Aunt Lily Wilson 1887 — 1952

If for some reason you have not read Ron’s writings, here is a wonderful chance to do so. You will truly be pleasantly rewarded with reading a simply terrific poet.

Poetry on the run

My Aunt Lily is dead in St. Louis.
She was a seamstress.
The family is angry and mourning.
Aunt Lily was laid out in a plain black dress
crudely stitched by a tailor at the funeral home.
I am not angry, I didn’t know her very well.
A dress is nothing to mourn at the end of a life.

Yesterday I found a young blue heron in the marsh.
I held it gently, stroked its long throat,
listened to it rasp in terror or contentment; how do you know?
My brother wanted to take it home
but I knew some adult would make us bring it back.
So I set it down and we went to look for frogs,
when I looked back the heron was gone
as if it had turned into a reed, become some dark space
where we would never dream to look.

Today they buried Aunt…

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Orange Fade – A Poem from the Archives

Orange Fade

Orange fade into Midnight Blue

Tribal tales told.
Legends on the edge of memory
recited around campfires
with children’s enthusiastic smiles
showing crooked teeth.
Gleaming eyes
mirroring the embers.
Coals burning low and cold.

Midnight Blue into Autumnal Gold

Music melodies made.
Rhythms rhyming in tune with
nightingale song.
Hollow beats. Crickets cheap.
Under bough
over leaves
atop the moist grass green on the hill
young men and women
dance.

Autumnal Gold into Yellow Wane

Hymnals hang heavily.
Choirs caroling in echoing halls
amid alters lighted by sun
stained glass.
Men in solemn reverence bow.
Women in fragrant gardens walk.
Spirits adrift on seas
of jasmine and lavender.

Yellow Wane into Orange Fade

Mythological memories made.
Stories spreading across unmarked
lands lost
in a nostalgic haze.
Aged do the elders speak
of yesterday’s ghosts.
Of shadows they did seek
while chasing the elusive ray
cast by the sun
one bright day.

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Here is my second entry from the archives. This one required a little editing, but not much, and I kept it in the centered page format. I seemed to like this format back then… Anyway, even though I did edit it, I found that on a couple of instances, after I changed a word, or a break, or whatever it was, and I read the revision I did not like it. I went over a few more ways that I could edit it, but was satisfied with none of them either, and ended up going back to the beginning and putting it back to how I had it in the first place. Sometimes, even your younger self knew what the hell you were talking about, and new how best to say it.

Love was Good – A Poem from the Archives

 

Love was Good

Gripping the handle from her hand
I break down and return to her
for the love was good.

 

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Going through some writings I did years ago I recently revisited. This one dating from around the same time as the rest of the collection, which was around 20 years ago. I will be posting some of them for a little bit, though I am not sure if in completely original form. Some may need a little editing. Those that need too much will probably not make the cut. Hope you enjoy, and, as always, thanks for reading.

Starling in Maple – A Poem

 

Starling in Maple

Starling in maple
jumps one branch to another
perches and hesitates.
He sees all;
has the inside scoop.

Or is he a she?

You paid all right.
Fair enough,
truth be told, to settle the score.
But whose fault is that?
The squander of anticipation
settles miserably
on your crown.

You’re no good Starling.
Inebriated ruminations on a Sunday morn
don’t impress
nobody.

Twelve Seconds – A Poem

 

Twelve Seconds

The touch of bitter frost fills her words.
Words luminous pivoting between fragility
and sublime.

I meet her on campus in November.
She wears white boots and I am buttoning
my coat. Rust gathers on her eyelashes.

Over her shoulder is slung a camera.
“You have twelve seconds,” she says.
A man beside her sticks the tip of his right shoe
into the cut grass. They play
at love.

There is not a breeze. Trees on the green
are hushed and slumbering. I fumble
in my pockets searching for an
excuse, but come up empty.

“Give me the camera,” he says to her.
I make up a name for him. “Give me the camera,”
Romeo says to her. “I’ll take the picture. Give
me the camera. I’ll take the fucking picture.”

Romeo is an ass, but maybe not. I am biased, and
he could just be late for class.
There is a robin
hunting worms. Another girl is with them, in back, in their
shadows. She laughs
while nervously twisting her hair.
Her name is Rosaline.

Romeo holds his hand out for the camera.
Unfinished thoughts float temporarily suspended
and unpunished. Beginnings craving for
a sense of permanence
begin to end.

Notes from a string quartet eerily emanate
from the nearby auditorium.
Its doors are open. I shiver as the music
muted by distance
creeps about us, passing through our clothes,
slithering over our skin. Caterpillars
frozen asleep in our hearts waken,
gnaw and burrow into
the warm soft muscle and melt.

Juliet, oh Juliet, merely removes her camera to
let it gracefully slip from her fingers
and fall to the ground.
“You are a dull knife, darling, useless
and damned,” she says to him.

Romeo the fair and noble
realizing his error
straightens himself and takes refuge in his ego.
“And your words, my love,” he replies
“are venom. Each after the other
dripping vile from your lips.
Come on Rosy Rosa. Let’s go. We’re running behind.
Fuck this.” And he leaves
with Rosaline closely trailing
and Juliet
on the green stands alone – spellbound
under the charm of a November chill.

I rise from the bench to recover the camera lying at
Juliet’s feet
and offer it to her.

“Is it wrong to hate the gospels?” she asks me. “For some
reason I cannot stomach them.” Her eyes, a deep
vacant green,
focus on my hands.

“Try Hemingway instead,” I suggest and her lips
part slightly as she sighingly laughs.

“You know, I can’t tell the difference any longer
between tomorrow and yesterday.” She looks up to me.

“Will you afford me the same luxury?” I ask her.

“Professor?”

“Walk away.”

She smiles. Her warm hands touch mine
and she pushes the camera back to me. I can feel
the ice in the cracks
of her dry lips as she kisses my cheek.

“You have twelve seconds,” she tells me.

“There is a girl, a daughter, abandoned
in a Montana wheat field. She is golden
and dangerous. Walk away, Persephone, and leave winter
in your wake.”

And I count the seconds as she leaves.
I count her steps and
the space between heartbeats that are bleeding
out on to the blades of grass.
I take her picture and capture
a metamorphosis in white boots caught mid-step,
she is turning her head to look back
at me
her face a blur of motion.

 

Crooked Noon – A Poem

 

Crooked Noon

You speak and I faint
I bleed and you scream
was it summer or spring
we were lost and afraid
in ruins with a quick start
mother or father
alive behind closed eyes

I feel it pressing down
like a gift from love
we share a crooked noon
on the curtained catwalk
in summer or is it spring
you faint and I bleed
you speak and I scream

Mourning Meditation – A Poem

 

Mourning Meditation

Clouds unveiled by a limping sun.
The sky is split. Blue. Grey.
Fuck it. And the god damn spring flowers.

I listened to the rain begin
yesterday evening. Through my
window I could hear those first
fat tentative drops lightly
fall on the bushes and in the grass
and over the hard earth. It was
comforting.
Voiceless moments
passing.

I reach for my glass of water
but grab a beer bottle instead.
Outside the shed is falling apart.
Toys and tools sheltered
hazardly in its dilapidation.

A mourning meditation. That’s all.
Inhale. Drink.
Exhale. The edge of a
universe. Shoes left at the back door.
Drink.
It’s all just bullshit.
And wonderment.