Autumn in Texas

A few poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (Rated G)


A Flaneur in Old Khakis

A rustic dilettante, all ready to flirt
In his old khakis and a chambray shirt
Old boots, old gloves, a mattock or rake to wield
A boulevardier of row crops in the field

He tips his old straw hat to the morning sun
Considers the corn silks’ latest fashion for fun
Discusses pitch and tone with a passing breeze
And notes the colours in the apple trees

The latest songs and jokes he very well knows
And shares the latest gossip with clever crows
This rare sophisticate whose sidewalk cafes’
Are nature’s dreamy scenes along nature’s ways


But What About the High-Hanging Fruit?

The last of the autumn apples, perhaps
Or the long-ago love that passed us by
Never falling to the Telescopic Fruit Picker
From Garrett Wade, $37.50

(I’ve got one of those, and it works just fine)

Or maybe pears, ‘way up among the leaves
Where dreams of better days to come were lost
To the old and tattered bushel-basket
That rotted away in the tractor shed

Then was it wrong to look high up for truth
That flew beyond our reach, our sight, our hopes?


Children on an October Evening

We lay in the grass and counted the stars:

There must be a hundred of them
A million
A billion
A gazillion!

Nuh-uh, there’s no such number as a gazillion
Yeah-huh, I betcha there is – but I can’t count that high
You don’t have to
Maybe the stars can count themselves

Are there spacemen out there beyond the moon?
Are maybe over there beyond the trees
It’s okay; I’ve got my Roy Rogers cap pistol
Dale Evans can shoot as good as Roy!

Can not
Can too
Can’t
Can

My daddy says we’re getting a tv
We can watch the stars on tv
I betcha this is better
You’re just mad ‘cause you don’t have a tv

Do you see the man in the moon?
I think it’s a girl
A girl in the moon! Don’t be silly!
Well, what do you see, then?

The moon is so big and round
But sometimes it isn’t
But it is right now. It likes us
And there’s Peter Pan’s second star to the right

I don’t want to grow up
We have to
Why?
I don’t know. It’s a rule

Will there be pirates and Peter Pan?
And pancakes on Saturday morning?
I don’t think so
That’s not fair


From Vespers to Compline this October Night

How peaceful it is to sit outside
In the cooling dusk as the stars appear
In the healing dusk as the busy-ness fades
Through unspoken Paters and Aves

How peaceful it is to sit outside
In the Vespers night of crickets’ hymns
In the Compline night of one last prayer
Whispered up to God through the dome of Heaven

How peaceful it is to sit outside
And be still

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