Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Saturday During Autumn in West Michigan

Bare feet on the concrete doorstep
are the foundations of the pillars above
which is held aloft a steaming cup of the animating, black gold,
and the swirling smoke soothes the alertness wrought by the morning sun
streaming through the colors of those sentinels whose trunks gleam and stare in silent strength.

Like lonely parishioners, the waves loll and crash on abandoned beaches
Still, the green and blue of Lake Michigan is a sea of restlessness
Giving up her dead on the shore: fish, driftwood and seaweed.
Scavengers and carrion clean with flitting skittish courage
Leaving their claws in the sand as remembrance
as the waves wash the banks bare

and bare feet cannot tell one way or another which is colder--
the sand or the water.  Or is it warm?  The mixture swirls,
twirling little pools over these pedestrian pillars.

The wintergreen berries will come soon, and the well water,
so cold with the scent of sulfur breeds a fresh desire for a fire on the hearth outside.
Even in the cold chills, with the backside like the underbelly of a fish,
it is good to feel the flames, reddening the face under the stars
with embers igniting like gold,
as if there were a life inside of them, glowing and pulsating
like tiny hearts.

Thrust your hand into the embers wreathed in blue, green and white-yellow flame.
Squeeze the bright orange, life-giving coals in your hand and watch them roll off
harmlessly like gold coins into the burning logs.
If only you could!  But you are not a god.  And your hands
would subsume the stone-patterned parapets imprinted upon the
coal that, at one time, was part of a blooming branch in Spring.

But it's Autumn now, and it is time to burn.


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