late season blues

image

The morning, chill and gray,
turned me inward seeking warmth,
some reassurance that winter
is still a few months at bay.

After the requisite morning walk,
my pup settled on the deck
for breakfast and bunny-watch,
my eyes wandered beyond the railing

to see three tall hydrangea blooms
in full autumn blaze – every shade
of deep purple, lavender, violet -
the dark to light blues of an entire summer

rising tall above the bush’s rough-edged
green leaves marooning already 
in the cooling nights of just-October.
As is my custom to keep fresh flowers

on the table, I harvested these
late season blues bringing all their hues
of experience and hope to my view
within, up close and reassuring.
swb

new england fall

How we all love to pick apples,

sink expectant teeth into unsuspecting flesh

that spews sweet spray onto one another’s faces

 

the crunch a clarion call - and come they do!

How my boy, not yet two, would grab and gnaw

his little white teeth across the red surface,

 

sink slowly into the sweetness hiding there

to his eye-widening delight; and how I imagine

him slinging his own baby boy across his slim back

 

reaching the same long arms for one, then another,

testing four teeth against the slippery skin

and likely dropping it before he gains traction enough

 

for a true taste. What is it about fall

that brings a grown daughter home every year

to climb a tree, snap a few selfies

 

and slide more than a few luscious bites

of Macintosh, Macoun and Cortland into her

waiting mouth? To the other, I mail packages

 

packed with care to preserve a pair of Mac’s

and a jar of jam. Already I have stewed and frozen

vats of Macinsauce, simmered pints of golden brown

 

apple butter, baked muffins and pie and crisp

and crumble, all this New England fare of yore

begging for more. How grateful I for the crunch

 

of each fall afresh with plucking and picking up

what fell from weight or wind, as I fall

into delirium with each delicious bite.

swb

Photos by Jim Hester, Fall 1990. Both are slides; the second is a phone capture from slide - clumsy technology but a favorite shot.

harvest moon rise

photo courtesy of lovethesepics.com

Risen already, her pink orb
lifting through baby blue,
watery train not yet visible
in the still-waning light.

Incoming surf seeking to bring
along her offshore shimmer
just emerging between
rock outcrop and shore.

The western sky phasing
into slow haze, stubbornly
pale as if in deference
to this harvest moon’s

regal rise, her steady climb
and steadfast reliability a comfort
in our increasingly erratic
world.

swb

9.9.22

red umbrella

Photo by Ukrainian Nadia Povalinska. Taken days before the Russian invasion.
Sweet shield from snow.
Peace prevails. Quiet comforts.
Cold air on young skin. Crunch of packed snow
speaks sled rides, group strolls. A people attuned 
to time and place. Hidden, their fierce resolve
to defend the Motherland, deep-rooted 
union of land and people. A concept 
we can admire but no way grasp,
the discord among us too vast.

swb
3.12.22