Bio Note: I live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and work as a tech writer, a job I’ve had off and on for over 30 years. So much for my day job. I’ve published a couple of young-adult novels and several books of poetry, including Swallowed Up in Victory, a long narrative poetry based on the Civil War. My most recent are Redemption from FutureCycle Press and a chapbook, Magnetic North, from Finishing Line Press.
Winter As Sibyl
A month ago terrapins and sliders clumped like galls on half-sunk limbs. They’ve had enough of summer now, taking the sun only when coming up for air, nosing the surface like breathless fish in a slow ground to the dragonflies’ scat-sung counterpoint. Accept the lake for what it is now: an inland ocean choked with shoals of algae. They smear and trail in spongy clots, tear limb from limb the mirrored trees that in another season could fall whole, weightless as shades into an underworld of tarnished light. Stuck in the green continuum that’s August, it’s hard to think winter might come again, sponge fishing, unraveling each billowed thread. Working its slow work at the bottom— riffling the stacks and reams of leavings, writing chapters, whole novels, on the latticed skeletons.
Originally published in Gaia
Autumn Song: Pathetic Verity
It’s the season of gold and blood, whose intricate frescos might almost tell a human tale, the old one about the flesh and spirit. The beech tree sifts its coins through knotted fists; the dogwood turns to a fountain of blood, becomes shorthand for Medea, Tarquin, the Son of Sam. Or the obverse of that well-worn coin: tree of the Crucifixion made Lamb of God. In the golden afternoons, our tongues roll round appropriately Latinate syllables: impasto, imprimatura. . . . Might almost tell the tale, but doesn’t. Neither Van Eyck nor Pollock, abstract and inexpressive, it’s the season of colored sugar water, the placebo we drink with our eyes against the coming blankness, that long dry spell in the marrow.
Originally published in Electric Acorn
©2020 Lee Passarella
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