October Burial


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