In the glade an old Red Oak stands naked,
except for a single fluttering leaf,
still cast with the color of fall.
I have watched it for hours, and
I wonder if is proclaiming a message.
An axiom of life in its resilience,
its tenacity to purpose, to refusal,
a dogged determination to hang in there.
Though the winter wind tugs at its grip,
still it stays convinced that it must,
if not for purpose, then for the tree.

©2015, Donald Harbour

I am crowing for you

Morning is prying at my eyelids,
a nagging beggar demanding my attention.
It’s begging bowl gray clouds scudding,
held in the palm of a chilly autumn wind,
the rim loudly banging on the front door.
Somewhere a rooster offered a raspy croak,
a half hearted cock-a-doodle-do,
not a pleasant prospect of events.
You were buried in the cotton covers,
a wall of bricks plastered with blankets,
I feeling a conjugal urge to merge.
The rooster rules the rooster’s roust, but
there is a barnyard hierarchy, pecking order,
one’s order deduced by the clucking hens,
the mares nips at the stud, sows
nudge the boar away from the tough,
the bull levies his interest subtly,
modulated to the cows seasonal expectation.
You are not that tolerant, judgmental,
you are a woman ruled by the unknown.
I a furnace of heat, you a chasm of ice,
would, that you would thaw, melt into me,
then, hear my full throat cock-a-doodle-do.

©2015, Donald Harbour


Do you see when life begins to furl,
evolving, encompassing,
creating its own canard,
then floating back into vision,
a wind snapped flag, billowing,
to settle moist upon time’s petals,
time, I wonder about you,
there, I see you as you are,
as you have been, but I cannot
see you as you will become,
that is not to know, tomorrow
is written in the dawn of scudded
skies, purple and mauve as love,
tinted with promise, a soft kiss
lifting the heart a beat, I
wonder, when I close my eyes
as the dark of day descends,
will you be waiting for me tomorrow,
or will you unfurl that great cloak,
sail of your eternal arcane ship,
a boundless passage into the unknown.

©2015, Donald Harbour

A poetic lament

You sit alone, contemplating,
your mind pinched Gyrus and Sulcus,
images, words, clouded consciousness,
there it is, that sparkling diamond,
that treasure of thought you sought,
a brief moment of clarity, euphoria,
then a dung ball of interruption arrives,
a question or inconsequential comment,
the pointed needle of deflating conceit,
it is fleeting, this fragile inspiration,
a gossamer thread drifting, swiftly flown,
journeying on winds of distraction,
context lost to bitter miss direction,
the mind adjusts seeking a redemption,
but, the moment is gone, a lost corpse,
and you drift into tomorrow’s challenge.

2015, Donald Harbour

Fallen sparrow

A small sparrow fell out of the sky today,
I held it in the palm of my hand,
Until it was well enough to fly away.

©2015, Donald Harbour


Searching through my attic
I found an old dusty box,
the cardboard stained by years,
neglect chewing its frayed edges.
It contained things not forgotten,
things unremembered,
the mind grocery list left behind,
a storehouse of need, yearning.
To awaken  the past can be
a terrible realization of the present,
a specter finger pointing, condemning, accusing.
A dangerous reflection leads to guilt,
I wishes, whys, whys.

©2015, Donald Harbour

Words to live by

However many holy words you read,
however many you speak,
what good will they do you
if you do not act on upon them?
Whatever words we utter
should be chosen with care
for people will hear them and
be influenced by them for good or ill.
Better than a thousand hollow words,
is one word that brings peace.
In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west;
people create distinctions out of their own minds
and then believe them to be true.
The way is not in the sky,
the way is in the heart.
A jug fills drop by drop.
Every human being is the author
of his own health or disease.
To understand everything
is to forgive everything.
In a controversy the instant we feel anger
we have already ceased striving for the truth,
and have begun striving for ourselves.
No one saves us but ourselves,
no one can and no one may,
we ourselves must walk the path.

This poem is written with the words of a man named Siddhārtha Gautama, the Buddha. I am not a Buddhist however if one were to internalize his words, they would change that persons life forever. It is that simple. May they bring you reflection and peace.

©2015, Donald Harbour