At the REC Centre
I can’t go in, not yet, not yet.
Warm sun on skin leads me away
to find a place where I can sit.
I stop to watch some children play.
I watch them chase a soccer ball
all up and down the shining green.
Not long ago I watched my son
get up, fall down, get up again.
I watch them ‘til the sun sinks low.
Then I return the way I came.
Some trees new planted having plaques
commemorate a date, a name.
Azalea clusters scent the air;
the Hosta has already bloomed.
I think of Jasmine in your hair,
how autumn looks so good on you.
I linger at the garden bed
and think about my best cologne.
Don’t buy a tree when I am dead.
Let’s spend our money on the wine.
The Big Blue Spruce
Reading in Rotary Park
behind a big blue spruce tree
with heavy branches drooping down
like the high peaked hat of Gandalf
I wondered what alchemy
might be at work inside
its subliming pot to turn deadly CO2
into life giving oxygen?
And how could something
without a mind of its own
lacking moral compass and compassion,
be such a force for good in the world?
Nature has many virtuous circles
and a big blue spruce
is just one of them but who knows
why things work that way?
Suddenly, the sky darkened
as a thunderstorm came barrelling through
and forked lightning flashed above the tree.
Maybe it really was a wizard.
Grandma’s house with its black mansard roof
has long since crumbled into the ground.
The big bad wolf of time with a mighty huff and puff
seeing no one cared finally blew it down.
Only the fragrant tea roses remain
of her neglected legacy to scent the coastal air.
The berry bushes are gone like a lost refrain
as are the fruit trees that once flourished there.
The orange lilies have also succumbed.
The lower meadow hasn’t seen a scythe in ages.
Purple loosestrife spreads a deceptive beauty from
the roses to the meadow’s fenceless edges.
Higher up overlooking Smith’s Sound
I find rusted iron, a licence plate, a shriveled shoe,
the rusted hulk of Dad’s old Dodge, the foundation
of our old house, boards bleached by the moon.
Higher still a farrago of trees towers
over the ground where wild blueberries once grew
impenetrable as a twisted tangle of briar
full of fairy tale. Briar Rose where are you?
In back lies Lower Lance Cove pond
where we once caught speckled trout on worm and fly
but now gold-withy blocks the path around it.
Everything went to sleep when Grandma died.
Some sweet summer not many years hence
I hope to return to cut a path through the tangled mess.
Maybe I’ll build a small cabin and put up a fence
as though I could restore lost kingdoms with a kiss.
Rod Stone’s artistic statement: I want to thank the members of the Brooklin Poetry Society for helping me improve my craft. Reading widely in the poetic canon has also helped me develop a sense of taste in poetry. Some of my favourites are the French Symbolists, W.B. Yeats and great modern poets like Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Bishop. Reading and writing poetry has been one of the joys of my life because as Mallarmé said “beauty has only one perfect expression, Poetry”. You can visit me at www.rodspoetryblog.wordpress.com.