Jack Pine at Tara Manor

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Jack Pine at Tara Manor
(1770 & 1834 & 1917 & 1977 & 2018 AD)

Tara Manor jack pine
arm-waving Maritimer
long-past sea-faring
cult-haired declamation
poem to a wilderness
cultured
cultivated now

you radiate disorder
flustered
clicking needles
clustered
knitting the wind

lop-sided
radical forest church
spired with birds
crows’ nest crowned
growing out extravagant

salted the air
old man’s beard
sprouting fresh bristles
old salt sea salt

always a helping branch
to point the time of day
each rough-barked limb
a friendly hand extended

every night
your black bristling branches
haul down the sun

Purple

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Purple

I pen poems
in emerald ink
but I prefer
the violence of evening’s
bruised violets

wind-beaten clouds
add dark depths
to a rainbow

a glow of satisfaction
flutters northern lights

the setting sun
hums low notes
to cello
and double bass

Comment: I like this, but I prefer the re-write. If you wish to express your preference, I would be glad to receive it. This is the third revision. Click here to read the first posted version of Purple. Any comments on the evolution of the poem would also be welcomed.

Purple

violent
evening’s
bruised violets

wind-beaten clouds
move through dark depths
a rainbow arcs
an iris curve

northern lights
flicker organ music
fugues of color
sound into light

low notes hum
bring tears to the eye
cello and double bass
serenade a setting sun

 

Butterflies

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Butterflies

butterflies
their ephemeral forms
flutter by
flickering
brief their sweet sway

they spread
paint-daubed
fanciful wings
fan flowers
flourish

eternity
perched briefly
on flowering bees’ balm

robin puffs out
his red breast
hauls down
tomorrow’s sun

white-throat sings
an evening elegy

Comment: 

“Poetry gives permanence to the temporal forms of the self.”
Miguel de Unamuno.

Migrants

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Migrants

Think natural disasters. Think famine,
wars, violence, plague. How our world changes
when refugees arrive, blend, contribute,
offer so much, their languages, cultures.

Yet we still exploit them, stealing subtle
things, their identities, their energy,
their ability to adapt, to give
so much and really to take so little.

Who would want to build a wall,
to reject them, to deny entry?
Maybe a million Indigenous people
can actually claim the right

to belong here. Most are immigrants,
late-comers in one way or another.
To accept, to grow together in peace,
to establish a nation where people

need not fear imminent expulsion
for the color of their skin, their language,
their religion, their political thoughts,
the fact they may not even vote for us.

Losing It

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Losing It
Island View

I searched for it everywhere: in the dry, dusty
pages of age-old books, in the spaces, white,
between words, in silences between bird songs,
in grey skies where raindrops formed into clouds,
in the pause between each cat’s paw of wind.

Nothing. I couldn’t find it. This morning
I searched for it in my shaving mirror.
I stirred the shiny film on my breakfast coffee
hunting for it. My Morning Glory lay open
on the operating table of my plate: nothing.

Mourning doves on the feeder called me by name.
The flicker drummed me a soothing rhythm.
I closed my eyes, dreamed of the river rising,
and found myself on an open beach. Homeless
hermit crab, I wandered listless, combing
seaweed, leaving fragile lines, footprints to
bear witness to my presence on this shore,
but as I looked for it, I knew I had lost it.

Comment: 
Forget-me-not. My father’s birthday. He would have been 108. Happy birthday, dad. I’m still wearing your watch.

Fisher King

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King-Fisher-King

King-fisher, wounded wing, Fisher-King
ruling a shallow lake, water-logged,
beaver-gnawed trees, trunks and branches

rotting under water, green growth bearded
upon them, lily-padded the pond,
transformed year after year, to meadows, silt

gathering, filling in smaller channels,
only the mainstream flickers, flows beneath
freckled sunshine. Change hides in plain sight.

All things wither, perish. Cherish this changing,
these modified moods, sun and cloud, the land
recovering, coming back to fertility.

Swift the flight of the swallow’s low dip,
mottled the osprey, aloft in her nest.
King-fisher flying, return of the King.

À Dieu

 

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À Dieu
(1920-33 & 20??)

nowhere have I found peace
save in a glass of wine
perfection in blood red grapes
long plucked from the vine

they say I cannot go again
and drain another glass
I say they speak in vain
their prohibition will not last

I know I will not live
forever but while I do
the wine will flow forgive me
I don’t want to walk out on you

sooner or later I’ll be called
I know one day I’ll have to go
bravely into the dark and cold
meanwhile let the red wine flow

 

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