Bio Note: January, not surprisingly, always makes me think of the progress of the year. So here are a couple of poems on that theme, plus a poem on another subject close to my heart – grumpy old men. I began publishing poetry five years ago when the late Firestone Feinberg accepted a handful of poems for Verse-Virtual. A recent poem on the theme of gratitude appeared in “The Journal of Expressive Writing, www.journalofexpressivewriting.com/post/many-things
My theme the seasons, the mortal year, I watch them from the windows here, the trees, the plants, the blooming skies. The falling light, as days grow colder. Much was planted by my hands Some prosper, others slowly fade As trees grow taller, I grow older. My reach declines, strong limbs grow bolder I give way, the shade expands as roots draw strength from other lands. In winter months the birds we feed, Wild, they crowd in urban need. Short-sighted men destroy the street Urging fools to ax their trees The roads to speed, sidewalks to ease Our homes become a dark retreat. Our winter days a time to watch from windows how the red birds fare, the common herd of sparrow kind, starlings, finches, pigeons, always there. The light will fade, yet fires burn, till trunks and wings and hearts return.
You cannot count on when the snows will hide the ground and draw the flocks. January shifts its ground, confusing eager body clocks Some days of rain refuse to freeze Others tempt with softer breeze February, much the same, is also March Frost holds the ground, but seldom white Some days are mild, the roots to stir And thoughts of spring begin to whir Then freezing spells turn hopes to spite And then the month whose name is change All months now are seeming March, With chilly fingers in the wind We stalk the sunny, sometime hours Looking for foreshadowed flowers April doesn’t promise much Its fame for woe, the cruelest kind Fragile blossoms dare to raise a head Their health short-run. Prognosis: dead But green leaves creep into the mind May days a pretty thought to think The sun too high to feel cast down And yet a cold rain tastes of sleet And sandals don’t protect the feet A March-like gale makes lips to frown (Did you put away that eiderdown?) Happy the aged toes in June Happy the garden now in bloom Though back and hips may soon complain The garden grows from planters’ pain, Recalling quiet days of Zoom Lush is flush in broad July If growth is meant, its time is now We celebrate a month of heat Till drought recalls a sad retreat And fickle sky reminds who’s boss – and how! [to be continued… hopefully!]
What Grumpy Old White Men Are Like
Grumpy old white men are obsessed with their yards, each little house a castle keep, an enclave to manage clean and neat, and cars to wash, machines to run, a hardy substitute for fun They fire up their loud device and chase the leaves down every street their blowers keeping stripped and neat, while my poor ears forever pay the price They clear the land of all contagion And I who am contagion’s name Strike fear in every hallowed nation: Other men – that is – are just the same Envoi: I am the country of leaves I am inversion I am the winter king, preparing for the sacrifice I am the torch and the bringer of ruin Surely the seasons will flow again
©2021 Robert Knox
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