Life With Horace

poetry & essays


Seeing them off

Today they are still here,
and I am too, in late September.
My hummingbird pair. One darts in
to feed, the other perches
drinking deeply, tipping her head back
to let the nectar slide.
I feel that energy sweet and cool
down my throat.
Their absence looms, a large bell
with muffled clappers tolling
unopposed, reddening the trees,
exiling light, ushering in cold.
Lately the question, will they
visit me again, or will there be
someone else looking out my window
twelve months on?
Each year it is harder let them go,
as if there were a choice.


long shadow morning

the day starts clear
and weather sits the fence
undecided voter between
sultry and first frost
the hummingbirds have gone
and small flocks pulse
from ground to tree to air
some landing in the shelter
of my apple tree
across the road bright reds
appear to punctuate
short timer green
the usual pangs are there
as warmth and light
begin to turn away
but less robust somehow
each summer moment’s heat
soaked into bone and soul
defense against regret

for me seasonal change has always been about being observant, and the aggregation of small events. september has a clear, long slanting light. my favorite month.


small voyagers

headed home at sunset
glancing west
to rosy afterglow, and
wetland maples
just turned scarlet,
I catch movement
just above my head

a flock speeds south
so few in number,
dark against the sky,
all dips and earnest flutter
seeking evening safety,
respite from their
star imprinted
journey south

my heart clenching, driving on
I whisper through my soul
to theirs, safe travels,
fly to sun and blooms,
leave advancing winter
here with us
but please return
with earth’s retilt,
we need you back again
to warm
our frozen hearts

seeing very small birds flying south brings me worry for their safety, their migration a sure sign that another season of warmth and light is coming to a close.