Dusting the Piano

The spring again to song has come
Rooms swept in busy hum
It's now my bones most feel the sound
The music of my children gone.

Praying Mantis

We lie together in the autumn sun
Our bellies on the radiant porch

Had I your stillness what a soul
Be mine

I am the penciled creature
And you the artist of supple grace

I cannot understand you
Yet we have lived the same silence.

Crabtree Falls

Dashing Blue Ridge Mountain's forest tangles
Crabtree Falls immensely slides and angles.

Where many sportive youth, lone cry appalling
Have broke with fragile life in falling
We pass red-berries bedding in the mossy walls
Down switchback trails beside the jagged falls.

Not far ahead, a spritely old pair
Are deliciously holding hands in the air
Their fingers of care, twining and veined
In a balancing arch, both needed and feigned.

I’d like to think we stay that rare in heart
As only in the end by force to part.

But Who Am I

My potted daffodils perversely spurn
Onto the floor their miffed-noses careen
Nature's affronted and my knowledge awry
I’m helpless to know why
Why does the ivy wilt and each clay urn
About the house drop in dejected green?

Outside, beyond the patch of crabgrass lawn
Live the unkempt cousins, vine and thorn
Who burst like vibrant antelope
Excrescently leaping over the slope
In gustos of inebriate tangled bouts
They clamber and spread their choking routs.

More years than I have mazed that yard
To its wild extravagant disregard
But who am I to slaughter strife
That cannot to a pot give life?

The Toothbrush

The toothbrush stands erect within its jar
It wears its life in skirmishing so far
Among the detritus the spittle and catarrh
In hope some breath of lustre will dignify its works
With stiffness availing, the toil it never shirks
But, solid-functioning, liquefaction lurks.

Alone upon the shelf it dreams
Of slender neck and dainty-colored themes
A mate on whom its bristled beams
Might shine, but none appears to fondly brace
To lean together touching for a space
Finally, sad-faced, to its resting-place.

Defect of the Heart

The wild phlox grows a goodly height
As tall as ever it can tower
Amid the high grass splurging light
A simple graceful forest flower
Propelled to grow as any child
By forces kind indifferent and wild
That flourish only as they please
Forsaking with unfavored ease.

Guy Fawkes Night

The rocket's in the bottle on a cold night street
The match flares wick to hiss, we give a half-retreat
We're sizzled by our thrilling and nothing more we need
But to feel the rocket flying and to know we did the deed.
The bottle's always rocking as a vessel much too small
To hold the firing rocket that's many times too tall
But there's the sport - to see ahead's no fun
We glory in chancing the outcome of the run.
A few are duds, a few roar up the town
As straight a stick as we can throw to knock the chestnuts down
But the wild-ones are our love to yell
That shriek as a blazing infidel
Erupting on the slate-roofs glare
Gushing in cinders down the cold night air.

Night Frost

Night frost creeps on thicket mist
And crystalline the brambles bind
Now hard and stickled casuist
Discomfit by thy sullen tines
But tell me not your heart is mine
That breaks upon a brittle line
For warmth I hold so bitterly
Cold red bird in the cup of me.

How Can She Be Sleeping?

How can she be sleeping
All through the bright day
With woodpecker rapping
A-rapping away?

I've got my one suit on
And come far to court
The girl of my dreaming
And every dear thought.

How can she be sleeping
When sounds at the door
My heart-beats so loudly
So loud an uproar?

I fear she'll not hear me
Not hear me this day
But while she keeps sleeping
I'll by her door stay.