Last Day Of Summer

Kicking acorns as they run,
three barefoot boys in the woods;
the dawn gilded with the sun,
stretching shadows like the hoods
of Fae watchers between trees,
the Autumn leaves laid beneath
and, through the glade, the cold breeze
whispers of late Summer’s grief,
yet the children laugh and play
without worries from the wind;
before them lay a long day
and they cannot see its end.
The Winter waits like a hawk,
its talons sharp with its frets,
gripping youths until they squawk
and men aching with regrets.
But rousing by slow degrees,
the Winter remains aloof
and a boy never quite sees,
observing too late the truth
when Winter’s beak pecks between
his ribs with keen hunger pangs,
its wings outspread, and the sheen
of icicled overhangs.
No more barefooted dog-days
when the raptor reigns supreme,
hunting boys in bitter days—
Summer but a distant dream.


Gripping as desperately as
the fist-clutched roots of a tottering elm tree
among the dead leaves of yesteryears
while the relentless rains fall
to pummel the soil
in which it slips and slants
beneath its own weight,
I hold onto the eroding past.


It was an old toll bridge
built of thick river stones,
like a castle upon the ridge
with many ruined thrones.

Overgrown with lichen and moss,
it overlooked the river’s flow,
the wood bridge once used to cross
now fallen far below.

Ants crawled among the roots
that twined the rocks pliantly
and, there, among the green shoots,
snakes slithered silently.

A tree-topped twilight shaded
the cavity of the broken tooth,
the Summer sunlight faded
beneath the foliaged roof.

And hidden between the nooks
of the masonry that now remains
are soggy playboy books
ruined by relentless rains.


It is a
highway through fog-faced ghosts
who blur rearview mirrors
with wistful sighs
before the moonlit road cuts
through an immaculate city
whose citizens are always smiling
and who celebrate like they never did
when you lived there;
it is a once-upon-a-time narrative
full of mindlessly happy plot holes
where the protagonist always wins
by simply living, day to day to
distant day,
and his inevitable defeat by
today’s disappointments;
it is the balm
for a tragic hero
given to melodrama and delusion,
like Ulysses in the lap of
while his men snort all around him,
grubbing for good times
long gone,
or the lap of Calypso
while the trecherous odyssey
of memory
is a fickle sea wherein
many bodies float afar
in search of a home
that never was.
It is
to confuse choking bone chalk
with precious gold dust.

The Past…
How can we have spent so much time
in it
and have so much
yet, when looking back,
be so oblivious and naive?
Never has a ghost town been so dreadful,
or so inviting.