Maybe, this morning
you are raking leaves,
scraping yellow canals through a yard’s
parched lake, that each morning,
after sleep, weigh lightly
against the ankles,
parts, as you walk, rejoin.

Fall is new here, and teases gravity,
and leaves dervish,
decomposing into birds.
But you loved trees,
didn’t you? And me,
mound of decay, smoke-bleached.

And now,
I feel myself breathe.
For a moment, I believe
I can decipher the air
where you sing to yourself,
wading in again, another road
peeling through the beautiful ruin,
recollecting, then, the old truth,
the new truth, that even trees will
have souls again,
while others blacken
as they burn.

Fall Again

This freedom is not the same
as knowing. It lacks the fullness
of you. Meanwhile, the landscape in the field
still has not been removed
of the men who work there,
or their relief in the sun,
stretching its dark arms
through them, ready
to catch the colours that must surely


Thursday evening the dogs run ahead
through the unraked cheeks of leaves. I’ve let things stay,
and circle around too much. I’ve lost the air
for other things. The drive into the city for winter tires,
the tail-lights that need repair, the brakes
I’ve been riding too long.
I stand here at the door a little while more,
and let the dogs feed scraps of barks into the breeze.
I suppose, to them, its seems alive, shuffling along,
casting out and resurrecting the dead. But dogs
shouldn’t dream. Night’s here, it’s the end of the week.
In a few minutes, winter comes.

Still Life

One feels nothing
when the first days of November
arrive to fill in the wind-scoured constellations of geese
or to carry away
their sour mounds of apricot,
October peeled away.
One wonders,
where do the deer sleep here,
in November,
wake, cut away
under the grey lines of sky
when the blind car unzips its haste down
the threadbare road revealing
crops of still life too ingrown for
decay and that crisscross beneath
the unspoken snow,
yet to make landfall.


This morning, there are no directions; distances, yes,
there, stretching inside the vault of an overcast sky,
and hands-and-knees up to this unopened door.

Here, last night, I listened to leaves of your voice,
strewn on the hallway floor, and a man you once knew.
He was lost, he said, in the neighbourhood, too.

I overheard a conversation once, spliced on a wire.
An alien choir of radio telescopes once conducted
the rustling of galaxies, echoed back to me.

Last night, though, two jets skated on the black ice of
Orion and Andromeda. They circled.
Night thoughts blinked, for them no landfall.

So, I continue to travel the night, a passenger
stuck to a window, pulled by false wakes of dead stars,
and new leaves of falling leaves.

Today, though, here,
this is what the light offers: Walking on
the canopies of trees, rousing nebulas’ scents.

Yes, red birds are dying mid-flight,
the sky is falling a little more.
Earth holds firm to what it can.

– Ancaster, ON – 27/10/16

October 24

October 24

Northerly wind, rain from the south.

Rain on the window’s a negative of leaves that remain,
and those that give in to brief flight, a reminder: so
much of you is stripped from your bones. Streams on the glass
flow from the river once smelled through the trees,
their nakedness that now leaves you cold.
Why are they cathedrals that do not ring?
Why does it rain in the desert?

Rainy Autumn Morning

Leaves in the wind are antelopes leaping.
Streets are spawning grounds.
My asthma’s all bra-ha-ha, grasping for spring.
Now, you turn your back from my nonsense talk,
as do you sometimes. Sometimes I taste,
grazing my lips, seasons in your hair.
Newly wet. Grasslands. Almost shining.