WINTER: SEASONS BLEEDING INTO TIME

WINTER WAY NORTH

In the way north, winter is warm
We’re indoors almost all winter; we’re way north
It’s just too cold to go outdoors
I like to watch the float and swirl
When snowflakes bless the cold air
I don’t complain about road conditions
When I do go outdoors after my car warms up
And maybe it’s 5 minutes in the elements, the bracing air
From my car to the shopping mall’s stale air
Which is community in the winter
Or maybe live music and dancing indoors in a bar’s congested air
Which all conspires to make winter warm
And it is not a Taoist reverence for Nature
As one would find in Swedenborg or Emerson
But more like the poetry of Marinetti without fascism
In celebration of an industrial conquest of nature
As most who live in -30 temperatures would
And buildings and tunnels connecting buildings
And automobiles transporting you warm in the elements
Would make anyone a Futurist in a warm automobile
Warm shopping mall, warm apartment, warm winter
In the way north where the outdoor elements are deadly in winter
And indoors we are warm, my body heat borrowed
Until what makes my heartbeat departs the final cold
I watch the snowflakes cover the pallid earth

AUTUMN: SEASONS BLEEDING INTO TIME

THE LEAVES TURN BROWN

I’m not ready for the leaves to turn
The annuals to wither, the night to encroach on too soon twilight
The dimming of summer’s bright intensity

I’m not ready for the armchair
The table lamp, the book off the shelf, candles
The quiet confinement after summer running around in sunny outside intensity
For only a couple months when it wasn’t raining

I don’t know if I can leap and kick anymore
That Hung Gar Kung Fu move I used to do so effortlessly,
And still might need in a situation, but . . .
Don’t want to try or I might pay for weeks
The same if I sit too long, even type
Paid in shoulder pain, stiff joints, a strained, numbing thumb nerve

I used to find a fond summation of it all in autumn
In the high, long lingering August sun’s long shadows
Adumbrating on the cold, hard ground
The dead leaves my slowed steps will kick through
Walking the weary earth in wan light
And now I see only summer dimming
Flowers withering, green leaves turning brown

And there’s nothing I can do about it

Snow will preclude the patio
Whose withering flowers say that won’t be long away
Maybe cool fall will linger through months in the café’s patio
Before the short daylight and the long, dim indoor lamp light
However it plays, there’s nothing I can do about it coming

Though I know it doesn’t all end in such a long winter

SUMMER: SEASONS BLEEDING INTO TIME

BARED SKIN

Lying on the raft, anchored out from the beach,
Which floats upon icy-cold summer Lake Superior
I would bake in the Upper-Peninsula Michigan weak summer sun
Until the surface of my skin felt hot
Plunge into icy Lake Superior
Feel the bracing, cold water against my heated skin
The sensual feeling, my skin become my consciousness
My consciousness, my skin
In the deliciously chilling Lake Superior water
Dove under water over all my made frigid skin and face.
I climb back up onto the raft and bake off the chill
In the summer Upper-Peninsula Michigan sun
Repeating at my leisure through the passing week-end summer afternoon

We like bright summer sun’s heat on our skin,
Basking as bare as we can in its rays,
And the general warm summer air.
Summer cools into fall, fall freezes into winter.
Who enjoys winter’s brace upon our barely exposed skin?
Extraordinary stimulation excites my sense
Like chill Lake Superior water
Or heat of the sun on bared summer’s body
Or brisk, crisp air in winter’s bite on the barely exposed face
My sensuous face embraces icy air’s welcome winter brace
As much as sensual summer’s pleasant bake on my skin
Or the years that came at me in this early adulthood
When it all lay in front of me and I was ready to take it on
My future my consciousness, my self making my destiny
But I didn’t know it at the time nor even through much of my adulthood
And now, among fall’s gold and russet colors, I think of coming icy air again

CANADIAN GEESE

The Canadian Geese don’t know that today is Thursday

They stand in the park with their necks extended high

Some sit on the grass with their necks tucked

They pluck at the grass in the park with their bills

I have a meeting tonight at 7:00

But don’t need to know that today is Thursday

I know there will be tomorrow, and that tomorrow

I have a morning meeting at 9:30 and a good band is playing at 7:30 that night

But right now I’m eating a hot dog and watching the Canadian Geese

And that’s all I need to know

My hot dog has nothing to do with the day of the week

Or the Canadian Geese who will soon fly south, but I don’t know when

And I don’t suppose that they know when, or know that they will fly south at all until they do

These Canadian Geese are not in my week and calendar

These Canadian Geese plucking at the grass in the park with their bills

Perpetual Spring

As I age, the world ages with me

As it always has

Things I treasure go out of style

Live music, blues, jazz, the symphony

Peace and love

Mozart went out of style

And nobody knows where he is buried

Who performed for princes, kings, queens

High art, technique, form fail

Churches dwindle, consolidate, close

Zoroaster, Moses, Jesus shrugged off

They follow Zeus, Apollo, Heracles

 

There is no perpetual spring

There follows summer, autumn, winter, and spring again

As I autumn, I can’t see spring again

No, I don’t see spring

I will be leaving this world

And I look toward another

And as my world dies, perhaps it is well that I also with it

I think less of my legacy than I do my potential

In my autumn I see perpetual springtime