Silent skies spin silvered dreams,
Unbidden memories split silver seams;
Silver hair crowns ancient head,
Knowledge the treasure, and silver the thread.
When poppies fade, our memories
Are washed in sepia, photo sleeves
With tattered corners tucked away
In dusty albums’ slow decay.
When poppies fade, recollections
Fall, dead leaves in mass defections,
Crumble-dry beneath bare branches,
Blowing lost in frozen trenches.
When poppies fade, awareness slips
From senseless, heartless fingertips,
Petals blanched, without their power,
Bloodless loss, amnesia’s flower.
Wet behind the ears, gentle
as a lamb – innocence wrapped
in silver paper, tied with
remembering string knotted
on ancient knuckles. He may
not know their names any more
(Time has seen to that), but he
could tell them just when to cut
the wheat, where to find the best
Saskatoon bushes – bent like
beasts of burden beneath their
berry up-dos – how to get
the last drop of sweet milk from
that skittish cow. His silver
mane beads with the effort at
ephemeral wisp, drips off
like sweat on yesterday’s dust.
This is a leaf from a ‘Lamb’s Ear’ plant…
A daylily, ruffled and still
with folds of fresh linen (freshly
made bed) soaking up sunshine on
laundry-day line. She paused there, caught
helplessly on its anthers, struck
by the glory that withered while
she watched. ‘Why bother?’ she asked no
one in particular. Leaning
in, she traced the petticoats, breathed
deep of Arabian nights, veiled
virgins dancing on memory’s
edge. Eloquence beckoned on pale
finger with nail painted purple,
folding to hide philosopher’s
stone. Time passed. Conquerors and kings
and sleeping beauties, history
and fantasy, who she could be
in the morrow swayed and unfurled
in complex rhythms and secret
whispers. Her back straightened, rigid
barrier, and, closing her eyes,
she walked blindly back to the house.
Summer is a strawberry,
incubated eggs leaking
juicy sweetness down tanned chins.
Summer is watermelon
rinds on styrofoam plates, chilled
picnic fare shared with neighbours.
Summer is barefoot grasses,
firefly lanterns at dusk,
creamsicle smudges on shorts.
Fireworks stars, awnings strung
with campfire’s glow, seared grill-marks,
sandy toes at water’s edge;
Lazy hours with dog-eared books,
aloe vera to soothe sun’s
kiss – all add up to summer.
When green grows bold and paints the land
with emeralds in verdant hand,
and mourning doves in cloaks of grey
lure shadows down from Milky Way,
you see it’s summer.
When peonies let loose their scent
in waves of summer sentiment,
and lilacs dab behind their ears
with French perfume to rival peers,
you smell it’s summer.
When watermelon drips in creeks
down saturated, pink-stained cheeks
and rhubarb tartly wraps itself
in pies and cobblers on each shelf,
you taste it’s summer.
When breezes tickle sun-tanned skin
and Sunshine hugs each friend as kin,
the grass grows silky carpet-down
and sand meets shore where toes are found,
you feel it’s summer.
When wrennish scolding shames the cat
from lurking where the nest is at,
and children’s cries of pure delight
rival fireworks at night,
you hear it’s summer.