Slippers

Days glide quietly by, so easily,
Worn as comfortable slippers,
Caressing a journey of tired, aching feet,
The compounded sum, of yet another year,
Pages in a seasonal tome, published
In the confetti of autumn,
Each year another chapter,
An incomplete record of events,
Becoming as ancient etchings, inked
Upon life’s papyrus, casting
About for reason, for time.

©2016, Donald Harbour

Resilience

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

Furl

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 lonely night walk home

A path across stone laid earth
Is the shortest path to home,
Where plastic flowers strewn about
There only lonely spirits roam.

In late October a frosty chill
Cast dead leaves upon the ground.
Sycamores stand with boney branch,
Here only deathly silence abounds.

One must have a brave stout heart,
To travel through this damned place.
The graveyard of embalmed bodies,
Where their lives lost the final race.

It is known, as it has always been
Some spirits are want to never leave.
Their lot to wander twixt heaven and hell,
Moaning in desperation as they grieve.

Mortals may never see them reach
Nor be touched by their icy grip.
But, there are those that do return
When upon the portal of death they trip.

Have you walked the path of which I speak
Feeling that you are accompanied there?
Wisps of mist catch your furtive glance,
Imagined rags dance in the dank night air.

You feel a tightness around your spine,
The beating heart pounds in your ears.
And though you try hard not to believe,
Your quickened step belies your fears.

It is then you are the most vulnerable,
When you cannot catch your breath.
That dark place in our distant past
Shouts you are in a place of death.

Listen, are those your footsteps?
Hear them echo in the dark behind?
Is it only just imagination lurking,
A symptom of your frightened mind?

©2015, Donald Harbour

The wheel of the year

There is sleep in the air,
rustling leaves begin to fall,
the sagging eyelids of the season.
Each day a crispness awakens,
it heralds other subtle changes,
rest for the land, flowers, lakes.
The cleansing purgatory of snow
gathers its chemistry in the north.
The gentle breeze whispers: “Quiet now,”
the hush is Mother Nature’s cool touch
upon the frantic fevered cheek of summer.
Human hearts yearn for this time,
they cling to past ancient old ways,
a quickening yearning for the hearth,
harvested fields, ducks on the fly.
Goddesses lurk in the shadows,
Modron and Olwen lean into their work,
shouldering, turning the wheel of the year.
Sages know only spring and autumn hold love,
the dawn and twilight of seasons,
the spiritual recharging of all life.
Smoke rises from a distant chimney,
it has comfort in its languid message,
a temple incense carrying prayers.
In the living is the solitary knowledge
that with the ending of the year awaits
creation’s glorious beginnings,
the only promise winter gives up.

©2015, Donald Harbour

This old house

Forever, an old house has stood in a field,
A grey silent sentinel ghost of the past,
It stands consumed by the morning fog,
Leaning imperceptibly, it is unperturbed,
The house knows its value, its purpose remains,
People may forget history, the house will not,
Lives passed through  its doors and rooms,
Children once scampered and played on its porch,
Lazy hounds escaped the summer heat there,
How many meals were cooked in its kitchen,
What joy gathered there in its dining room,
It has seen men go off to war, never returning,
It has heard the moan of birthing pain,
Then, swelling with the cries of a newborn,
Silenced, Sunday hymns once sang its song,
Where old men whittled, a possum or two live,
A tree is growing up  though the porch floor,
Now forlorn, passed by, it is indistinguishable,
Time is swallowing it year upon year,
That boundless cavern has eaten its heart,
Its eyes to the outside world hollow, glass-less,
The house will slowly collapse into the earth,
While it stands, it holds the vault of memories,
But, just as the house, memories die with time too,
When they are gone, only the debris of life remains.

©2015, Donald Harbour

The golden years

The dust of dusk is gathering,
an orange tinged crimson,
its detritus closes the hour.

The past procrastinates, lying,
deceiving the learned, the wise.
burying its muzzle in your forgotten.

There is no beginning in its end,
only the moment, another dawn,
the brass ring, another ride.

This flaccid imitation of hope,
of spiritual calamity, devouring
humanity with closed mouth clamoring.

Just when you figure life out,
a small rat of truth arrives, hungry
gnawing at the seams of your past.

You know you cannot win, ever,
the only trophy on your shelf
a granite slab and six feet of earth.

©2014, Donald Harbour