TEMPUS FUGIT

The problem with bringing then
into now is that now slips away
and then no longer really exists.
You may wish all you like for summer
to remain, but Autumn demands her due
and even the leaves grow tired
and need that final rest.
Do not deny the clouds, but treat them
like a stray thought, let them
be present, and let them leave
and take what they offer
without complaint, for they
are fragile and will flee
like the kitten, and you
will never be able to coax

a return until they are ready.
Now, where were you?

DUSK

As the afternoon fades,
the gray of the sky deepens,
the crows gather
in the highest branches
of the older trees,
until the leafless branches
seems suddenly burdened
with great black leaves.
As the already waning light fades
they take up their hymns
to the passing day, approaching night,
and we wait patiently
amid the cacophony
for the final refrain
of this solemn Mass,
when the oak and maple pews
will again sit starkly vacant.

FADING DREAMS

Autumn perches
on the thin edge of Winter
a breeze will blow it
into the eternal freeze.

The burning bush
is aflame, threatening
to consume itself
for a final time.

The earthworm
peers at the ashen sky
knowing this day
brings the world to an end.

A squirrel drags
a final nut into hiding
his coat full
a long night impending.

Earth yields
her last warmth
as Summer is buried
beneath a white blanket.

OCTOBER

There is an infinite space
inside an atom, a massive void
into which universes tumble
and stars and planets are born.
Outside, the maple leaves
burning flame and crimson
spiral to the lawn, which
waits to receive them.
Autumn is the season
when the earth prepares to die
and it is left to us
to prepare the gravesite.
The white squirrel stands
on the fence rail, defying
me to find my camera,
his latest nut husks
slowly staining the concrete
of the walk. And yet
we cling to the fleeting sun
as it traverses horizons
for winter brings nothing
and asks even less.

SENSING NIGHT

“Turn on the light
so I can hear you,”
she says, and I reach
for the switch across the room.
“Please whisper,” I respond
“and I may be able to see
my way to the window.”
I draw up the shade
and in the dim glow
of the night’s light
I feel the braying
of a coyote in the Sandia hills,
hear the conversation

of leaves descending,
and taste the chill
of autumn, that wraps
the house in its soft
blue-black velvet grip.