October Inventory

Our low endeavoring sun
gently downs golden leaves
one by one except when
A frigid blast hurls them
stinging into my face

Leaves soggy one day
crunchy the next
My feet and cane
pestle and liberate their
musty pungent fragrance

Our sky widens again
Sea reclaims once more
its chameleon surface
as boats leave marina slips
on trailers heading into town

But not before sailors take
one final jaunt into grey
green and blue reflections
Return and unwind dock lines
from their hips

Piers abandoned but
boarded by fleet-footed
white mewling gulls
puffing and huddling until
wind hoists their unfurled wings

Stray grasshoppers dragonflies
Lethargic bees and wasps
Solitary monarchs who
missed their scheduled flight
to Mexico

Expat Canadian geese
foolishly form their V’s
then land again in futility
Honking memories of
migratory prowess

They linger all winter
Icy film or deep freeze
on lagoon and marina
simply propels them to
open rivers and sea

Being likewise temperate
We zone out indoors
Hibernate with books and tea
and poems to remind:
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Photos by Sandra Johnson of Into The Light Adventures. I highly recommend you visit her blog filled with excellent nature photography. Here’s the link: https://intothelightadventures.com/


October drizzles a blanket
of soggy leaves in the park
covering burial mounds
next to civil war cannons
Beneath rubber boots
small twigs snap
Sound staying beneath my feet
muffled by foggy mist
A woodpecker’s hammer
breaks apart the clouds

So I sit down
take off fingerless gloves
press my palms against
a warm black molded bench
Pull off my cap
with my hair undone
Look up to absorb the sun
The hat blows off the bench
rolls toward the pond and stops
caught on the edge

There are times I miss
picking up your empties
cleaning your ashtray
You know that plastic
turquoise colored one
I bought for you
when you come to visit the kids
After all we have between us
now is history
It’s where everything is headed

Yesterday keeps untold stories
folding into dreams once real
No person can unsing
a song that once was sung
Lingering one sacred night
below a harvest moon
I watched our windows
from the backyard barefoot
Inner lights shining forth
our children’s laughter

Upper photo Wikimedia Commons by Dietmar Rabich; lower photo in the public domain, attribution not found


From an old bench
while basking in
late Autumn’s sun
I notice something
not belonging
among a mound
of large white rocks
piled on the edge
of our spring fed pond
first enlarged
by town founders
Truckloads of boulders
to shore up its bank
have arrived from elsewhere
like me
who chose this village
twice as home
with then without

A slender stalk of corn
only ten inches high
sprouts among
the white stones
from seeds sown
too late in summer
This plant has no reason
to grow here and now
for me to wonder about it
But I do

A solitary mallard
swims in the pond
by way of a woman
poor, a bit unusual
and often ridiculed
by locals
She loves and cares
for animals of all kinds
especially illustrated
by flea bites
Scabs and scars
spot her arms and legs

She found that glossy
green-headed duck
worried and waddling
through neighboring yards
and placed him lovingly
in our pond
He soars away daily
to visit nearby waters
but returns
Soon his friends
come to visit
Some stay

A man from another town
drives over once a week
his workday finished
and scatters seed corn
to feed our ducks
and other birds
I’ve chatted with him
We’ve both spent time
with the duck lady
as she’s also known

Greedy squirrels
born here
don’t need to be fed
among plentiful hickory and oak
some of these planted too
The little hoarders
skitter and scamper yearlong
Today one glares at me
for an uncomfortable
amount of time
when I dare
to usurp a bench
she’s staked out
as her luncheonette

But no birds or squirrels ate
that particular yellow grain
faithfully scattered
on the grass
near water and stone
And I wonder
who else has noticed
this tiny futile stem
held “green and dying”

In our cherished park
meeting and greeting
each from afar
we can never
fathom the depth
of knowing how
the heart
never sows out of season

Clouds and corn

Top photo courtesy White-Rock-Lake Blogspot; bottom photo by Dani Simmonds