The dulcimer of summer
is silenced by brass and drum.
A confused wind loots color
from maple and ash,
mutters in a foreign voice
as it disrobes us. Our bones rustle
and swallows fly from our ribs.
Your absence is rooted
in this season, in the cider smell
of apples rotting on the ground,
in the jolt of cobalt sky.
Your blood is on the thorns
of roses cut to bloom inside.
As your days grew dim and narrow
you covered yourself in shadows,
dreams shifting from water
to winter fire. Stripped bare,
you began to wear a prison face,
longed to be buried in leaves.
© Lew Forester 2018
Blame the Stars
When I said I didn’t sleep well
he said he couldn’t sleep either
because the stars were so noisy.
At five years old, did he retain
an umbilical to the cosmos,
listen to the music of spheres?
I’ll blame my sleeplessness
on the swollen moon. On stars
burning holes in my peace of mind,
brain spinning like a tin rooster
in a wind of my own making.
This daily barrage of words
as if somehow they’ll save us.
I’d adopt his simple lexicon
to have delight so close at hand.
© Lew Forester 2018
In Praise of Persistent Green
I wake as finches hosanna the morning, sun
weighs heavy on fields of winter wheat.
A sun that always promises the impossible.
Steeped in light, we move in bodies that burn
without flame, thin walls between us and death.
I wait for wonder to rise while all over earth
animals bow their heads to grass, accept the grace
of another breath. How we quarrel with day,
subdivide it with duty, still wanting something
to raise us up, the way crocuses push through soil
to splash yellow and purple over crusted snow.
Making love almost gets us there. Everyone
is making love and love is making everyone
and everything. We sex and sprawl over spring
as it streams from hillsides, floods the air
with pollen. Aspen leaves unfurl from sticky buds
and begin to whisper their winter dreams.
We can live here forever, linger in lush meadows,
or give what we can before our hands shrivel
and close around all they don’t even know they hold
© Lew Forester 2019