Autumn is Life Writing its Autobiography

A collection by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (rated G)

An Hour with Dachshunds and Keats

The first day of autumn – surprisingly cool
In this almost tropical latitude
So after a day of working outside
I sat with Keats before a brushy fire

As is my custom I read his “Ode to Autumn”
With a tumbler of – lemonade – to hand
While the little fire sang its own kind of song
And the dachshunds snuffled among the leaves

The first day of autumn – surprisingly cool
And in her rising the Evening Star blesses us

Port aux Basques in September

“Only a fish storm, no threat to anyone…” -a weather guy south of the 49th

To our weather guy there is nothing north of Maine
He has never seen Port aux Basques
With summer snow still bright along the hills
Above pot-holey Canada 1 (mind the moose)

(“Only a fish storm, no threat to anyone…”)

He has never heard of Cape Ray or the Newfie Bullet
Or seen the little fishing boats tacking in at dawn
Or the astrolabe that says to the voyager
“Now here at last is your dear New-Found Land”

(“Only a fish storm, no threat to anyone…”)

He will never mourn the wreckage and loss
Because for him there is nothing north of Maine

(“Only a fish storm, no threat to anyone…”)

Town of Channel-Port aux Basques | Canada’s Ferry Gateway to Newfoundland

A Note about Greeting Even the Most Beneficent Reptiles

I speak to them softly
But the tree frogs look at me

The Hunting Camp

“He yaf nat of that text a pulled hen,
That seith that hunters ben nat hooly men” -Chaucer, Prologue, 177-178

Friday evening

The merry fellowship of the hunting camp
In the golden time is one of autumn’s joys
Unpacking by the light of a kerosene lamp
Where men for a weekend are once again boys

Saturday morning, I

Up before dawn, already the coffee’s made
The ground seems harder than it did last year
Is that poison ivy where my head was laid?
Pour me a cuppa that caffeinated cheer!

Saturday morning, II

With my ancient Enfield I walk the trails
I really don’t want to see Bambi today
Along the creek as the mist unveils
Folk memories and idylls are my only prey

Saturday afternoon

I rest in the shade of the forest eaves
Quite at peace, here where I want to be
The smoke from my pipe drifts through the leaves
I hope the First Peoples’ spirits will sit with me

Saturday night

No one got a deer today – that’s good hearing
I think we were all okay with that
Cards and jokes and talk in our little clearing
The occasional flythrough by a Mexican bat

Sunday morning

As it was in the beginning of boyhood
As it is now that we are old men
Our world must end, but for others great good
In the sacred woods of the Lord – amen

The New Moon

The new moon hovering
Over the trees is a surprise
And a happy one

A Full Moon Every Night

I’d like a full moon every night. But why?
The cycles, the dance of the solar calendar
The dance of the shadowing lunar calendar
The stern regulae of the liturgical calendar

All swing in orbits through the universe
Orbits that vary wildly yet keep returning
Returning to each other in sacred waves
That in their seasons send the moon to us

But I’d like a full moon every night anyway
And why?

Because she’s pretty

Autumn is Life Writing its Autobiography

Autumn is not the end of summer, nor yet
Is autumn the beginning of winter; it is
Itself. Autumn is not between anything
Autumn is the culmination of seasons

The seed that slept beneath winter’s cold death
Arose in spring, a resurrection of itself
And grew its summer strength through work and sweat
And in September finished, and mopped its brow

Surveying all its cosmography
Autumn is life writing its biography

Mysteries for the Day

Mysteries for the day
A pebble and a pine cone
They are enough

You Must Tell the Bees

“The royal beekeeper…has informed the hives kept in the grounds of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House of the Queen’s death.” -U. K. Daily Mail

But of course someone must tell the bees
Those wing’ed messengers among the realms
Who pass along the news of marryings and buryings
According to their proper place in the order of being

(or of bee-ing)

But of course someone must tell the bees
For their own health and ours they mourn the loss
Of master and mistress, and then welcome the new
With blessings of health and honey and blooms

But of course someone must tell the bees –
And they want to hear these things from you, if you please!

CLASS OF 2022!!!!!!
Free Food and Clothes on Tuesdays and Thursdays

“CLASS OF 2022!!!!!” is still painted on his pickup truck
Which is parked in front of Christian Outreach
Free food and clothes on Tuesdays and Thursdays
He’s got his MePhone and a box of stuff

Good to see a young man with a plan for his future

Poor Quality Control in the Manufacture of Days

This was another poor-quality day:
The leaves were good enough, as was the sun
But the temperature-control was out of whack
And the humidity was again all wrong

I’m calling a staff meeting in this matter
To ask why the hummingbirds left early
(I’m sure we’d all like to winter in Mexico)
And if the squirrels will report on time tomorrow

I’m not going Pollyanna with this report –
Work in the department has fallen short

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