Unseen Hand of Autumn


There is an unseen hand

Behind the cooler nights of autumn.

Geese rise and sound their call

Even before the rooster’s cry at dawn.

Summer’s playful heat

Left with lesser light.


Early green of spring

Began with flower,

Soon to fall as leaves

Outplayed with speed and strength

To catch the Sun and feed

Slumbering core to grow another ring.


September green upon the hills,

Still intent it fades well gauged,

Preparing for finale staged —

Knowing deep within the shorter hours,

Yet one last campaign must be waged,

Knowing in the heart, this time may be the last.


Even body’s bones feel weariness of age.

Time for green has lost its heat at last.

Yet whatever reds and golds to come

Will charm the eye with brilliance not outclassed

By any other season—shrub, tree,

Sky so vivid blue, fades to gold as evening comes.


Mute swans upon the lake take flight,

Circle round three times before they land again.

Ducks and geese take more direction,

Fear not only winter but now the hunter—

Silently he stands, hides within the rushes

Praying to kill, bring sound of danger,

Sends lead when powder fires upon one spark,

Spreads demand of such ungodly power,

Until barrel and perhaps a life is spent.


Send prayer instead those survivors

Hailing darts that bring sudden death—

Friends and neighbors fall mid-flight,

Make havoc of the need to rest or riot.

No good knowledge, not cunning of the mind

Stop coming of dark winter’s edge and night.



The Midas Touch


Early morning light,
Walk upon black sand,
Fire of volcano from years ago
Burned into the world,
Released the deepest gold
Scattered in the air, the trees,
The grass against blue water’s edge.

Perhaps King Midas, sitting on his throne,
Reached out his hand and touched the Sun—
All alone, he poured such blazing pain,
To survive upon every ocean shore…
Still it smolders in his name.
Alive so many years, he never knew
His touch of gold left his daughter dead.

I Am Grateful But Not Happy….

Clarity Will Come

I will be honest.  I am not happy.

No need to deceive or lie when you’re as old as I…

Now is the time to reveal as much as I can see.

I’ve recently slipped away from death again,

 Just as I did when I was three and was hit by a car,

Wheel grazed against my face when I rolled

Down a hill outside the church.

Thank God, for me, the street of life has been long.

There have been soft pillows when I went to sleep,

But so many lost or forgotten dreams.


When I was five, I was thrown

While riding bareback on large trotting horse,

Held onto reins, pulled under beast,

Saw the face of death until hooves

Clipped against my head,

Finally knocked me unconscious.

I let go of reins and fell safely into blackness.

Eight times darkness has come and circled close.

I am like a beef stew, still simmering on the stove,

Invisible chef saying I’m not sufficiently tender,

Apparently for some unfathomed reason

Not yet ready to set upon the Table.

More lessons to be learned–

Battles to be won or lost before peace comes…

 Praise God— I still have work to do!


But why should I be happy

When I look outside and see the sky…

Clouds billowing as sails,

Birds as distant yachts upon the roiling seas.

Who will hold my hand as it trembles on the tiller

When I tightly turn to port when day is done,

Gybing across the southwest wind,

Seek a place to anchor for the night?

I will be honest.  I am grateful and I am not unhappy….

And I hope for another year and more…


How is the sky where you live today?

Here, limited visibility and the air thick,

Moist heat forcing me inside again,

Curtains pulled against the sun.

Do you see clouds against horizon of your dreams?

When I was young there were no clouds….

The sky eternally blue and I could see forever.

After sunset, fireflies and stars came out.

There were lamps that were lit in evening corners,

Music played late on the radio, and I failed to

Notice love was absent in the house.


I will be open— my life is no tragedy.

If you were here, I’d take your hand,

Look softly but intently into your eyes and ask,

“Has someone ever loved you fully?”

When you were young and alone,

Did you often think of death?

Did you ever spend a day outside upon the ground,

Watch blue skies, white rags of clouds

Sucking fantastic sweetness from the searing air?

Even now, do you feel sad when watching sunsets?


Did you lose yourself at the age of eight

 While staring into coals of fire at night,

Have fears of hell instilled….  brush your hair,

Striving for a perfect look, insides unseen,

Alone with sleeping pain you hardly knew was there

So many wasted wishes, each one the same —

With every birthday cake a prayer

God would take me Home and not

Throw me into cold flames of Hell.


Speak to me.  What is love if we are only birds

Flying as yachts among the clouds that block the sun?

Are there terrible questions that

Must not be asked, for shame,

Unspeakable shame to ask…..?

 Love for me is someone giving a hand to hold,

Yet another chance to stop hiding—

Open all the windows and as light fades into dusk,

Perhaps the promise of an honest kiss.


Who knows you well enough to know

What answers you are afraid to seek?

Speak to me, my friend.  I am here.

Should we speak plainly or merely in metaphor

As we shamble down the street?

Do you want to hold hands

Or walk two feet apart?  Who are you now?

Are you happy when alone within your skin?

I am not happy; I am grateful and I am not unhappy.

And I am not afraid.


There have been too many births and deaths….

Even  those unnoticed are mighty.

More will come before winter snow.

Perhaps we should look no deeper,

But since my youth, I always want to know….

Or would you prefer to sail upon a quiet surface?


Can you bare to read the wrinkles on your face?

Shall we sail together upon white-capped clouds,

Say prayers as we fly upon  deep blue sky,

Raging clouds casting shadows at high noon?

Be forewarned, you cannot leave fingerprints in blue.

As gathered darkness comes, will there be answers

To our terrible questions or will the silence reign

Upon dry minds that thirst in prayer for more?