Bio Note: My poems often have seasonal cues. This month I offer a note to autumn skies, a farewell to another growing season, and a report on a near-disaster that has nothing to do with seasons but something to do with me. I continue to cover the South Shore region of Massachusetts for the Boston Globe, write short fiction and work on long novels.
After A Fall on the Treadmill at the YMCA
Is someone trying to tell me something? Someone (or thing) is taking my measure, picking its spots, as I fall flat on my face on that moving staircase People line up for their turn, the Asian mother and her very sensible little boy as I step onto the treadmill I had moments before paused (hadn’t I?), from the side, thoughts (apparently) elsewhere, and am sent flying, face-first and two bounces through the infield. Keep away from machines, a voice whispers, They’re always planning something. Someone is taking my measure. Not, I hope, for a winding suit. The numbers are in, I’m sure, the gang standing at the corner watching the traffic as the rain begins to fall, the final scene sketched on the storyboard. Take your time, boys. No need to hurry the job.
A Note to Autumn Skies
Don’t think you can get away with keeping it all to yourself! So tonight, well after dark, I catch a glimpse through a living room window of the sky above the neighbor's house when I’m reaching out to lower a blind, the only gesture that would put me at the proper angle to see – Whoa! Is that the moon? Where has it been? Where have we been? Lost in a weeks-long clouded dominion, the misrule of the heavens? And full? Already? I’m just sitting down to dinner, in front of the screen, of course, and promise myself to go out and search the skies, demanding answers And when I do, some time (and mouthfuls) later The moon, having stolen along its duly appointed round, is blissfully higher, but now surrounded by clouds, frantic, hurrying clouds dashing with cosmic purpose and grace, pure virtuosity: The moon masked, obscured, turned orange, then wholly released to blaze with glory, surrounded by a white ruffled surplice, an adoring crowd of translucent angels, worshiped by glorifying, haste-making followers hidden, revealed, submerging, emerging, dragged behind curtains, then pulling through the crowd once more. Why should we suffer and quail, fret and hide away and pull the covers over our face, fearful of a run of sickly shuttered nights, presuming on gloom, when the moon is so faithful in her course, so certain to reclaim her ever-changing gleam of a changeable truth.
Time is unreal We were never born It is all illusion The grass withers on the waterfront The light signifies, but won’t say what Swiftly? So swiftly I am the lover with his finger on the button O, ring! Why don’t you ring? I am the flower caught in the frost Time swims like the big fish that got away to swim again Swiftly! Swiftly! Suddenly too chilly this morning to water the plants Verfallen? Then winter on the lip of tomorrow Spill the beans, my hero, I was always your traveler Your true fellow Your fool
©2022 Robert Knox
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