The trees, bearing up strongly
against the still falling snow
remember leaves, though the memory
has run deep into the sap and slowed.
Beneath the frosted bed
the bulbs imagine summer,
try to picture their blooms,
but quickly returned to frozen stasis.
The cat thinks of venturing
into our yard, sinks its paws
into the growing snowbank, decides
the rug by the fireplace is adventure enough.
We turn up our collars, stand
firm against the wind driven snow,
remember summer, and curse the gods
of weather for taking it from us.
Along the shore, this morning,
the clouds piled up, refusing entry
to the promised sun, which hung back forlorn.
The waves charged onto the sand
like so many two-year-olds
in full tantrum, banging against
all in sight and retreating,
only to charge again, pushing away
any and all in their path.
The wind pummels the sand,
and as we walk along the street
the wind-borne sand tears against our skin
urging us to take shelter,
reminding us that nature does
not bend to the weatherman, and will
from time to time play havoc
with their forecasts because
nature speaks, she never listens.
First appeared in Active Muse, Varsha 2019 Issue
He is for it or he is
against it, and if you could
predict the vacillations you
could develop the means
of measuring the flux of sanity.
You could as easily grasp
the water flowing downriver
and by asking select questions
determine the next heavy rain,
but the odds are good
you will be outside when
the deluge begins, and
only its ultimate weight
and duration remain to be felt.
It all comes down to the same
thing, if you could paint the sky
blue, precisely which shade
of blue would you use and why
that one for heaven’s sake?
The weather, he announced
to no one in particular,
ought to be musical or at least
incorporate some jazz.
Spring is bebop, Trane and Parker,
the sudden clash of Blakey
the downpours of Dizzy
and the hint of what’s to come
on the fingers of Monk, and
Kenny and Milt.
Summer brings the slow easing
as early Miles slides in, and we
sink nto Chet and Stan.
Bebop returns as summer fades
but turns harder, with Dexter
Sonny and Benny and we know
that winter approaches, with its
disconcert, the sun an ever
more infrequent visitor,
Ornertte and Pharoah reminding us
that the dark cold was our share
until Sun Ra apears on the horizon.
It has rained for uncounted days on end
and we half expect one of our neighbors
to begin building an ark, so we look
through the falling drops for pets to line up
in double file ranks, seeking selection
for a journey they know must be coming.
Overhead, the dove sits in the maple
knowing his time to star will soon arrive
but unsure where there could possibly be
a Russian olive tree within flight range
but then, as the sewer drains overflow
he knows any branch will complete his work.
The sun finally appeared this morning
and the weatherman now predicts a drought.
He is never certain what to do on days
like this one, when the winter takes
a particularly nasty turn, the temperature
hovers at utter emptiness, and the wind
elects to try to enfold everything it can reach
in a coat of frost, that bleaches life away.
He walks each day, through the nearby park
if the weather is the least bit cooperative,
through the neighborhood when not, where
at least he can take a small shelter from the wind
in the shadow of houses closed up tightly,
life walled away within, smarter, he imagines
than he is, his fingers ill-gloved, slowly losing
all feeling, but this is his practice, something
he does because it requires doing, heeding
an edict from an unspoken voice. And later
emerging from a hot shower, feeling limbs
restored, he glances at the weather in hopes
the next day will be kinder, and slow in coming.
Tomorrow, he is certain,
it will be sunny and surprisingly warm
or it will rain, with a cool breeze
or it will be temperate
but rather cloudy.
It may be none of these
or all, by turns.
He would ask the weatherman
but he knows none and this
would be such a personal question
you need an intimacy
that he has rarely felt.
The weather doesn’t really matter
to him anyway, for tomorrow
he is certain, his room
will be unchanged, only
the nurses will be different.