Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Shift

The leaves are finally falling from the trees. It is that lovely, indefinable point between life and decay, when the plants have died and dropped, but have not yet faded into the damp, dreary layer of compost that marks the beginnings of Winter. The leaves lie so thick on the sidewalks, that even the leather soles of my dress shoes make no noise in passing. What joy Autumn is.

Autumn Shift

A heavy west wind heaves to main from the coast
and spills over mountain and lake,
to work its way inland - a zephyral ghost,
unburdened of shower and flake -

through forest and field, through valley and vale,
spread fallow and fertile alike,
in eddies and rushes ahead of the gale,
across the long overland hike,

until it arrives at the foot of our door,
unbidden, but not unforeseen,
and strips the trees bare with a wintery roar
that leaves their bones crooked and clean,

to carpet the earth with a brilliant hue
and blush-heady happiness long overdue.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I think Autumn is the proper time of year to write about dreaming. Early evenings and dark mornings incline one to delay the inevitably chilly rising for a few spare minutes beneath a down comforter or heavy woolen blanket. Those minutes invariably stretch on in dreams and half-dreams, until one awakens, surprised by the dim, foggy light and insistently-beeping alarm clock, and rises to begin a new - if not entirely desired - day.


Old Morpheus has swallowed up the sky,
to walk the ways above our shadow-flush
and flit from bed to bed, where bodies lie,
in shifting shades that ride the drowsy rush.

Two escorts lead the lonely monarch on -
slack lethargy and windless weariness -
who prime the gears that turn until the dawn
and set them spinning with a deft finesse,

and all the souls that they have sunk in sleep
recline in readiness. An airy breath
slides off the brow and under tallied sheep,
to settle in the eyes, as dark as death.

Then shall we drift, unhanded by his dreams,
in torpid tow, for nothing's as it seems.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Room and Door

I'm working on my sonnet form, again, this time with fractured sentences. I generally dislike poems that break sentences between lines and verses, but I'm sure it has its value. I just need to discover it. Also, despite the despondent content of this poem, life is quite good. Dark poems often come from the most cheerful days, I find.

Room and Door

If every doorway opened on a room
as bare as this, then what would be the shame
of shutting it again? This is a tomb,
and here, the candle was not worth the game;

a sputtering flame splaying finger-light
upon the pale shades of pictures-hung,
when solitude has followed on the night
and dismal sleep, subduing one last sung

and sorry lullaby. So speak of lush,
abundant furnishings if it will please,
but speak of these illusions with a hush;
my weary mind can hold no more unease.

This room may, one day, want a bright decor,
but until then, maintains a bolted door.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


100 poems. It only took me two years to get here. As accomplishments go, it is not a grand one, but it is an accomplishment, nonetheless. So, a toast to the Quiet Cartesian; happy centennial, and here's to many more poems to come!


A century within a word;
each syllable, an age
that echoes on, though never heard
nor penciled on a page.

Unspoken, though the speaking be
the measure and the meat
that satisfies in small degree
and gives the burden feet,

while shoots and flowers bend to frost,
to stand erect, again,
and sunlight waxes on the ghost
of winter, fitful friend,

and time unwinds against the clock
that counts the hours down,
until the grave and grief unlock
a legacy and crown.

For whom? The asking is not mine.
This duty, set astride
such feeble shoulders, frail spine,
is simply to provide

my rendering, a meager one -
inheritance of time -
that wills the wanting, once begun,
to rest within a rhyme.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Offering

Is it true? Tea time is upon us, at last! It was finally cold enough, a couple evenings ago, to have a cup of tea. Not just any tea, of course. Not for the first cup of the season. An old-growth pu-er, aged and fermented, and simply exuding the damp, mossy smell of a dark forest in the rain. The tea describes itself as such: "Deep, earthy flavor, dark red-gold color, and a rich, velvety texture. Woody, earthy, vegetal aroma, like an old-growth forest." I think that sounds absolutely lovely. Don't you?

The Offering

A soul was offered me,
and offered only once,
though once, eternity,
had I but seen the glance.

So many more, and fair,
as stars upon the sheet,
how could a one compare,
or equally compete?

And yet, that offer pressed
a jewel from the coal,
as alchemies arrest
away a single soul

and hold it high above
the simple stars about,
to let the offer prove,
no more the other doubt.