Book of the Month

70th September birthday in Vermont


From slanted windows framed high

in the barn's gable end, I mind a day

the garden patch was strafed, the late

melon patch was ruined, and hickory

switches chastened the granite ledge.


Arctic slices have invaded the Yankee

breakfast of warm apple pie, sending

shivers through the pumpkin allies; the

morning's blueberries have resigned---

ruptured buckshot, jelly spread inside;


rouged sickle pears, like fodder stranded

on topmost limbs, now study the mix of

ominous trends and windward twist

---heaven bound with green bravado---

and the memory of a Summer's kiss;


as a child I once envisioned myself as

a grown man smiling down; now I

spy the orchard warrior leering back

at me in a specter of Fall recruits---he

has culled the dreamers from the resolute;


along the gravel shale paths home,

I track the mountain evening drafts,

scout firewood camps and cannon

atop the dry-stone walls; down-gully

a carbine eye has leveled its sights;


survival is the Autumn primer, the

scent of snow, the art of burrowing

neighbors, the husbandry of cabbage

and potato; how tepid seem the zero

months in a field-stone cellar hole.


In shades of far-range pastel chalk

the clover hay falls in one last cut; 

soldier boys smother in grape shot;

a young general....musters his rakes,

trails the men home, to supper call. 



Really wonderful, Oxy!   Bravo!




Thanks very much, Mr. Smith. 

Lovin' "green bravado"..

Thanks, Jolly.

I echo the bravados.

And I have indeed tasted of apple pie in the morning.

Thanks, Richard. I'm happy to know that you are a true Yankee at heart.

That is beautiful Oxy!

Appreciate you, Tmac. 

Good poem.

I particularly like the wheeling back and forward between rolling r's and glottal stops. My favorite is: "In shades of far-range pastel chalk"


Thanks, Moat.

Wow.  I wish I could write like this.  Beautiful, Oxy. 



Thanks, LisaB. A poem like this is a process. By the time I finished it, I threw most of the original away. Billy Collins has an awfully good poem, can't remember the name, about poetry students. You have to beat it about the head and shoulders to turn it into a poem. Then again, it's easy to loose the initial inspiration, so always save copies until you think you have it, then throw them away or you'll revise it forever. 

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