Lifetime Labor

Those birds that chirrup a sweet song
Perhaps they were born with gifts
But the Mockingbird learns tune by tune
Listening to the beauty of others
Note by note he copies and twists
Until his hard work yields a repertoire
As brilliant as the colors of autumn

Birds Before Winter

Winter wrens forecast a season of snow
Maples shed their leaves as a lady does
Peeling off her layers of petticoats
On the lake, mallards drift aimlessly
Blue jays and cardinals flit eagerly;
Peanuts rattle in the birdwatcher’s hand

Central Park in the Fall

Urban squirrels fat with handouts
Lounge on limbs of light
Dappled green and yellow
Red creeps along skeletons of cambium
Woodpeckers call to mates and friends
And the feeders hang heavy with black sunflower seeds
Waiting for the winter that’s been delayed
Chickadees and juncos always arrive
Fashionably late


Post-Holiday Blues

On a mid-September night
Karaoke drifts from the courtyard
Cantonese ditties and Adele’s Skyfall
The neon pharmacy sign glows
An urban marquee
Grandfathers and grandmothers gather
For an almost impromptu festival
The day before, families sat for mooncake
Today, their absence is more keenly felt

Mid-September Morning

A chill along the fingertips
Between the casings seek a cool air
Permeating cracks and forgotten windows
Thrown open in the blaze of summer
The Indian time has snapped
Frost threatens
Arising, a craving for crimson and ochre
Colors of warmth