silence of sleep,
It gives me comfort and gladness I am here
And the love and light that they bring to me,
Is my moment, I will not let disappear.
The answer I find in the question of life,
Is the love of my children and my wife.

The one way to find happiness is to love,
Unless you love, life will flash by
Do good to them – wonder- hope.

           Lost Lake

It was this same dock twenty years ago
We witnessed the young boy’s life slip away.
The moon mirrored in his open lifeless eyes,
As the lake smoothed over where we pulled him.
How swift an unannounced death came that night,
Washing over us like some sleight of hand.
His drowned face we failed to make breathe again,
And for a moment the lake fell silent,
Save for a loon laughing in the still night.

Lost Lake was where we’d go every Friday
To watch the northern lights dance in emerald waves
And swim through the lukewarm darkness of night.
The new kid, we called slim, leaped from a birch;
Pierced the water clean; twelve rippled rings
Spread out from where he broke the moon in two.
Twelve rings—one for each year of his life.

The Window

She both dug and despised the night,
Alone in her poster-plastered room
She stands near the window
Looking out through the darkness of the frame,
She sees her lonely image.

And many miles away he is in his own room,
Waits for a call—a desperate stare at his phone;
A call he may know will never come.
His own image reflects a loneliness, 
In a darkened window frame 

Their pains of the past plague them
Obscuring their longing for love and desire.
Their darkened windows paint a reflection
Of some kind of self portrait of want.
In looking at herself, she tries to see beyond herself.
And she dreams of her lover
Beyond the darkened window frame;
Could her lover see her?
In such quiet desperation?

The other:  a young man
Admiring a memory of a girl,
He hopelessly desired.
A girl he remembered from a life
That was not his anymore.

Given their blindness for hope,
Their self-possession of doubt and despair;
They both look to both sides of the glass,
And wonder if there is a future in it?

Was it two people poised for destiny?
Or was it a lover’s paradox hidden in parable
Of two trying to become one,
But yet remain two?

Time cannot stop for wanting to return to yesterday,
The past is just a lesson to learn for tomorrow.

The Lone Swan

The land rests in autumn’s glory,
The harbor sands whiter still.
Summer birds gone migratory,
One white swan sails through October’s chill.

Dried leaves litter the harbors hull,
The woodland paths all dry.
The sound of a far-off laughing gull
Out in the cloudless sky.

One loan swan was my count;
So why did my heart ache,
When to the sky she did mount,
And leave behind an empty lake.

Wilderness Song

She would appear when night had descended.
He would wait and would himself have believed,
That her spirit, he had apprehended
And her wilderness song somehow conceived, 
From hearing her voice in the lunar light.
High on a spruce clad cliff above the lake,
He could hear her call impaling the night;
This tone of meaning, could he now forsake?

Albeit love, he wasn’t in her song,
And somehow knew her spirit was to wild
And the wilderness he didn’t belong.
She was of nature, leaving him beguiled,
So she could never be for him to tame,
Never again would her song be the same.

A Winters Night

The night was cold―my house warm within.
Winter’s wind buffeted the window pane.
The log shifted in the stove. I was in
My warm place―a comfort to remain;

A place where all my thoughts called home;
I found peace in the sound of silence.
I felt how firelight gave me aplomb,
Where all was calm―and all made sense.

I looked out the window through the pale frost,
Out where the stars ruled the cold empty night.
Miles from nowhere, I was somewhere―not lost,
From within my home, my hearth, my firelight.

This light was mine to call my own,
While the darkness lurked beyond my door.
Company to no one out here alone,
Save for my shadow asleep on the floor.

Winter stared in―it was not mine to keep,
And the warmth within sent me off to sleep.

A Country Church

An old country church and a winter’s day,
Empty, disused; a silent steeple bell
Tarnished by time calls no one now to pray;
A north wind rattles the loose stain-glass pane.

Christ still hangs on the cobwebbed wall,
Looking down upon the empty pews;
The flocks have fled, no preacher here to call
To save a soul, or send home the dead.

Outside, a dried balsam-bough Christmas wreath,
Clings to a rusty nail, above the door;
Left behind for the old church to bequeath
To the cold wind that pays no offering.

And out across the way, a cemetery
Bears a few forsaken headstones.
A final rest beneath a plastic daisy,
That winter’s distant sun has left to bloom.

Schoolhouse Beach

Cedar-lined sentinels,
Stoically stand keeping vigil
Over wave-washed cobble stones,
Weathered and worn, rolled and round
From years of tumbling overturns.
A rumbling overture of some stone-song-
Sonata; and like the waves that shape the shore
Resounds to stir some reminder
Of something so long ago—
Longings of my boyhood,
Reflections of youth echoes in the trees.
A southerly breeze ushers in,
Stirring azure ripples of wake
Over the placid cool water.
The stones white and timeless,
The water endlessly rolling
In motion of indolent waves.
My youth still resounds here,
Through the ripples of time:
Of skipping stones, singing songs,
Friendly faces of forgotten friends,
Of a time where running on stones
Meant some sort of coming of age.
It was our time—it is our place,
That time shall not erase.

The Gate

A broken porch clings to an empty house,
A weathered chair is left to rock in winds
That sweep across a sun-stained floor.
Curtains frayed, tattered (swaying ghosts
In dark glassless panes) a strange
Sound of silence, save for brooding sparrows
That bicker and mass in the open eaves.
The half-opened gate sports a welcome sign.

A Gate… To keep the old house in?
Unhinged from time, now hinged with vines,
Clematis, wild grape, weaves the wrought iron;
From where poor father kicked mud from his boots.
A gate that can do nothing more, save for
A stable perch for wren or finch.

                    Morning Has Broken

I watch the morning sun light up the leaves,
Oh, how it makes me smile.
I felt at ease amongst the touching trees,
I walk a country mile.

The meadow glows in shrouds of silver mist,
A lark begins to sing.
Clover blankets the fields in amethyst,
I hear a cowbell ring.

A gentle sound to ring in the new day;
Somewhere over the hills—not far away.


After the April rains relent
And warm winds sweep away the clouds,
I come to find my garden birds
And all their song and cadences
Belong to me in that large green day.

The snow that once held me in,
Has nothing on me now and falls
Victim to spring: her hammered rains
And faithful sun; my spirit awakes.
To see that first robin return,
Reminds me of my own arrival.

The essence of spring—I call it my peace:
The leaf emerging, pale and green,
A thrush in song within the woods,
The smell of earth on easy breeze.
I’ve found what’s already found me.

The Poets Poem to Pass

It is now December―the land is silent,
The woven webs no longer glisten with dew.
Winter is in the making, fall has flew
South with the summer birds that came and went.

The north winds cold indictment’s there to hold
The remorse for time, and it’s diminished light.
It is in the mind that’s ripe with sight―
Torn from verdant summer for the mirror of cold.

It is not the snow that’s the poet’s page,
But the poem that grows more fiercely than the wind;
The mind lashes out again and again―
Romantic ramblings rose from rest to rage.

It is in his solitude, a syllable
Forms from leaves scraping across the frozen ground,
The poet captures it in some sentence sound.
Purity in his poem paged in parable.

He hears from the wind and hissing grass
Of rattling leaves on trees becalmed and asleep;
Reminds him his reticence he can’t keep
And puts to page his poem to pass.

The Longing 

Her look I’ll always remember,
In silence of a year grown old.
Fall’s flame burns cold in December;
How she disdained the cold.

She’d stare for days out the window,
At fleeting birds across the sky―
Her sadness the winter bestow,
I’d hear her old familiar sigh.

Duff of dry leaves litter the ground,
Under ragged clouds heavy and low;
The wind moans a melancholy sound―
She can’t forgive the coming snow.

The warmest thing a man may know,
To have a home and be within,
To hold his lover and not let go,
While the cold outside ushers in.

Her look, I’ll always remember,
In that darkest evening of the year;
Her disdain for the cold of December,
And like those birds―she too will disappear.


After the April rains relent
And warm winds sweep away the clouds,
I come to find my garden birds
And all their song and cadences
Belong to me in that large green day.

The snow that once held me in,
Has nothing on me now and falls
Victim to spring: her hammered rains
And faithful sun; my spirit awakes.
To see that first robin return,
Reminds me of my own arrival.

The essence of spring—I call it my peace:
The leaf emerging, pale and green,
A thrush in song within the woods,
The smell of earth on easy breeze.
I’ve found what’s already found me.

     The Dock

I still remember all your stories
You tried to tell, listened to your jokes,
Dumb as they were; I always found a laugh.
Tried so hard to find wisdom behind your
Thick stuttered banter, but loved you all the same.
So many times I tried to catch a glimpse 
In that lazy eye, to find nothing, really
To inspire me. I remember you saying
The meaning of life, so simple, was
M & M’s and a jar of peanut butter.

That day I saw you on the dock,
Weaving, contorting, some semblance of 
Dance you tried to dance;
A song you could never sing.
The stone you tossed into the drink.
To watch the ripples race away in rings.
Your lucky token you had kept
In your faded denim pocket.

How we both loved that old dock;
So many laughs, snagged hooks and drifting bobbers.
Remember all the dreams we would cast
Into the sun- diamond studded water,
Wishing to snag one to see if it came true.

Our youth, a premature sort of dying —
A strange time, clumsy; an intolerant wait,
A longing to be mature — to be somebody,
Then wishing somehow to come back again.

My hands now weak to hold this thin line.
Where have you gone old friend?
I only hear the sound of seagulls laughing,
To remind me of your stupid jokes.
I wish you were here, this dock seems
So different and lonely for me now
To find the right bait to bait my hook.

       A Day Created for You

A bluebird sings all morning through,
A butterfly pulses its wings,
In the mist of a settling dew.
Nature's song carries no misgivings,
I take it in to give to you.

My musings hang in the fresh breeze,
I am there to feel it begin:
There is shadows from touching trees,
And rapture in the wind,
Where light dances in the new leaves.

It was there my troubles would not pervade,
For this was the day the Lord had made.

My Little Bird 

Last night I had a dream of you,
A little bird in song, then off you flew,
Flying into a warm and balmy breeze
From the shelter within the verdant trees.
My world went silent without your song-
Without your song, how could I get along?
You that bird that taught me to sing;
And what was I to make of a diminished thing?
But when I awake from the dark of night,
I heard you singing in the morning light;
In the maple tree outside my window,
A song so sweet, I couldn't let it go.
Something there is in that song you bring,
Gives me hope and meaning in everything.
My bird who lives aloft in the open air,
Lets me know the freedom from despair.

The Wondering

I stand before you now wondering.
I stand before you seasoned from life;
And I wonder what it is you see?
The aroma of sawdust from my clothes,
So often, you said, how it pleased you so,
When we greeted each other at the day’s end.
I wonder what you see in me.
Do you see in me the young handsome man?
You met so many years now past?
Am I that person you fell in love with,
When we met with ripened passion?
When love hung over us,
Like spring blossoms brimming from the bough,
What is it you see in me now?
Is it your lover—is it your friend
When a friend was all you ever needed?
A friendship to warm the heart
And help along a love to grow.
Am I the man who brought you happiness?
As does sunshine after the falling rain.
I wonder, do I still?
For I am older now,
Though my love for you is young,
And still so new,
As the misty freshness
Of a morning’s dew.

What is Life

For what is life anyway?
The rising sun of a new day?
The flash in the night of a firefly?
Wind in the pines (a whispering sigh).
Shadows sweeping across the grass
From blooming clouds that pass.
The brilliant butterfly on painted wing,
A bluebird with a song to sing.

The sound of a rambling brook
A song the forest mistook
For something it thought its own
Washing over rounded stone
Life for me—and I for one 
Dig the rapture of a setting sun.


Someone once told me who cared,
That happiness must be shared.
Never before had it meant so much
Like the gentleness of your touch.
You give me warmth in your smile
Where it shall be with me awhile.
To warm a cold and weary heart,
Whether together, or apart.

To an Old Friend Not Forsaken

A misty morn, I walk the beach alone,
As well I should, it just seems good,
To feel the cool sand beneath my feet.
It was a day the sun had not shown,
I found myself walking between shore and woods.
A fog rolls in from where air and water meet;
Lost in thought, I skipped a stone,
It skimmed the water, then slipped into a wave.
I thought of a time―a memory bittersweet,
About a friend who's spirit I tried to save;
Of a day in my youth where time meant more,
Than it did today walking this foggy shore.
That diminished time of youth, as was his time
On this earth; but a friend to a friend I was in the end.
How our lives are blessed, then turn on a dime.
My road is my own to pave,
Thoughts go out to him―a prayer to send.
I think of that stone that sank into that wave,
And my childhood friend thirty years in the grave

The Guardian

The storm drives on the sails that hold,
The winds that roar a howling cold.
Waves thunder, roll upon the shore,
This faithful light’s been seen before.
Old guardian with watchful eye
To guide the ships that passes her by.

Through a dark and dusky November sky,
Where clouds bloom in the cold distance,
The old steel-clad sentinel still looms high,
A lonely vigil from upon its stony-stance.

 Standing in antiquated time;
A light to no one but the moonless night,
Or an artist’s painting or poet’s rhyme,
In hallowed beam of guiding light.

Weathered and worn now just a story told,
The guardian stands empty and alone,
With darkened windows staring cold;
Under cold starlight, clad in stone.

A glowing eye, gleaming, shines the sea,
No tender there for it to keep.
Once a savior to a sailor’s destiny
Beyond on the horizon, on the rolling deep.

The Last Voyage

There was no ease of mind on his last sail,
The water-steed, weathered, emptied of men
Slipped silently through the moon-lit fjord;

And like the wind that slaps the sail, resounds
A loneliness, and what was in his mind,
Became diffused as the wake in water.

It wasn’t the shadow of age looming,
But a sense of being so far from youth;
Norse winds will leave you like driftwood on shore.

What had he heard in those ocean voices?
That sounded so near but were too far away
To waken a warrior’s savage heart.

Though darkness nursed his thoughts: The far-off shores,
The clank of swords, and cries of battle;
A comfort was found in night’s purple fold.

And through the aurora’s icy curtain
A glowing face amidst the emerald waves.
Was it Odin on the shores of Valhalla?

He heard the call a Viking longs to hear
That thundered like waves upon the shore.
“Rise and fight again with the chosen dead.”

The Flight

I knew I could fly―I always felt it.
My childhood dreams always craved it;
When seagulls soared, I was with them.
My fascination of flight, floating on feathered wings.
Best dream I ever had; I remember
It years later―recurring from time to time.

I flew into the cerulean blue,
I felt the air under my wings,
It tickled my tips―I soared higher.
I was so alive, free, stimulated,
Unfettered to a world that kept me down.

I flew over fields and verdant hills,
The world below me moving away from me.
I saw a deep blue-green sea.
I saw shadows of the clouds,
Like some patch-work quilt―blue, green,
And brown; colors I held on my
Palette of my dreams.

I saw a young boy running through
A field looking up at me, waving
Running along trying to keep up―
I knew who he was―a believer,
A dreamer, like me, trying to get
His feet off the ground.

I flew on, the sun warmed my back.
I flew toward its familiar warmth
And light far away from my earthly
Bindings and trappings.
In the lift of thermals, I carried no weight;
I was where I always needed to be,
A rider of wind―a dreamer of dreams.

And when I awakened,
I was lying naked on the floor―flightless,
In some airport hotel with some
English bird from the hotel bar,
Wrapped around me naked and snoring;
And not only didn’t I have wings,
I had a heavy head and thick tongue
With stained sheets holding me to her.
Maybe I’d be a bird some other day.
I guzzled down a half-consumed
Bottle of Coors light, I got dressed, walked out
Into the hot sun and caught my
Flight to where I needed to go.

     A Town Somewhere

A small town amidst the weeds,
Lazy days and front porch sojourns
A saloon opens under the midday sun.
Cards and dominoes,
Are the games of the elders.
Glasses filled with bourbon and heady brew
(The soul’s sustenance they say)
A jukebox serenades a small crowd
An old man rocks back and forth
His ride has nearly ended.
A circus rolls into town,
A clown lies drunk in the weeds.

Go and seek out the other side,
Open the gates to her garden wide;
The night calls me to her side.
She was but a breathe of wind
Caressing my thoughts within
Where the doors of perception are cleansed.

      A Fleeting Glimpse

A fleeting glimpse, as I speed by
Roadside flowers along my way —
A blur to my wondering eye.

Was it the reluctant chicory?
Only to open at the break of day —
A wash of blue it looks to me.

Was it the daisy in her hood of white?
For the lovers, another game to play,
Petal by petal, plucked for love that’s right.

Maybe it was the buttercup I saw,
A little golden beauty I must say
This vibrant flower with hardly a flaw.

I think I’ll stop my speeding car,
For just a moments stay —
To see the flowers for what they are.

         Winter Stubble

Blond stubble protrudes from
The white lather of snow;
Whipped and swirled
Over frozen earth
Of a winter field.
Stubbled stalks
All that remains
From a late autumn’s
Harvest’s shave.


The morning brought down the rain,
Puddles, silver pools reflect a somber sky.
She walked wistfully down the country lane,
As my mind drifted like some passerby.

Caught in the minutia of mere moments.
Forsythia burned bright its golden haze,
Down where she stood along the weathered fence
Her elegance of beauty warmed my gaze.

The willow weeps as yellow branches bend,
Like a waterfall in the morning mist;
I watched her got into white - some portend,
Or some sense of loss I cannot resist,

Like some song of a far off bird;
A longing to make her song my own,
Somewhwere fain to listen, but barely heard.
She disappeared into the mist alone
            Country Desire

Ensconced within my open porch―I listen.
The city offers no respite for me:
A cacophony of cars, a Harley’s
Thunder rips open a sonic boom;
A drunk couple staggers down the street
Passing bickering judgments’ to each other―
A guilty verdict of infidelity she’s given.
Fuck You! Is all his drunken rhetoric will allow.
She screams louder and begins to cry;
He turns around, stumbles back to nowhere,
From which they came, bellowing to no one.
Sirens wailing, tires screeching on slick pavement
Drowning out the robin’s song in the languid light.
The sounds of the city sifting through trees,
Settling like a dust of waste and welter on a dirty breeze;
A rabbit oblivious in its world of clover
Nibbles next to a broken bottle of Smirnoff,
Laid to waste in the street’s right-of-way.
The lilacs lavender flame blossoms bright in May,
Redolent more for a country lane,
Offers its sweet fragrance heady in hue
To mask the stench the city belches out
Day after stinking day.
The robin sings through the gloam of evening
A sonorous song it sings in the old Ash;
It sings through life―oh why I can’t.
A tricked out car cruises past slowly,
Bass cannons booming out hip-hop―
Concussions like thunder overthrew,
The robin’s trill―it ceased and off it flew.

Oh, how I long for the quiet solitude
Of a country sojourn or life:
Sitting on a porch, ensconced in peace,
Watching a sunset in the peace of my mind.
Maybe a meadowlark singing on a fence post
Caroling in the meadow’s sweet fading light;
And dew settles in shadows to sweep
The day into the quiet of night.

Slow Ride

I just wanted to ride
I just needed to go.
Out of the city side
To Nature’s late show.

Through meadows, past fences;
(In the peace of my mind);
Where she fills my senses,
And her solace I find.

A catbird in dogwood
Was not to see, but heard,
Small and grey with black hood.
All I knew of this bird.

The finch with yellow wing,
Flies past in errant flight.
It gives its song to sing,
Before it’s out of sight.

Song sparrow’s lovely tune,
Somewhere in the meadow.
It’s now a half-past-noon,
My mind begins to mellow.

Smell of hay on the breeze,
I’m open to the sound;
Of rustling leaves in trees,
And birdsong all around.

It’s nature’s symphony―
A rhythm in each note;
A blend of harmony,
Fresh from each songbird’s throat;

And what of the flowers?
Colors in varied hue.
In light of late day hours
Of orange, yellow and blue.

I was riding too fast,
But not really too far.
Flowers blur going past―
Not knowing what they are.

I see chicory,
By noon it will be done;
No color there to see―
It sleeps under the sun.

Primrose and white daisy
White and yellow their shield
White-washed nearly hazy,
Pervaders’ of their field.

Past mullen and milkweed,
Fleabane and Queen-Anne’s-Lace;
Past goats beard and bindweed.
I recognized each face.

Butterflies on their route,
Fluttering close to my side.
I know what it’s all about―
We are all on this ride.

Lost in clouds and sky,
Between Heaven and earth;
Rapture I can’t deny―
A measure of its worth.

Skies in the west grew black,
Rain came in on the wind.
It was time to head back

                    Sea Dreams

The sea breathed out its balmy breath.
I stood before her taking it all in―
I listened― lingering in the languished light,
In the gloaming, this ethereal evanescence.
I found myself in a mere moment
Of soft reflection, contemplation, poised,
I opened up―I opened my wings
Before the misty surge of the surf;
And opening my mind, oneric and warm,
I flew away.

Far above and far below,
Far away in a myriad hundred hues,
I saw the sea not so blue.
I saw the clouds, I heard the wind;
Like a song I’ve heard before,
Like a sound I vaguely knew,
When life was not where I was,
But, where I had just begun.


From a meadow on a warm summer night,
Under a vast star swept sky.
Came the form of some ethereal light―
Sky dancers glowing on high.

How close they seemed, but yet so far,
Flickering flames lit the misty air;
Like heaven let loose the light from a star.
Mere winged insects―a dalliance affair.

What peace I found under this twinkling dome,
Was nature’s finest midnight show;
Was given to me so far from my home.
Angels of light above―and I below.

                The Oaks

Sylvan sentinels, venerable the oaks,
Stately crowns, stout in trunk and limb.
Born to earth, reaching to heaven’s thunder stroke,
Spread open like the wings of Seraphim.
Eminent in domain and understory
Our metaphors of power, strength and glory;
Of ironies for pencils, paper and allegories

Even to the wind the oak gains respect,
Holding their own to the breath of Thor;
Taking the brunt of blows direct.
Limbs may bend―not break from the tempest’s roar.
Nothing short or tall comes from it
That the oaks exude the proper spirit.