Late October light slants, stingy at 6 p.m.
I will fall back in early November
For an extra hour of shadow time,
Of cool sleep, a false gain against the loss
Of afternoon gold and blinks into azure bliss
Where contrails etch high-flown ice-crystal beauty.
You showed me fragments, quickening a wakefulness
Within my darkened room—a pull on the blinds,
And a rainbow shot through an antique prism,
And I yearned for the tiny magnificence
Of southern autumn flecking your eyes,
The perfect iris ambiguity
Oh, these are the days of wine-soaked glory—
When fall flames the Japanese maples
Leaving in chlorophyll-starved splendor
And sets crimson fire to full-sun burning bushes;
Scraggles of yearend roses scrape skyward
Or ground-sink in tattered bouquets.
Near death is full, palpitating—
Drunk on this bittersweet October afternoon,
A bee bumbles and greedily clutches
A fistful of honey-yellow stamens
Rippling my late-summer Iowa memory
Of wheat dipping, bowing, rolling west;
I craved the pull of that wind-mellowed phrase,
But F-sharp minor cross-wired my brain violet;
My hands are witless things, deaf to sounding color,
Yet you heard, somehow heard, rhythms halting,
And grace notes chirping, and my wistful banging
At a far-flung purplish fantaisie;
Your right hand took the middle voice; your left, the bass,
Tempering my two-hand flails at trills and dots,
And I down-stepped a semitone to F sharp;
Our four-hand blue noted harmonic shifts and modulated—
A carefulness, like precision-measured gin
From a sapphire bottle, kissed with vermouth
And two drops of orange bitters—I paused
For the long-distance click of frosted glasses
And mourned the phrase I would never grasp:
Six minutes of perfect F-sharp minor.
And so, we play on, October moistening our lips,
Faithful in our fashion to burnished friendship,
Like copper-edged magnolia leaves gleaming hazel
While roses bleed the ground before butchering frost.
Nature has a way of turning parlor tricks:
The heart line forks in the palm of my right hand,
Oh, mon semblable, oh, mon frère.
Beautiful! I especially loved “And I yearned for the tiny magnificence
Of southern autumn flecking your eyes.” Wow.
Thanks, TK. I’m well into writing my second volume of poetry. BTW I’m so excited about the release of your new book. We need to set up an interview/review! Let’s schedule!
Beautiful as always… so you are a gin drinker ay?
Our weekend roses rest blue as the yellow sun strokes the trees fire.
Oh the wistfulness of the passing seasons….and life. You captured it so beautifully my friend..looking forward to the book of poetry!
I read your words. Oh Joy. Oh bless. Be still my heart.
Thank you! You are very kind. : )