By: John Muro
Wind gusts, strong enough to lift small boats from
The surface of water, are pelting piers and hastening
The undoing of long-leaning trees; shredding thick
Hedgerows in such a way the lower leaves tangle
And spin like minnows in shallow water. Clouds
Of galvanized gray churn as if they were thrown up
From the sludge of salt-marsh and the whole shoreline’s
Lurching and being taken back to water. I turn into
The gale, forcing eyes and lips shut as I hear in the
Distance a timber mast crack and the flailing wing-
Beat of a crumpled canvas. With cold clarity, I lean
Wind-ward and offer up a simple gift of body, and,
Now, an orphan of want and need, I traverse the terrible emptiness
Between stars that scatter about me like shoals of startled fish.
The moon, wandering low
A misbegotten element drifting
In and out of sight —
As if its silent tide of light
Were too heavy to lift
From this world of snow
Into a heaven moving away from us.
Flourish of clouds slowly close
And extinguish what little light
Gravity has left:
All’s winter-dark and emptiness.
Darker marvels all about us:
Jeweled ice and cloudbursts of breath;
Shards of snow in tempered flight,
And a cold only the dieing know.
Rose of Sharon
Takes to flowering
After the high, bright
Months of summer,
Weeks after the whorled
Combs of lilac or the
Hand-held fans of
Hydrangea have perfected
The art of languor.
Harder, nearer to
Autumn, to hold
Their heavy heads
And studded tongues
Drooping in perfumed
Flop to earth like
Dusky goslings into
The open mouths
Of clay pots or the
Cloudy nests of mums.