off October's end
with cold shreds of the galaxy
stringing between his teeth.
Silently saints shiver in their vestments
waiting for the prayers and treats
as fewer doors open to their knocks.
Demon screams and children's laughs fade
behind the hedge, around the turn
as giggling shades are shuffled indoors.
Porches are darkened and blinds are drawn,
blue ghosts dance through the curtains
as televisions tell of dying within.
Only the saints are left outside,
who passed for costumes in the night,
vigiling for prayers until the dawn.
I took a
and know now why the fall which hangs obliquely from the sun
so yellow, dry and cool
leaves me more still than its still yellow leaves.
The dry air runs up residential streets, up well-manicured lawns
(no sound of mowers though it's Saturday, there is no growth)
and holds well-finished houses in completeness:
straw flowers perfectly arranged in dry still-life.
The color of the day, the lowness of the sun makes
even mornings seem like afternoons.
A few children play on porches,
their quiet laughs are awkward ornaments
to this dying time of year,
but no more out of place than gaggles of the old
who migrate to the fall-less places of the world:
Miami, the Bahamas or Palm Springs.
And yes, I know now why the old,
in finished houses in the finished time of year,
like to hear the little children laugh,
and like to walk their little childish dogs;
there really is no rage against the coming of the night.
But here, in some nicely furnished sitting room,
an old man waits, his half-blind Pekinese upon his lap,
watching a yellow sky turn gray.
There is no rage,
for we have passed now through so many falls,
the shadows grown behind us, oh so slowly;
we get a dog to keep us young
and it grows old.
God turns the heat up slow to boil live frogs.
in Your Evening Land
of dusk without change
only a wind chime outside my window
says time blows through the room,
through my body --
Zephyrus whispering brass chimes together
which sing quiet and clear at their parting
so slightly dissonant
to each other and alone.
You left in the night
(I wonder how again I let you leave),
my head was full of busy-ness
and I did not hurt so over much.
Each minute rushed
like the little mustachioed man
frantic to turn each bolt
only barely got the best of them,
did not even get the best of them,
left them finished and unfinished
and let you go to your evening land.
the sudden lull and quiet,
the changeless dusk outside
like a moment out of time
in which to recollect
a searching look,
your throat turned, away and up,
the down beneath your arm,
the pressure of your hips
on mine --
not passing images but melted together,
distilled beyond temporality into something else,
I cannot say,
only measured by the chime
with that little dissonance
resonating in and out of time.