Autumn Porch Days
Some days, all we can do to see a wider world is lie quietly in the sun, faces curved to sky, watching leaves drop color and die, as clouds paint a bleached collage of our other places. All this radiance and warmth must surely reach something deeper than skin, higher than your mountains and stars, less broken than my in-between lovers. Yet, why does the wind winter swiftly? If I fade to sleep, dreams will pull me to body tired Autumn nights in Boone; Perseus chasing Pegasus across a dingy lens. Do you remember? Somewhere, far to the south of my dreams, you climb toward a circumpolar view, where your lens is robbed of my brightest star. I envision your weary form in these clouds as you drag a trail across that uncertain heaven. If you are seeking peace, come home. Our days apart are beyond the stack of peaks. All that is left is a calming stroke of hands, the sharing of pictures in winter clouds. That is enough for me, if I am with you. If you are seeking redemption, come home. You will discover the best of it here, in my heart. Years become mountains. We both know the trail. When will you remember me?
Shirley Alexander © 2011
Category Archives: spiritual
What My Father Planted
He was a short man,
but there was a certain way he stood;
his silhouette strong and familiar
like a steeple in times of worry.
It was a determined stance,
glance to sun, hand shading frown,
tongue moisture over dry lips.
He timed breaths by till of hard soil.
If he chanced to catch me watching,
he was quick to harvest a smile.
We’ll be okay when it rains.
God watches over farmers and fools.
He was a short man,
but there was a certain way he stood,
tall and strong like a church steeple
towering toward heaven.
Walk softly, the old woman said.
Leave nothing disturbed.
Children and warriors knelt near campfires
to be warmed by the wisdom of her life.
They left no path through green woods;
thanked Mother Earth when they hunted;
prayed the good soil of their bones
would replenish what was taken.
I think of my ancestors when I walk in forests.
I think how this land must have been graceful,
accepting the music of soft footprints on ground,
leaving nothing disturbed.
I think of them, too, when I walk here,
where wisdom of elders is locked in antiseptic halls,
and grey city streets are paved
with deep prints in stone.
Without A Proper Eulogy
I am as a miner on his mountain of grey,
calculating the loss of sweat for profit.
The land I hold writ to name my own
will choose to remember nothing of me,
save plastic scars and scent of dusty bones.
And when I am gone, mourners will rush
to add insult on the careless print that was me.
They will stack weak stone tall in my honor
where wild flowers should forever be free to grow.
And I will sigh into the dirt, and mourn all losses.