Thursday, October 16, 2008


The word ,itself, means a period of late maturation on the verge of delcine. But for me, the term extends further into the spiritual context of being. It is the essence of the season that shapes and prepares the landscape for reflection. Leaves drift away into the earlier darkness. Woodlands and water clear themselves for a stark silence that evokes old memories and passions. Twilight clothed in sheer fog becomes the embodiment of something or someone personally attached to the land.

In the case of my poem, Dusk is the girl who felt trapped by her unfortunate circumstances beyond the turn of the 20th century. She comes back when the time changes and the trees shed their foliage. Death is also shedding its mystical veil and allowing the mortal world to encounter both the tragic and the beautiful elements of an afterlife.


As the time changes
leaves bail out
of the Locust

floating yellow
on the water.

Twilight enters
quietly spun
in skirts and stays
of cotton-pale fog.

in the feminine stillness
of many years past.

she listens
to the ghost dance
of swallows
haunting the barn.

Their wings flapped
under the weathervane steeple
that evening

when a farm boy's leg
was stitched together
by a midwife

who knew little
about sterile surgery.

The woman plied
her needle and twine
in a concrete stall
meant for cattle

The rancher's daughter
held a lantern, hoping
he would not loose
his limb -- days later
when gangrene could nest

near the bone
and a fetus could bloom
from a mass of seeds.

What would she do,
unmaried girl, if these worries

Her eyes glanced up.
The birds
would soon migrate
to a garden
of cactus vine and dry wind

where Frida Kahlo painted,
posessed a wild skill
for unleashng pain or love -- no shame.

If only she had known how.

Then her head turned
and she looked through a window.
The lake rippled

straining to clear
the jaundiced leaves
and make clean room
for a drowning.

Note -- Painting is by Itallian artist, Walter Girotto.

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