Soon autumn will find us trembling with joy,
its cool relief—its heady promise,
and thus, believed.
Time is not wasting away,
it is only lingering the longer
for the sweet nostalgia of every autumn,
all the leaves are hurrying
and the sky retracing old patterns,
oh the softly urgent winds . . .
oh the sunsets . . .
Autumn, take your aging children
through the passion of the leaves;
their sorrows are not ready;
let them excite to colors and to winds;
let them believe the world around them
is okay; let them belong to motions
that revive the energies . . .
Death is not wanted here . . .
though the finished leaves
are abandoning the trees . . .
though the anxious leaves
are making a nuisance of themselves.
Old as they are, the children
simply want to play in them and fling them
all about. Oh, Autumn, let the children
believe in seasons yet to be.
(first pub. in Poets’ Forum Magazine, 1996)
You are in the bell
making it sound.
You are filling your iron throat.
You toll with the religion of
the bell ringer who is deaf.
You drown upon the air
falling in gray tones among the faces of
shoppers, sleepers, day-dreamers.
You hide among the mutes of the city
but the bell ringer has left his tower
and is out there looking for you.
He is calling for you with his flawed voice.
The jade silences are disguised as birds.
They hide you in their wings
and take you away with them
back to the bell.
(first pub. in Attention Please, 1979)
ONE OF THE OLD SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT
Did I not hear the cricket—
did I not hear
to the night
where the moon
that was there… ?
The air is darkening,
will it rain?
The air is heavy
and has a blue sensation.
And the trees are swaying
wetly pending, pending,
and the premonitions
are filling up with pain.
Tonight, an old loon—
lamenting itself, I think,
cries in my mind, though
I have never heard a loon . . .
but some such cry resonates
from somewhere deep—some
sound never heard before, but
known to my unease.
(first pub. in Poets’ Forum Magazine)
IF LOVE IS LOVE
If I am echo, what is sound.
If sound is silent, what is love.
Finding is losing. Loss is found.
So go the facts, illusions that confound.
Dreams are hauntings, so we dream,
dare not slumber, lest we drown.
Praise the new day once again.
Then is now, and now is then.
Thus the circle we are in . . .
sleep and waken . . . spin and spin . . .
SOUND COMING BACK
Who made these echoes?
coming again and again
to the listening for whom
these cries have been made
—resounding and resounding . . . .
Thank you, Joyce Odam, for today’s sounds and sights, as we post yet another round of her gemstones! “Loon Sounds”, by the way, is an Oriental Octet, with eight unrhymed lines about nature: the first four are in syllables 5-7-5-7, then the next four are 7-5-7-5. (See poetscollective.org/poetryforms/oriental-octet/.)
—Medusa, leaping in the leaves and making poetry out of them!
Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.