Monday, September 05, 2022

Two poems and an early morning photo

I thought I shouldn't let this blog go dormant. Below are two poems written for life witnessed around my home in the Blue Ridge. Both mention Queen Anne's lace, a flower for which I have written many poems which I have posted in this blog. The first poem was inspired by a late cutting of the hay that surrounds my house and barn. Weather and equipment problems kept the farmer from cutting it until early August, about 6 weeks later than he'd like. This allowed Queen Anne's lace to sprout, to the delight of dozens of Goldfinches who feast in the field. 

Below is my early morning view from my house taken on August 7th. Old timers say that for every August fog, they'll be a heavy snow in winter. If that's the case, I better invest in a few more snow shovels! 

Ode to the Goldfinches in my neighborhood

Dressed in bright yellow

       highlighted by black and white

       you perch on a swaying stalk 

       of Queen Anne's lace.

Your delicate feet grip the plant

      just below the broad white flower

      that shades your body

      like the hats of women on Easter,

      in the church of my youth.

Your head twists back and forth

      watching your tribe dance across the meadow

       feasting on sweet vernal grass

       and making the most of this summer day.

As the season wanes, you'll molt,

      trading the yellow for a drab brown

      suitable for your trip south. 

-July 21, 2022

The Day before the Equinox 


Despite the threat of rain on the last day of summer

I walk in Laurel Fork Road in the evening, 

noticing the seasonal changes.

along the edge of the hayfields, 

where the staghorn sumac and dogwoods have turned red. 

The green leaves of the maples and oaks in the forest beyond

have already lost their luster

while golden rods brighten the ditch banks 

next to Queen Anne, who has rolled her lace into a ball 

ready to stow in the drawer for winter. 

At the cemetery by the Primitive Baptist Church

            an eight-point buck stops in the middle of the road,

            looking at me for the longest time

            as if wondering what I am doing out in this mess

            before jumping off the road and over the gravestones.

The drizzle becomes a rain shortly after passing the church,

but as I leave the payment for gravel, 

and the hayfields for dense woods,

            the rain is not as noticeable until a breeze shakes the trees

shedding its accumulated moisture on me.

I continue, zipping up my rain jacket, 

but return earlier than I’d like, in the fading gray,

for there will be no full harvest moon to guide me tonight

 as tears now pour from the sky,

each drop pinging off my jacket

Yet, I’m delighted when I get close enough to my lane,

            with water running down my bare legs,

            to be greeted by cheerful Halloween faces

painted on the sides of three round haybales

in front of my neighbor’s field. 

September 21, 2021 

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