fungus, canker, beetle

the old refrain: if I had known…
I tried to tell you gently
but naturally
everything eats at us

what use to say we might have saved it—
the fruit, the root, the tree?
still much remains for tending
by clean cut, green try

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in a dark place

you make the god you want, not of gold
or even paper, but green-warm earth—hail
it as something gifted from the blue.

what is your church? but this slate blue
mountain, bare slopes, trees brushed soft gold,
solitude, song; or fall’s sharp wind, rain, hail,

snow silence. eyes closed, face lifted to hail
pilgrim thought. no room for guilt in sky’s blue:
if the soul lights, burns ember-gold—

I am. (gold-hail prayer in this blue)

Thanks to Christine for the three tritina words.

on this falling edge

tell your autumn self, this fountained day
of wordy unmusical frustration is nothing
to regret. ask your winter self, who will make
work of the past? what is your spring self
but an ideal to grope for, in sympathy
with the young? you let those hours go.
(see the spiders already moving in, rose-hips,
crickets?) no need to reinvent or be clever
in your acts of love. your voice—broken,
burning, sleep-rough, shrill—will be here,
a sun-pledge.

On another crimson-gold day with leaves falling through sunshine

it is good
how things shrivel
dreams, one by one
diminished, discarded
merely achieved
this drawing down
with the season
(how the insect ceases
flailing under silk
succumbs)
as one who will not say
now i am content
if only—
not telling you
nor leaving
some void
how would you know?
an absence
of absence
you would still find beauty
or something close
enough, not needing
more words

In another time

I am waiting
forest, riverside
where the sky’s color has drained
to fill the trees golden
canopy, hushed, leaf carpet
where the maples lean together
where I last saw the wild rose.
Younger, when I had no heed
for thorns raking flesh
nor savored any delight
but your command
for quest, complete, rewarded.
Never young enough again
for any of your power
to transform these scars
into patience, like tree-roots
sink and drown