Category Archives: RONDEAU

NORTH, EARLY DECEMBER

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Let me down easy

the way hints of winter
fall exquisitely today
scattering icy lacy flowers
from a cloud bouquet

flutter, waver just a bit
unhurried and unworried
to get on with it.

A deeper cold will come
but stay its harder hand
let play a little longer
the november grey indefinites

let me down easy.

The longest night is still ahead
weighs heavy in the apprehension
threatening dismay

let me go haltingly into its
frozen moonlit desolation
tempered by the touch of
something of its opposite

knowing I am anyway
to be let down, I pray

let me down easy.
.
.

NORTH, EARLY DECEMBER

I have recently been diagnosed with cancer—metastasized, terminal. Since I am not writing any new poems at the moment, this one, posted last year as the month of December was beginning, seemed even more appropriate now.

THE TRICK OF TREATS

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Beware the trick of treats, my little one,
of sugary ideals, of endless halcyon

as you go forth this hallowed eventide
your begging pleasure bag held open wide

go not oblivious, bewitched into oblivion.

Candy corn spits from a saw-toothed gun
marshmallow ghosts devour a skeleton

behind your mask’s deceit remain clear-eyed:
beware the trick of treats.

This world’s a mixing bowl of bleak and fun
of up and down, of swapping rain and sun

two one-eyed tadpoles circling inside
give a close chase that’s never satisfied

and bitters dwell with sweets, my little one,
beware the trick of treats.
.
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the-trick-of-treats

LAST CAT’S CONUNDRUM

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Where did everybody go, do you suppose?
I thought I had them counted, every nose
going about its business everyday—
dog in the grass, cats in their litter tray;
now eat, now sleep—precise punctilios.

It started when one of the ones who wear the clothes
left us, went wherever someone goes
who never comes again. That’s when I began to say
where did they go?

Later on, my brother cat lay down and froze
in a forever sleep.  There was such weeping; flows
of tears like rivers. Then, oh, no! The dog fell prey
to that inscrutable. I feel as if I’m yesterday,
trying to know, waiting for my eyes to close—
where did everybody go?
.
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LAST CAT CONUNDRUM

IT’S MADNESS

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“…it’s madness to live without joy.”
—Czeslaw Milosz
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It’s madness to live without joy, to will
to wake and look forward to nil,
to drag a dull clod through the day
with little to give or to say,
to keep going nowhere, uphill–

to look out and dream by the sill
of elsewhere and elsewise until
the traveling river has trickled away–
it’s madness to live without joy.

Beyond the forest of chill
is a clearing–quiet, sun-filled.
It awaits. Go. Not to pray
but to listen for what to obey.
There’ll be things to destroy. Still,
it’s madness to live without joy.
.
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IT’S MADNESS

NORTH, EARLY DECEMBER

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Let me down easy

the way hints of winter
fall exquisitely today
scattering icy lacy flowers
from a cloud bouquet

flutter, waver just a bit
unhurried and unworried
to get on with it.

A deeper cold will come
but stay its harder hand
let play a little longer
the november grey indefinites

let me down easy.

The longest night is still ahead
weighs heavy in the apprehension
threatening dismay

let me go haltingly into its
frozen moonlit desolation
tempered by the touch of
something of its opposite

knowing I am anyway
to be let down, I pray

let me down easy.
.
.

NORTH, EARLY DECEMBER

MAPLE YELLOW, MAPLE RED

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Maple yellow, maple red, I see
the killing splendor of your canopy
outside my window as I lie abed
gathering this morning’s go-ahead,
whispering this small apostrophe—

how gracefully you ride time’s tyranny
and know exactly how to be a tree,
rubrics never read, sermons unsaid,
maple yellow, maple red.

Soon you will die, to some degree,
turn prickly gray as colors flee;
but you’ll grow back the brights you shed.
This time next year, I may be dead
while you, most likely once again, may be
maple yellow, maple red.
.
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MAPLE YELLOW, MAPLE RED

AMONG OTHER THINGS

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Among other things
the forsythia blooms
indoors, in water,
just as one presumes–
its tiny yellow openings
burst into day stars
forcing spring
into the winter gloom.

But now the branches
lately cut, are doomed
never to know again
how golden plumes might
ride together on a wind
might bow and swing
among other things.

Separation marks them
for a loamy tomb where
dry sticks end,
sink, are consumed.
Or so it seems, except
for a remembering

a homesickness for sun
an urge toward wings
and what it means to be
a glow in the brume
among other things.

. . AMONG OTHER THINGS