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.
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.
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.
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.