Reflections on a park bench in autumn

Time is winning this game,
score tied, one to infinity,
the last stop on this old trolley line
looms ahead, witless, wanton.

It’s cold, let’s face it, but
I can’t help loving the slatted
sunlight, the already tattered leaves
flinging themselves underfoot.

I may be hopelessly anchored
here in this silty backwater
astride these gifts of algae
given long ago,

but I am surely more than just a worm
through time. I sink, I swim, all a-whim,
the winds washing the stained earth.
Still, there are fates involved, I’m told.

Dreams, like phantoms, peer out
from under sheaves of light.
Live with ghosts, and before long,
you begin to feel thin yourself.

A sparrow lands at my feet.
All I can do is stare dumbly.
“I’m so sorry,” sighs the breeze,
“May I do it again?”

In spite of rain

In spite of rain tumbling toward sleet,
the street half-hearted and gray
with envy of clouds, which take
their opportunity to jettison

sweet dying light,
the sun unhidden briefly, quickly,
and hustled back before any expectation
of warm rebuttal of fall can set in,

I know the trees live still,
though barren of celebration,,
I know beneath the crust that grass
and flowers grow, unheard, unseen,

I wonder at the thinness of sparrows
and the strength of their fires
on days like this that drive the mice,
beloved of field and furrow, indoors

to nibble in resignation
at the edges of mortality.