TRAIN TO VIENNA
Sleek red capsule nudging its way
Past white birch and spruce tree guards
Curling through green fields
Tip-toeing across raging streams.
Purring, iron willed in purpose
Carrying its human armload
Past brown piles of hay like ringlets
Dangling from meadows faces.
Safe and warm within its coaches
Languages from many nations
Laud the beauty of the landscape
As the train displays its artwork.
LEGEND OF THE WHITE DEER
They said that it appears
In time of great crisis―
The death of someone so special
The trees weep.
The beauty berry fades to gray―
Or when children cry alone
That there is no love for them.
Yet the wind sighs
That the white one is seen
To mark the clarity
Of an autumn day
The stillness of a full-moon night
The wonder of a starlit sky.
The ghost deer tells its tale
Rarity of nature
Diverse, exciting, changing
In and out of the light
And fades away
MOUNTAIN MEADOW MEETING
I don’t remember when I first heard the tinkling of the bell. Perhaps it was where the grass was high enough to blot out all but the brightest of blossoms. Or maybe when the sun cascaded from a sky so blue it made your ears tingle. Tingling like that, you could hardly be certain if it were a bell-tinkle or a blue-sky-warm-sun-ear-tingle. I continued to chew slowly on a blade of high meadow grass while my eyes roamed ravenously over red, yellow, blue and white petals plopped picturesquely about where nature whimsically deposited them a harvest season ago. From whence emanated this tinkling or tingling?
Engrossed was I in this orgiastic feast of fabulous high mountain meadow grasses, my myriad mental processes procrastinating in alerting me to the distinction between a tinkle and a tingle. In fact, my cerebrum might never have been diverted from its brief basking in Bacchanalian banalities had not I been confronted obliquely but nevertheless most certainly by a pair of quizzical brown eyes surrounded by a very white but definitely hirsute countenance. At about two o’clock, for my line of vision, appeared a crystalline white pubescent goat—I kid you not―whose unwavering brown eyes stared at me while the hirsute face continued the task of masticating mountain meadow munchables. It may have been the unswerving stare that arrested my addiction to imbibing high meadow grasses, or perhaps it was the determined tinkle of the bell as the head tossed ominously in my direction. Ultimately, a truce was struck as he munched and tinkled, while I eavesdropped and ogled the sensate scene surrounding me.
Time rests in the walls of this house,
trees, garden, walkways. That old
rock wall we labored, all afternoon
crowning it with brightly colored
Lake Superior stones of thirty
years ago―hoarded for such end.
Desolate the garden lies
in this dark, dank Carolina
mountain winter. Iris repose,
runners of raspberry arouse no
rumor of last summers juiciness.
Brooding thoughts of our son
last summer as we dug
presage this day’s gray visage.
Days like minds
adorn and shed somber garb.
Bulbs, tender roots beneath
decaying leaves whisper promises
of tiny brown kegs hiding beneath
green skirts of ginger, of voluptuous
shouts of rhododendron.
Born to cold, dark, misty days of winter
for bold spring flashiness, they
wind the clocks of our lives in a
cycle of dark, cold, beauty and joy.