It’s all a farce,—these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o’er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.
Such principles are most absurd,—
I care not who first taught ’em;
There’s nothing known to beast or bird
To make a solemn autumn.
In solemn times, when grief holds sway
With countenance distressing,
You’ll note the more of black and gray
Will then be used in dressing.
Now purple tints are all around;
The sky is blue and mellow;
And e’en the grasses turn the ground
From modest green to yellow.
The seed burrs all with laughter crack
On featherweed and jimson;
And leaves that should be dressed in black
Are all decked out in crimson.
A butterfly goes winging by;
A singing bird comes after;
And Nature, all from earth to sky,
Is bubbling o’er with laughter.
The ripples wimple on the rills,
Like sparkling little lasses;
The sunlight runs along the hills,
And laughs among the grasses.
The earth is just so full of fun
It really can’t contain it;
And streams of mirth so freely run
The heavens seem to rain it.
Don’t talk to me of solemn days
In autumn’s time of splendor,
Because the sun shows fewer rays,
And these grow slant and slender.
Why, it’s the climax of the year,—
The highest time of living!—
Till naturally its bursting cheer
Just melts into thanksgiving.
From Kentucky Mountain Farm…
Here was the sound of water falling only,
Which is not sound but silence musical
Tumbling forever down the gorge’s wall.
Like late milkweed that blooms beside the lonely
And sunlit stone, peace bloomed all afternoon.
Where time is not is peace; and here the shadow,
That crept to him across the western meadow
And climbed the hill to mark the dropping sun,
Seemed held a space, washed downward by the water
Whose music flowed against the flow of time.
It could not be. Dark fell along the stream,
And like a child grown suddenly afraid,
With shaking knees, hands bloody on the stone,
Toward the upland gleaming fields he fled.
Light burned against their rim, was quickly gone.
Later he would remember this, and start.
And once or twice again his tough old heart
Knew sickness that the rabbit’s heart must know,
When star by star the great wings float,
And down the moonlit track below
Their mortal silken shadow sweeps the snow.
O scaled bent claw, infatuate deep throat!
I’ve got these two kittens who are rapidly growing into
we sleep on the same bed – the problem being that
they are early risers:
I am often awakened by claws running across my
all they do is run, eat, sleep, shit and
but at moments they are still and they look
far more beautiful than any human eyes I have ever
they are good guys.
late at night when I drink and type
they are about
one on the back of my chair and the other down there
nibbling at my toes.
we have a natural concern for each other, like to know
where we are and where everything
they come out
run across the floor
run across the typed sheet there
leaving wrinkles and tiny puncture-holes in the
they leap into the big box of letters I get from
but they don’t answer, they are house-
I expect any number of cat poems from them
of which this is the
“my god,” they will say, “all Chinaski writes about
“my god,” they used to say, “all Chinaski writes about
the complainers will complain and keep buying my
books: they love the way I irritate
this is the last poem of any number of poems
one drink of wine left
and both of those guys
they are asleep across the top of my feet.
I can feel the gentle weight of them
the touch of fur
I am aware of their breathing:
good things happen often, remember that
as the Bombs trundle out in their magnificent
at my feet
and instants of the moments explode
and a lucky past
can never be
I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
from daddy’s garden
and lots of
and homemade ice-cream
at the church picnic
and listen to
at the church
and go to the mountains with
and go barefooted
and be warm
all the time
not only when you go to bed
Flame under the bubbling water.
Blue flame. Water ready for tea.
Amber infusion soon to be seeping,
Leaves about to uncurl. Here
Is a tin, a spoon, a cup, an open
Teapot saying, Nobody else but me
To nobody else but you: awaken,
Pour. What are you waiting for?