“Colors are the deeds and sufferings of light.”
It has been said the weather is bright blue
this time of year. A tinge of cobalt cools
the contours, copper trembles, sounding true.
Red and golden maple leaves, the motley fools,
die dancing on a breeze of nevermore.
Those who must learn go back to schools.
The year was started long before
this current, nearer to the final, page
of curling calendar behind the closet door;
yet blood, air, the purple-kissed greengage
belie that paper rubric and bestir unnerving
promise in what’s more than come of age.
Cliché favors youth, the tight uncurving
blade of spring, bronze beauty at the beach,
the summer’s salad days all undeserving.
And youth favors cliché, believing each
grey hint of winter is a closing down,
smug in its grasp of things beyond its reach.
We’ve been there. Now we’re here, my frown,
searching a spattered mirror for small clues
to an unsettling ripening. We grope for nouns
to name it—for the way so many hues
exquisitely become a potent reticence of brown.
. A CERTAIN AGE
(We’ve just had Memorial Day, here in the USA, when we especially commemorate those who have died fighting our wars, and we place flowers, as well, on the graves of all of our deceased loved ones.)
The wheel turns once again to this:
the image of your going
that appalling, horrid yesterday.
Old wounds stir beneath their scars
memories of anguish, fear, and disarray–
the sudden darkness
of your life’s closing parenthesis.
Yet anniversaries are not required
for our in memoriam—
let those who think so
take their yearly flowers to your grave.
They’ll soon forget again. They do not know
the way you visit constantly
as earth, the air, the water, …fire…
as reminding, unseen amulet,
as the in-dwelling, the abruptly
disappearing dream at dawn,
the little pause over a cup at noon,
the lengthening shadow on the lawn—
in the gut-pull of gravity,
split-second, as each sinking sun is set.