Walking With My Dog Down A Farm Lane...A Poem



Walking down the autumn lane,

we stir ten robins into flight,

pausing on their way to warmer clime.

Their nervous chirp and cry,

in irritation or alarm,

mingle with the flicker's wobbly call

and solitary blackbird's

misplaced springtime trill.


Have the seasons reversed themselves?

Nasal nuthatch, faraway crows;

"phoebe, phoebe, phoebe". What is this?

The gathering of avian clans?

Where were they but a month ago

when birds were gone from this deserted land?


There is no answer to the puzzle,

but the silent morning, rich in fog,

must make them feel protected,

feel the need to fill the misty void

with heart-felt calls before departing.


And still sits the hawk on barren branch

reminding of the winter yet to come.

The robins, sparse autumn ornament

in leaf-empty tree, adorn

swift winter's shameless nakedness.

The flicker's white-rump flashes;

rowdy crows scold the silent hawk.


Amid the misty morning music,

a dark cedar gateway frames

distant maple, naked hickory

softened by the fog into blended

family solitaires, nearly human life,

community, some identity

within my heart...misty, beckoning violet.

The unknown spiritual destiny of man?


With a mockingbird's watchdog staccato,

woodpecker's silent attachment to its tree,

we abandon the lane, rain-pools of water,

to the farewell robins and glad chorus

of song when the sun burns through

obscuring mist to illuminate the world.



Copyright by Don Gray


Don Gray Art  •  Poems