Apology For Angry Skies

© 2013 Loren Zemlicka
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Rainbows apologize for angry skies.”
― Sylvia Voirol

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Slow Morning Hours

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

– “October” by Robert Frost

Autumn Shade

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Slip into the autumn shade
I could sleep for days
But I like the sun when
I can hear another sound
It’s a long way down
Keep my head up

Who am I to be this way
Dreamin’ so insane
But I like the sun when
Fallin’ through another plain
Never one the same
Keep my head up

– “Autumn Shade” by The Vines

Wishing There Was Only a Fence

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Barbed wires on rusted nails can’t hold
lone bulls at home when they smell pasture.
They thrust their bone skulls under barbs,
tongues quivering for a taste of strange

and shove until the post gives way. Days later,
we find wires sagging, reset the post,
and tighten bent wires like a fiddle
and rope the worn-out bull,

wishing there was only a fence
between us and our heart’s desire.
But something with spurs and a rope
would find us, cursing and yelling on horseback,

cutting us from escape down arroyos,
dragging us frothing and wild-eyed
back to the sun-bleached yellow range,
the same whirlpool of buzzards.

– “Riding Herd” by Walter McDonald

A Crown of Autumn Leaves

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Yellow fall roars
Over the ground.
Loud, in the leafy sun that pours
Liquid through doors,
Yellow, the leaves twist down

Glowing in wind and change,
The orange leaf tells

How one more season will alter and range,
Working the strange
Colors of clamor and bells

When autumn gathers, the tree
That the leaves sang
Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,
Turns like a key,
Opening air where they hang

One of the hanging leaves,
Deeply maroon,
Tightens its final hold, receives,
Finally weaves
Through, and is covered soon

Holding past summer’s hold,
Open and strong,
One of the leaves in the crown is gold,
Set in the cold
Where the old seasons belong.

– Excerpts from “A Crown of Autumn Leaves” by Annie Finch

Purpling Grapes and Sky

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.

Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, — our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!

– Excerpt from “The Pumpkin” by John Greenleaf Whittier

Up With The Light

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Rise up, rise up,
And, as the trumpet blowing
Chases the dreams of men,
As the dawn glowing
The stars that left unlit
The land and water,
Rise up and scatter
The dew that covers
The print of last night’s lovers—
Scatter it, scatter it!

While you are listening
To the clear horn,
Forget, men, everything
On this earth newborn,
Except that it is lovelier
Than any mysteries.
Open your eyes to the air
That has washed the eyes of the stars
Through all the dewy night:
Up with the light,
To the old wars;
Arise, arise!

– “The Trumpet” by Edward Thomas

Hushed October Morning

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost–
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.

– “October” by Robert Frost

Gone, Gone Again

© 2012 Loren Zemlicka
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Gone, gone again,
May, June, July,
And August gone,
Again gone by,

Not memorable
Save that I saw them go,
As past the empty quays
The rivers flow.

And now again,
In the harvest rain,
The Blenheim oranges
Fall grubby from the trees

As when I was young
And when the lost one was here
And when the war began
To turn young men to dung.

Look at the old house,
Outmoded, dignified,
Dark and untenanted,
With grass growing instead

Of the footsteps of life,
The friendliness, the strife;
In its beds have lain
Youth. love, age, and pain:

I am something like that;
Only I am not dead,
Still breathing and interested
In the house that is not dark:–

I am something like that:
Not one pane to reflect the sun,
For the schoolboys to throw at–
They have broken every one.

– “Gone, Gone Again” by Edward Thomas