Thirty miles-an-hour plus
The wind whips to and fro
The storm still four hours away
Wreaks havoc with its blow
The leaves of the ash
Hanging red and gold
Whipped by the force
Lose their precarious hold
I raked up leaves just yesterday
Today’s fresh leaves are going to stay
A community of gardeners
Who can’t agree on gardening
They bicker about the bermudagrass
Fists at their sides hardening
And who keeps track of what is done
By whom and when and why
But half the gardeners never show
So is it worth a try
To make the gardeners understand
They need to do their part
Will the leaders step up soon
Like they should have from the start?
The grass needs mowed
The weeds need pulled
The mulch needs laid
The plants need culled
But no one sees it as their duty
To keep the garden looking neat
They come to meetings grudgingly
At the promise of a treat
A community of gardeners
Who struggle to join together
They bail on working Saturdays
At the slightest hint of weather
Floating on the stiff breeze
Orange laced with black
No need to flutter
The winds carry her
Like a leaf with purpose.
A migration of thousands,
Flashes of white and gray
Against the storm cloud sky
With the sunrise behind me.
Swirling, twirling, doubling back,
No straight course
Yet clearly heading south.
How will they get there,
Their path so randomly etched?
Play more the work.
If I had the time,
I’d wind my way like the gulls.
I’ll head out to sea when the time is right.
Barely a smudge against the azure sky,
A flash of white fore and aft.
I blink, and the shape vanishes from my sight,
So swiftly she soars
A half-mile above the Earth.
Four Sentinels of white and rusted steel
Tower above the deserted sprawl.
Monuments of ample economy,
Past aggression and defense.
Surrounded by wasted housing
They look sullen and solitary,
Alone in each other’s company
And that of the roaming cattle
Munching the grass below.
The main road moved north,
Four lanes of speed
Between the city and the sleeper towns.
This town sleeps, now empty
No kiss will awaken the sleeping place.
No charmed prince can undo this poison.
Hot coffee, cold concrete.
The poet’s stoop on an October morning.
The suburban neighborhood is quiet on Sunday.
Some have gone off to the game,
Others to church,
Others languish in bed
Avoiding the chores
Like mowing the lawn a final round
Or washing last night’s dishes.
So the poet watches the world without them,
Where the birds fly and the leaves fall
And the sliver of moon smiles down in the daylight,
Sitting on the cold concrete
Sipping hot coffee.