Summer's end
Les oiseaux
River rocks
Little Warriors
Forest Floor
Redbreast
Stream in the Smokies
Black Balsam
Congaree
Toward Sunshine

Summer’s end

This cricket mimics
the screech and hush

of summer hustle
and faded fieldsong

its benign racket tips
toward dusk

in a slash of sunshine
of flash and call

it chitters a cacophony
edged in flitter-thrush and fever

Les oiseaux

a thousand weight of sparrow wings
stylishly hinged with feathers
flutter and dip
drooping to the cease of day

flying in fine-toothed skies
circled with clouds
they radiate in expansion
toward a horizon fueled
by an eggdrop sun

this mighty songcalling
enfolds an elegance
suited to starry heights

River rocks

A thousand springs sing
to the sound
of smooth stones ringing

in a submerged waterscape
shining in the stream flow

the stones hum with life
giving alms to the sky
in a gracious reward
of transparent sunshine,
crystalline air and an
iridescent joyfulness

Little Warriors

Ganglion insects
parade green limbs
across arching stones

Each mantis a
delicate replica
of the next—

war-bound,
encapsulated
& tensed for action

they spring to the touch

Forest Floor

Cupped tufts of softest mosses
bejeweled in droplets
cushion crevasses
where mist rises in caresses
in a crepuscular hush

it rolls over summits
where the forests push and bristle—
and thunder shouts its heart out
to the telescoping distances

in the last dip of dusk
ridgelines echo the din in fading cadences

but here
where translucent roots
embroider the soil—
the quietest hum

Redbreast

Guarding the dawn
with puffed up extravagance
a single songbird lifts its heartfelt song
as if to reattach the day

while I, on the tip of remembering
a dream
am hurled along
twisting skeins of thought

Folding in on myself
(like a blur of fetal curl)
I smooth red feathers
within my tiny, tangled nest—

and become a little origami
destined for summer skies

Stream in the Smokies

Scatterpile of streamside stones
hold their hoard in dens of shadow—
out of sight and dimming sounds

It makes one wonder
in what thicket hides a bear
and from under what stone
will emerge a vivid amphibian?

the roar of water becomes the quiet
mixed with messages of radiant cloudspeak
(from which cloud will rain pour
when the thunder is finished showing off?)

Leaves bow down to the wind
and birds pay obeisance to the failing light
as the hills prepare
to wrap themselves for the night
so dark forces can unfurl under a yellowed moon
beyond the gloom, and a pattern of stars
reaches a spinning infinity

Black Balsam

in a sweep of summer meadow
between shadowy knobs of spruce and rock
are cradled cities of timothy
and sunny goldenrod
where capable bees tickle the thistles
and diatoms of angelica spin the sky blue

in the vast acres of air
a rainshower hesitates in tumbled clouds
expanding over the breeze-driven azure

this persistence of footfall tenderizes the soil
on the meadow’s dividing path,
consistently foiled by shallow roots

while from this radiating landscape
a vision emerges
out of the silence of everything not yet named

Congaree

mid-clearing
the shaded radiance
of a vine-wrestled loblolly
   looped in light
screens a punctuated silence

in each gentle swale a desolate
swath of skirted trees
where hollow cypress collapse in damp
and furious birds lurk
their eyes honed to filch
in the frail shadows

captured in a pool’s tannic depth
the milky-eyed stare
of noon light reflection
opens a portal to days
Ivory bills took to the air

Toward Sunshine

A hidden magnet draws
the delicate transparencies
of an invisible osmosis

It’s a riot of synthesized sap
squeezing toward sunshine

Its miniscule pulse is felt
in the silent crackling of cells
laboring in secret
over this ceaseless business

when out pops the mysterious jazz
of intrepid buds and
reckless flowers

but the real zinger of the whole affair
are the trees’ fanned canopies
subject to summer winds
and fading light

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