THE WEST WIND
When the winter wind
moves through the ash trees
I hear the past calling
in the pale voices
of the air. The alder,
older, harbors a few leaves
from last fall, black, curled,
a silent chorus
for all those we’ve left
at my back I feel
a new wind come on,
with all the power
of loss, the meaning
HOME FOR THE HOLIDAY
Everyone sits at the big table
in the dark. The empty plates
moon, the silverware stars,
the napkins scrub their hands.
I’m home, says the front door.
The windows are deep in thought,
the roof has taken off its hat.
Nothing to do chants the toilet.
About life I can say nothing. Instead,
half blind, I wander the woods while
a west wind picks up in the trees
clustered above. The pines make
a music like no other, rising and
falling like a distant surf at night
that calms the darkness before
first light. How weightless
words are when nothing will do.
There was a season of snails, cankers, green slugs,
gophers I never saw, and then a short autumn
without a harvest, and the brown vines I tried
to burn with that year´s leaves. A lifetime passes
in the blink of an eye. You look back and think,
That was heaven, so of course it had to end.
The gray dove on my window sill
is still moaning over yesterday´s
smashed eggs. But now the first
jackhammer breaks down
the dawn with its canticle
of progress. The garbage truck,
the street sweeper take their turns.
And the birds of the air and the beasts
of the field? They take their lumps
today and everyday, saith the TV.