Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Exeunt Omnes \ Leaves

Alan: Yes, scene follows scene, the play begins again, but the audience?  Coming and going, here only for a while.

Exeunt Omnes

Down come the bean poles,
the temporary fences.
Down come the pea sticks.
Into the flower bed goes the spent soil
from pots and tubs –
fresh dirt over the dead and dying –
nothing will bloom again now.

To be a creature of a certain intelligence
aware mainly of uncertainty –
to do this knowing we may not see
another Spring.
Executioner, undertaker, gravedigger –
scarcely gardener.

To do this without anger or regret,
without fear or even hope –
to do all this one must love the soil
merely as soil, the earth as Earth.
Even stripped
of all this temporary living.

One must love hopelessly
the pale blue signaling late autumn,
the endless broken rows of white
from the west. The coming cold
after yesterday’s pulse of warm rain.

Nancy: Great aunts, grandparents, father and then mother, and yet that face caught in a sudden reflection comes as a surprise.


The leaves are whispering together in fence corners,
wondering where the birds have gone,
pondering immortality.
Foolishly, they seek the fault within themselves
          (not green enough)
          (bent often in the wind)
          (should have learned to fly)
Dryly they warm themselves in the pale sun
           (it seemed much warmer then, when I was young)
surprised that eternity is not green,
wondering why they were never told.

Next spring’s green glory,
sleeping in the bud
          never hears the whispers
          will sing wind music in the trees
          will not learn to fly
          will ponder, too, the chilling why.