The Prophet and the Lyre: ‘countin’ the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike’ -psimon

sometimes I can’t speak to you
(but the poet can)
when words fall on deaf ears,
I am mute despite my screaming,
that all these years
what you hear you only heard in song,
so you wonder why I keep on talking,
and the truth is, it’s just for me,
because we love to hear ourselves
in all the things we like to say,
that no matter who it is who sings or speaks
their clutter to the world,
the clutter is our own,
so I can hear you, too, or so I think
(but only when the prophet makes me hear)
what I have heard within us both:
inside there is a prophet and a lyre.

Naked Tree: ‘you’ll always remember what grew out of decisions that death can’t steal’ -rvotolato

and the leaves now
have undressed the trees
on this island of islands,
bare and brazen,
but not afraid
of the winter’s whisper,
of the threat of her howl,
while the whole damn world cowers,
the trees now
are rooted in sand so deep
they found soil
beneath soil,
beneath soil,
beneath the leaves of their past,
this is how you greet winter,
with the warmth of exposure
and with freedom, unmasked.

Turkeys: ‘St. Geppetto, Patron Saint of Puppets, pray of us!’ – emorris

I watched the light fall thru the trees
and felt it’s warmth there gracing me
before the bitter winter begins
the breeze for now will embrace me,
and all along the water’s edge,
old oak, spruce, and apple saplings,
struts the wild wise fowl who forage
Toms and hens, the turkeys prattling
with much to say and mostly grumbling
I hear and love their bests and worsts
though for all the nonsense they are mumbling
I smile with my Thanksgiving thirst.

Kingswood: ‘a place to rest where wounds get dressed, the table’s full’ – jgarrels

there where the hemlock’s needles spiral
up, up, the conifer in a copse of spruce,
I saw the pink orchid, the lady-slippers swaying
like lanterns to my feet along the stone-staircase, too,

there where a fence once was, between friends, lay
shale and blue sandstone shattered about,
covered in cold, clean, wet-sediment promises
I peered through the teal fog’s hovering vow,

there where the Delaware wound round and rumbled
more like a creek than the claim her name bore,
the mourning dove hushed as the sun sank to sleeping
in the cradle of the Catskills I hear shame no more.

Marooned: ‘when the gusts came around to blow me down I held on as tightly as you held onto me’ – cin.orchestra

I cannot see you
‘cross the sound,
save the glimpses where
I’m good at dreaming things
like you,
there on the sand bar,
and you’re standing
with eyes squinted,
your hand a brim
to block the sun as you
search, too, for me.

You cannot see me
through the morning fog,
her low-hanging cloud that
may or may not be
all your very own,
but that doesn’t stop you,
from wading through it
as if to swim,
trusting there’s land
where you last saw him.

we see you each
here at play and laughing
‘neath the pear tree
by the crimson Ferry House
as if nothing else ever was
but right now,
a home from home for some,
as if the ship that wrecked
that brought you here
was the best thing
that ever could’ve happened

or, it seems,
we’ve come to learn
to be marooned alone
isn’t so bad
if you know who you are.

Jennings Point: ‘on board, I’m the captain, so climb aboard’ – styx

coarse, cold,
the sand about the wintered beach
was mixed with snow,
and I could not tell the difference,
save the crunch of those crystal pebbles
below my leather soles,
and near,
five old rocks like giants
guard the Peconic’s dance of
unnamed hues in the mystic moat:
coarse, cold,
but weathered in the way love weathers,
better for the wear that called us forth.

Mockingbird and Valley: ‘and if you’re movin’ to the east, and if you’re the movin’ to the west coast’ -cataldo

at the corner of Mockingbird and Valley,
I saw the dogwood there coated in ice,
feigning warmth of the coming of the Kingdom
and hoped the coming of Spring could suffice

as the children in pink and blue bonnets
were busy building a sandcastle of snow,
I listened to what is really within me
and heard that which I already Know,

from the window, the cat there was watching
from the skies, I think, so were the birds,
from the way they looked down but upon me,
I was moved to a speech without words,

all is quiet in the midst of the winter,
as the House has been cleaned and prepared
what was learned in the dead of December
can now with full-force be declared –

so I walk from the corner of the Valley,
sounds of laughter – resilience – in tow,
and though the road underneath may be glassy,
where I’m tested will guide where I go.