A Gift of a Day

Lily Pond in Late November

Imagine a late November day
with air as warm as summer’s,
but drier, and so still that the pond,
that just weeks ago was filled with lilies
and geese, is mirror-clear, reflecting
the hues that only late autumn
can wear—the rust-red oaks,
the bleached reeds—and all this
beneath a clear blue sky.   Imagine
that fortune drew you here
at just the right moment, when
the lowering sun was just beginning
to send out its gold-tinged rays.
Imagine how lucky you’d feel,
how you would stand here, breathing
It all, how your heart would be singing
Yes.

Ohio Watercolor

Ohio Farm from Air

From half a mile up, this patch
of Ohio looks like a watercolor
rendering of days long gone,
a swatch of rural life, forgotten
on the big screens that inform
us of the things that are supposed
to matter.  But this is no fake news.
This is a snapshot of the industry
of those tucked away in fly-by world:
the ones who feed us, who plow
and plant the fields carved
from the forests.  The ones who
live close to the earth and know
her rhythms, her moods, her songs.
The ones who work hard, raise
crops and children.  The ones who,
at night, truly dream sweet dreams.

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Through the Eyes of the Hawk

Late Autumn Forest from the Air

Through the eyes of the hawk
who sails above me in graceful arcs,
these towering trees, that seem,
to me, to reach the heavens,
are but lines in a pattern,
eclipsed in size by the shadows
they cast, and I, if visible at all,
appear as a mere speck on
the landscape, the intensity
of my imaginings holding
no meaning.  And yet I know
that we are connected,
that our hearts are beating
in rhythm and singing
the very same song.

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Breathing Time

Brady's Run Creek

Before the next great rush,
the coming of the winds, the ice,
the snow, a breathing time
settles over the land, a hush,
alive with anticipation, a waiting,
filled with calm.  The rhythm
smooths, the rolling hours
contain, between the exhalation
of what’s past and the inhalation
of what will be, a pause,
a lingering in the utter perfection
of this, of what is, just now.

Endless Thanks

Late Autumn Leaves

If I could write a note of thanks
on every leaf of every tree,
or etch one into every grain
of sand, still, it would not
be enough.  For the whole
of my life, within and without,
and for this world on which
I live it, for everyone, for each
living being, for every thought,
for each tug of my heartstrings,
for the unfathomable mystery,
the infinite beauty and grace,
for each breath, each step,
each waking, each dawn:
Thank you, Great Yes.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Slow Dancing

Lake After Snow

The air holds onto its cold, allowing
the snow that fell two days ago
to make a gradual retreat.  Lest we think
that winter has descended, Autumn
waves the last of her colors by the lake.
This is November, she whispers.  I am
the season of change, and my dance
is a slow dance meant to ease you
into winter one soft step at a time.
And say, don’t you just love the music?

Sneak Preview

Woodland with Snow

The morning spread a pastel sky above
the newly fallen snow, painting a promise
of things to come.   The first snow,
like a first love, seldom lasts.  But its sweetness
lingers in your heart even when gray days
follow, and reminds you that such beauty
is possible and, in time, will surely come again,
deeper, and lasting, and every bit as pure.

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