Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Tempest

In one short week, the leaves have flushed, shuddered, and flown, and the trees are left quite bare. I enjoy this change in scenery, but it does evoke a quiet longing for the gentler days of May and June which, for those of you who wonder, are only seven months away.

The Tempest

How high the wind will blow;
Aeolus in the trees
rehearsing for the show
in prefatory breeze,
and all the earth, below,
an overwrought tableau
and ill at ease,

and then the wind, a song
in timpani and string
and crashing on the gong,
no arias to sing,
unchains a surging throng,
as turbulent and strong
as any king,

to devastate the leaves
that linger on the bough;
their ebbing grip receives
a buffeting, and how
they hurry to the eaves
with indecisive heaves.
Will you allow

this long-awaited coup
and mutiny begun?
No more the morning dew,
no more the gentle sun,
as tempests run askew,
so eager to pursue
their seething fun.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Falling Leaves

All summer long, the trees are swathed with intense mantles of green that serve as much to beautify as to obscure the amazing landscapes that pepper the Northwest. Now, the leaves are turning and falling, and, for once, I can see the Willamette River and distant Mt. Hood from the comfort of my living room.

Falling Leaves

The summer leaves obstruct our view,
the river and the range;
they hold an autocratic coup
against a steady change
and charge the overwhelming light
with shade and shadow-sifted sight

so rife with viridescent green.
This is a gentle cage,
and we observe, ourselves unseen,
a histrionic stage
of runners reaching for the stars,
a web of pliant prison bars

that we will never overcome,
as often as we try;
their branches make a burly sum
and dare us to defy
the fixedness of supple shoots
that take their spirit from the roots.

But no offensive is compelled;
inertia is our sword,
and, as our peace is surely held,
that lush and leafy hoard
shall fall before the rising frost,
a mantle shed for meager cost.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Every morning is a blessed awakening and every evening, a happy rest. It is the hours in between that are most difficult to bear. But as it is bounded by restive time, I am able to endure till the next day.


Do you see the dawn as I?
Do you watch its steady burn
escalating in the sky,
tireless and taciturn,

till the subtle shifts of light
show the city's hidden face
in its full, diurnal might,
such a guest is morning grace?

Do you live the busy day?
Do you yield to the din,
girdling your head to pray
that a peace may enter in,

emptied of the endless hue
that suffuses every beat
with an unremitting cue,
interdictive of defeat?

Do you greet the weary dusk?
Do you cheer its dim caress,
slow to come but ever brusque
to accrue and coalesce

at the slacking of the strain
that compels our industry?
Comforter of earthly pain,
I await you eagerly.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Hours

However much time there is in the day, it is never sufficient for my wants. I fear that I will only be satisfied when I no longer look to leaving, but only to coming.

The Hours

The hours that we make
are not our own. The few,
apportioned and awake,
erratically accrue

and dissipate, again,
with similar caprice.
If we could only pen
a well-established peace

or sleepy solitude,
our longing could abate,
and I should never brood
the hour, ever late.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On a Bearing

There is a great gulf between that which we think will make us happy and that which truly will. We are impelled toward both possible objects by our desire for happiness. Unfortunately, our desire only indicates, like a compass, what direction to travel, and not where to stop. So, stopping all too soon, we believe we have found true happiness when, in fact, we have merely found a pale imitation along the way. Therefore, do not let yourself be distracted by any earthly possession that alleges to provide happiness. The only object which can realize this claim is God, and the only earthly objects that can share in that realization are the ones that bear a likeness. That is, you can look for a measure of happiness in this life as long as you look for it in those you love.

On a Bearing

Desire is a compass spinning free
of all impedimenta, pointed true
and rooted to the stratum of the sea.
A fitter apparatus never drew

so fine a tack, and yet our hasty hearts
are sorely lacking prudence, for they seek
direction reft of purpose. Pale arts,
intemperate in season and oblique

in counsel, lead us ever on a vain
trajectory, untutored in design.
The necessary consequence is pain;
the predetermined eminence, decline;

for satisfaction never held a sway
upon our native bearings, run astray.