Halloween-orange peers up
from between fall leaves
and the old log ending in saw marks.
Yes, it’s October’s color.
Wearing bell-shaped caps,
these small mushrooms
brighten the woods
and my heart
with their red-orange paint,
and their bold notion of attracting
old softies like me.
A Fall Find
When we think of colors, just as colors,
we think confusion for they overwhelm
in their array, bouncing off the back of the eye
in their clothing of hues. I wanted red,
but was told red is too something—
too vivid, too bright, running too much
like blood. So I turned to yellow, since
I admire tangy lemons, and even dirtied gold
of late sunflowers, droopy in their hangovers.
Mixing them with water, in varying degrees
of course, thins the primaries into new
shades, the middles, the pales, the pinks
and baby blue. Oh yes, blues, but not
that slow poignant music of lost love;
the midnights, the cornflowers, the jay,
and the bay at midday when the sun
tells the sky to be on the water.
And swirling them together with
a paintbrush is the most fun, inventing
purple, orange, rose, teal and muddy
brown, the color we carefully avoid,
that lowdown earthy color, which reminds
us of grimy work and life’s clutter—
the contempt, the unredeemable,
unplanned, muddled life, jealousy,
and all the colorless days.
Like Straw Now, April 1
Like straw now,
heavy marsh grasses
lie useless, broken,
trees without a leaf
circle dark water,
mere black skeletons,
yet through the open window
hundreds of peepers surprise
with loud singing, under
a sun there to waken,
like a curtain going up on
this stage of earthtime,
a sharp stroke of color
across a nearly dead drama.
We walk on air every day,
the weight of our bodies
pressing our luck, pressing
through time and space,
each step a choice
to stomp a heavy foot upon
tender green fragility, or
with our wings of diplomacy
spread wide, float along
the line of life we’re given,
crushing nothing in our path.
From the book “Lichen-Poems of Nature”, http://www.blurb.com
Beard’s Birdhouse in the Woods
Watercolor © Marilyn Peretti
clustered in domes,
as the sun sets.
I wonder, and bend
to read the park’s label:
a century old,
tamed for this border,
snowflakes in evening air
not about to wither closed,
American country sisters
flaunting plain faces.