Vermont Meditation (tentative title)

Beneath a notched sycamore
the grass catches scars of autumn
falling as notched pages, torn from a book,
would fall – (aptly) swaying like pendulums
ticking away the days until December.

The pages traipse towards the water’s edge –  
towards the lake, the cobblestoned rut,
and crowd against the limestone breccia
like scrawled marginalia too cramped and blurred to read.

Empty spaces, lattice-like against the sky,
left by the pages peeled away,
are gaps among the leaves –
now, and now –
like missed beats in a symphony,
gaps on a staff –
a brazen emptiness,

now, and now –
the notes unfurl,
rests crescendo
into the penultimate silence
still falling, still to fall –

the unheard played beneath the heard.


Traffic Laws

Rain and asphalt embrace
like a slap across the face,
repeatedly –
it can be heard for miles, I should guess;
the glass cries,
wipes its eyes,
and cries again,
the rivulets of water trickling like ants across the soil,
with no apparent place to go,
just down, diagonally.

The red streaks
and a massive game of Tetris –
the gaps that open and fill
(if you know where you fit, then get there
faster) –
blur into an impressionist painting:
“Starry Night, plus Traffic.”
Arms wave, back and forth,
as if the highway were a summer concert –
they wipe the glass,
returning resolution
to what was once



Next Door

an imitation of “Fern Hill” by Dylan Thomas

Now I was quick and eager as a young bird in the trees
About the leafy shadows and lonesome as the sun was lone,
            The sky above the tinned roofs cloudy,
                Rain waited and let me run
            Reddened in the shadows of his smile,
And knighted by myself I was Sir of Imagination
And once before I had woken and counted pirate ships
                Chasing the wake of my vessel
            Over the crimson waves of sunset.

And I was flitting like dandelion seeds, spent my days
About the happy grass next door and playing to my fancy
            With that smile and that heart of gold.
                Rain fell quick on tinned roofs
            Reddened by the rear lights of the cars
And the setting sun, till the sky becomes as an abyss,
Red reflections cold on the wet asphalt streak behind me
                And childhood fled

            From the knighted Sir who tamed the Rain.