Unfelt Rains

What is human grief
but rain on stone?
Whether long or brief,
it dries where strewn
without scarring rock,
or carving rune—
no such stain or pock
outlast the moon.
The tears always dry
and stones remain,
the years pass us by:
the cosmos reign—
they reign, unfeeling,
forgetting all,
the cold stones wheeling
while hot tears fall.

Slapdash

Far overhead,
the squirrel’s bed,
a slapdash nest
at the behest
of innate need
to feed and breed
in the oak tree,
precariously
thrown together
to withstand the weather,
just leaves and sticks,
not stones or bricks,
plotted by instinct,
twigs interlinked
in frenzied haste
before Winter’s waste.
To and fro
stop and go,
reddish squirrels
along limbs and burls,
ceaseless chatter,
pitter-patter
as acorns fall
in Autumn’s hall.

Tynged

The snake-eyed die is cast,
unfurled like the ship’s sail
from the creaking oak mast,
while the Westward winds wail.
The man in the crow’s nest
cries out, “Crags down below!”
but the waves surge to crest,
churning, blow upon blow.
The crew shouts to their gods,
clinging as the hull slams
into reef, and then nods
toward the fish and clams.
The die is cast—a loss
for Man against the Fates;
the waves renew and toss,
heaving like strong shipmates.
The ship tips over, now,
as a horse reined to fall,
pitching to starboard bow
as at the siren’s call.
The men abandon ship,
leaping from larboard side
like die cast with a slip
of the hand—they still died.