Beyond the sultry gate, evening picks
its way through warm rambling shadows. It
wears no shirt and knows no sun block is
required by the woods’ illusion
of permanence. The dulcet muffled
modulations of this now listen.
Dim orange light guards cautious steps over
rotting fallen logs and wiry swirls
of thorn brambles. Leaf-filled stump holes have
set small trickster pranks. Just beyond the
moments’ failing gray, a pair of Hawk
chicks bickers and shoves. The adults watch
the half-grown young tuck heads down into
the nest and fold wings across their backs.
editors note: No bicker or shove can arrest the turn of night in summer's heat. Best settle in. - mh clay
Early afternoon’s minutes dangle
precariously on raw green pears.
Marauding squirrels leap down from slim
Hickories like crows swooping to road kill.
Tugging each pear from its stem, knife teeth
incise chunks of sour nut-hard flesh.
Inviting the ants to come dine, the
wounded pears plunge to the grass. Their falls
are dead with the thuds of cracked drum heads.
Fermenting into soft cidery
brown spots, their relentless unconcern
joins wounded fruit from yesterday—and
the day before. By dawn, they’ll sweat
with cool dew. For now time’s all a waste.
editors note: Fruitful or fruitless; it's in the timing. - mh clay
Midmorning sneaks calm pools of light in
between abrasive chilly breezes
and drops them where sun patches stand still.
The breezes flip ivy leaves upside down
on tree trunks. Theirs is a tireless green
whose knotted twines mesh mercilessly.
The pools swim their calms with haloes of
gnats that lift swirling plumes, dizzily
suspending themselves inside the air,
then, as if air dropped out its bottom,
plummet en masse toward dead grass like a
fumbling diver. The last moment and
morning catches its breath to push the
gnats spinning helix back toward the sun.
editors note: Gnat magic on a winter's morn. - mh clay
Late morning breezes riff the vines and
branches, playing hide and seek with small
promises tucked beneath wide open
leaves. Beside weathered fence slats, yellow
winks along cucumbers and squash vines that
trail down from well-composted mounds. Their
open sweetness imbibes the bees’ probes
and kisses. Pale green and pencil thin,
pears dangle beneath perky leaves set
to start long itineraries toward
ripeness. Fig nubs stand, beneath dark green
umbrellas, erect and hard. Neither
rhyming nor reasoning, breezes riff
streaks of movement down and up each tree.
editors note: Our Springtime rascal, the riffing breeze. - mh clay
The sky lays dim slate above the trees.
Looming silhouettes breathe in blackness.
Air exhales cool damp silence. Stillness
in the trees echoes cool silence back.
A few lone Cicadas call from edge
to edge. Their erratic dry clicking
makes the shape of silence palpable
like, just before a song begins, breath’s
intake holds the upbeat. Out of
the silence, as awareness takes shape,
crossing by crossing, a train’s bleak howl
approaches. Silence holds its breath. It
waits the train to pass the street end. It
forgets to breathe. It goes back inside.
editors note: Silence occupies all vacancies, but pays no rent. - mh clay