Symphony in Farm Country

Chirping of crickets, pizzicato,

Plaintive in the grass;

Distant, raucous lowing,

Diminished sevenths of restless cows;

And a continuo of cicadas,

But in percussion, some instrument

Jingling interminably on a single note,

Minimalism in forte;

The deep bass of a farm truck rumbling,

Vibrations of earth and rubber,

Fades away, never rising above

F clef, sighing into the night.

In its wake, the little tambourine notes

Return, as the cicadas never left off,

Never, never left off,

Never left off;

The crickets slow as night deepens;

The cows thankfully fall quiet.

We hold applause till dawn.

Silence, the greatest praise.



To a Monarch Butterfly, October

I saw you pause upon the purple dome

Of clover, pause to try its honey scent,

Sweet, sweet as Autumn’s sadness softly blent

Of Summer’s fruits and Winter’s rest at home.


Your wings were shining rich against the green

And purple, wings in wealth of sun still warm

And keen and strong to keep from winter’s harm;

You sipped sweet nectar, gold as Autumn’s queen.


I watched your beauty, feared impending doom

As bold October grants the winter’s claim

To lay the northlands deep in frozen shell —

That frost will leave you withered as the bloom

You drink from now. Fly, fly in Summer’s name

To worlds forever warm, and with her dwell.



After the Storm

Where the grasses bend below

The whispered weight of fallen snow,

There the magical blue glow

Of moonlight, mirrored, gently shows

Its presence in each flake of snow.


Stem on stem the grasses grow;

Flake on flake a morn ago

Came the winter and the snow.


Crisp and keen the breezes blow;

Now the silence and the low

Sweet splendor of the fallen snow

Lamp the night, while far-off go

Three eager geese upon a row;

They murmur spells of moon and snow

And winter twilight, blue and slow.



The Rushing

I stand upon the hillside, and the air

Is rushing in my ears with distant cheer

Of speculative ocean days, but here

There is no leaping sea spray in my hair.


It’s night; I close my eyes; my hearing fills

And deafens as the wind wraps round my head

A muffling scarf of sound that, thread by thread,

Unravels with the breeze from off the hills.


The air falls still. The silent stars float high

Through lakes of thinning cloud; the moon’s half-smile

Sees, unimpressed, my porchlight.  All the while,

The gusting breezes burst and rush and die.


Between their bluster, yet another sound

Comes to my ears amid the rush of spring--

The first-fledged frogs are amorous and sing

Unwearied by the wind. The year goes round.