Poetry

ODE TO GRAM'S PECAN

O, faithful Pecan,
Lifting lace-clad limbs to azure sky.
For your bounteous gifts endowed,
We sing to you doxology.
     Eternal Tree,
     Even in death, you serve us still.

Watered and tended,
You grow up strong. A centerpiece
Of back yard realm. Splendid
And fruitful sentinel.

Beneath your shelter,
Children’s flush imaginations play.
From your bows, blessing blow
On their dreams in rich array.

A hammock sways,
Cocooning lovers in your shade.
Softly ‘mid your rustlings, they
Muse upon the plans they’ve made.

Each autumn comes.
Your dark brown husks burst to bear
Sweet nuts, drawing squirrels anon.
A shot! Less to harm and more to scare.

Old sheets are spread
Around your feet. In silent grace allow
Fierce shaking to release your fruit
From your bounteous boughs.

The master’s gone.
Mistress, too, grows old and frail.
To barren illness you succumb
The saw and axe end your travail.

Limbs broken, stacked
Await the fire when winters blow.
Yet resurrection surges from drying store,
More blessings yet you may bestow.

An able craftsman
Planes and turns your golden grains
To mantles, vases, candlesticks, and toys,
What plethora of beauty your flesh pertains.

O, faithful Pecan,
That once lifted limbs to azure sky.
For your bounteous gifts endowed,
We sing to you doxology.
    Eternal Tree,
    Even in death, you serve us still.

Crow silhouetted on cloister glass
 
Crow, silhouetted on cloister glass,
Beneath minster twin towers.
Far below, the Rhein runs,
Mirroring flow of centuries,
the coursing rush of time,
eroding certainty and casting faith anew.
 
Ominous bird of destiny and foreboding
Do you look out or in?
Are there new mysteries you portend?
Or do you embody transformations past,
The shadow of Erasmus on the glass.
Like he, do you stand betwixt two ways,
Medium of divergences?
 
Silent crow, encased on glass,
Unchanging witness to our to-and-fro,
You leave us to divine your sign.

Enemy of the People

What is truth? Was Pilot’s careless sneer.
What brazen tyrants say it is, it is. In times
Without the Press, truth disappears.

Those who seek through single lens to peer
Dash facts on certainty and then repeat
What is truth? like Pilot’s careless sneer.

Investigations? Interrogations? Mere
Fake news. But then as questions stop
Without the Press, truth disappears.

Stop, do not speak to me, deary Seer,
Of risk or loss or gloomy augury!
What is truth! Was Pilot’s certain cheer.

Facts are just an inconvenient sphere
To blur sight with clarity. Better be
Without the Press. Truth disappears.

Truth’s multiplicity upon the bier,
The who the what the why the where.
What is truth? Was Pilot’s careless sneer.
Without the Press, truth disappears.

Duet with a finch

Outside my parlor window sound sweet notes.

A neatly nested finch in porch’s eaves

Imparts insistent song that must promote

A challenge music-making can achieve.

Guitar in hand, I strum on open strings

A low resounding blast of major chord,

A fifth above and then back home, and thus

Bravado tones invite the bird’s concord.

No counterpoint reply from nest she sends

I try this time a sweet arpeggio.

Oh, yes! Her echoed warble surely lends

Her grace upon our pas de duex—but no!

Her ruby mate arrives the winner here:

He’s come to feed her dinner—thank you, dear!

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