OCTOBER SAVES

Fighting a battle often lost in the darkness
of a weary mind. There is no rest there.
Cursing the single candle lit to offer
its illumination; to infiltrate this
mental stagnation. Accursed slumber
why do you wage against my will?
Will you release me like the leaves
of October’s colorful flurry, left
to scatter in the cool winds from place
to place; a migration to discover the peace
that I crave. You have found me, October.
You have extended your lifeline in fine fashion,
a saving assist for one clamoring for control
over heart and soul,
over heart and mind.
I clutch your hand as I am flung over
the edge of reason. Your season is here.
You want me near, October, where I belong.
Anything else would be just wrong.

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CUMULO-OMINOUS

Mere days away,
a coronation is planned
for autumn’s shortened reign.

The temperatures decline
finding their descent hell-bent
on a rapid departure to parts unknown.

The trees have grown fragile;
the color barrage itching to begin
and within her palette the earth is apparent

an inherent nod to the warmth
sought, but not always embraced,
and faced with the scent of must and moth-balls.

And in the sky, standing tall
the harbinger of winter woes (so it goes
around Buffalo) dark and moody, looming

upon the horizon, rising skyward.
Storms  brewing, or memories
of days of storm-filled pasts recalled,

all seeded in the clouds for near future
reference. Your preference
is a temperate fall ending in spring.

But, here’s the thing:
the winds find their thrill in the chill
they provide. An equinox out of the box

stirring dreads of a White Christmas
long before the sleep of the solstice beckons.
Cumulonimbus is your reminder.

Better hasten to find your scarf and gloves
before the snows reign from above.
Ominous and threatening; keep your guard up.

...looming upon the horizon, rising skyward

PRECIPICE

The crossroad ends at this juncture,
a puncture to you psyche; a stab to
the heart and soul. Toes straddle
the point of no return, it is up
to you to discern your next best move.
Not long ago, you held your groove
slotted for success. But lest you forget,
you are now in a rut and your voice
cannot hoist you out of every predicament
you encounter. The pressure mounts
and you can count on one hand every stand
you had ever taken; shaken to your core
and wanting more. The chasm is wide.
Can you afford to ford its expanse?
Then again, can you afford not, too?

CLIMB UP HERE LITTLE MAN

I remember my Grand-Father.
He was a large man, quite jovial,
every time I would visit him,
he would be seated in HIS chair.
It was a big chair for a big man.
I would stand near his feet,
gazing up at his ice blue eyes.
They twinkled when he winked,
and his nose wrinkled when he’d think.
He would always tell me,
“Climb up here little man!”
And my smile lit up the
eastern seaboard, rumor had it.
Granddad always asked if I
was behaving myself. That was
something everyone in my family
always asked over the years.
“Been good, boy?” he sized me up.
I would nod loudly leaving no doubt
that I had. “OK, I’ll take care of you”
he would always say. Then, he’d tilt
his head toward his candy jar,
and hold one finger crossing his lips.
This meant, take one and be quiet about it.

Then on one visit, he let my father
sit in his chair. It fit him nicely.
He looked like a large man himself
when he’d sit in Granddad’s chair.
I would stand near his feet,
searching his cold blue eyes.
They twinkled like Grandpa’s,
and his nose turned red when he’d drink.
He would always tell me,
“Climb up here little man!”
And my smile filled my face
from side-to-side, rumor had it.
My father always knew, but
asked anyway if I was behaving.
Some family traditions never
changed over the years.
“Been good, son?” he verified.
I would nod tentatively leaving some doubt
that I had. “OK, I’ll see what I can do!”
he would always say. Then, he’d tilt
his head toward the candy jar,
and hold one finger crossing his lips.
I remembered what this meant,
take one and be quiet about it.

There came a time when my father
could no longer man Grandpa’s chair.
He had turned frail, and weak,
not a big man anymore. Not even
when he sat in the chair.
He called me to his bedside.
I came to stand near his feet,
searching his old steel blue eyes.
The twinkle had faded,
and his nose held his glasses aloft.
He gazed at me and said,
“Climb up here young man!”
And his smile shined upon my face
with me by his side, rumor has it.
My father didn’t have to ask
the age old question, he just said
“You’re a good man, son”.
At that moment I was glad that
Some family traditions never
change over the years.
I nodded solemnly accepting
that I had become that.
“I need you to see what you can do!”
he said. Then, he’d roll
his head toward the candy jar,
I handed him a striped cane
and held one finger crossing my lips.
He knew what this meant,
I’d let him have one,
but he had to be quiet about it.

My Grand-Father and Father handed down
the mantle which I have accepted gladly.
Coming from a long line of large men,
I was now a large man, quite jolly,
every time children would visit me,
I would be seated in Father’s…er, my chair.
It was a big chair for a big man.
The younglings would stand near my feet,
gazing up at my warm blue eyes.
They twinkled when I winked,
and my nose wrinkled when I’d think.
I would always say,
“Climb up here little one!”
And their smiles would light up
like Aurora Borealis, rumor has it.
And I always asked if they
were behaving themselves. That was
something everyone in my family
always asked over the years.
“Been good?” I’d size ’em up.
A shy nod came, leaving no doubt
that they had. “OK, I’ll take care of you”
I would always laugh. Then, I’d tilt
my head toward Grandpa’s old candy jar,
and hold two fingers across my lips.
This meant, take two and be quiet about it.
I am Santa. Like my Father before me,
and his Father before him.
And that meant, I can change the rules!