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Full of impatience and sound
Glide to the evening pond
Just south my house,
Or strident, jar their morning way
From waters chill to corn littered fields,
Strewn with the leavings of harvest,
Before the imminence of snow.

My ash leaves safely bagged,
Lawns clean and waiting, bare,
Neighbor in his annual piety
Apologizes for the late leaves
His maples hold, then drop
On new falling snow...
As if a man can understand
Or know what Nature's up to....
Even so, I smile:
His apology always the same,
Minnesota nice,
Affable...and lame.

Stands chilling in Autumnal wind;
Furnace finds its pace,
Preserving this small portion
Of the human race.
My wife, layered in fleecy white,
Sips coffee by her window
Small joys on this gray morning...
I drink the vision of my love,
Watching first flakes drifting slow...
As I reflect how all good things must go.
Precious moments, 2020.... And no mention of C-19!
Whenever I put the phone down
To go walking,
To work the soil,
To garden,

Or ride some river road
Beneath trees,
Feel the breeze...

I realize with Frost
That nothing gold can stay,
That the witching light of screens
Takes fleeting gold away.
Carpe Deim!
“Haunted Houses” (1858)
All houses wherein men have lived and died
Are haunted houses. Through the open doors
The harmless phantoms on their errands glide,
With feet that make no sound upon the floors.

We meet them at the doorway, on the stair,
Along the passages they come and go,
Impalpable impressions on the air,
A sense of something moving to and fro.

There are more guests at table, than the hosts
Invited; the illuminated hall
Is thronged with quiet, inoffensive ghosts,
As silent as the pictures on the wall.

The stranger at my fireside cannot see
The forms I see, nor hear the sounds I hear;
He but perceives what is; while unto me
All that has been is visible and clear.

We have no title-deeds to house or lands;
Owners and occupants of earlier dates
From graves forgotten stretch their dusty hands,
And hold in mortmain still their old estates.

The spirit-world around this world of sense
Floats like an atmosphere, and everywhere
Wafts through these earthly mists and vapors dense
A vital breath of more ethereal air.

Our little lives are kept in equipoise
By opposite attractions and desires;
The struggle of the instinct that enjoys,
And the more noble instinct that aspires.

These perturbations, this perpetual jar
Of earthly wants and aspirations high,
Come from the influence of an unseen star,
An undiscovered planet in our sky.

And as the moon from some dark gate of cloud
Throws o’er the sea a floating bridge of light,
Across whose trembling planks our fancies crowd
Into the realm of mystery and night,–

So from the world of spirits there descends
A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O’er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bends,
Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss.
In honor of this "spooky" season, I bring before you one of Longfellow's excellent poems. I am now thinking of writing my own "ghosts" poem about our family home in Montana. Whenever I go there, I can hear and see my long gone family members. Each place on the old farmstead carries memories. Perhaps you, too, have such recollections that haunt you in sweet or for bitter memory.
Don Bouchard Oct 9
Cast down on bedded doubt
Nails sharp and pointing out

Mine the unsleeping cares
Restless prayers in tossing night
Mind longing rest, respite

Mine the hours long
The shuddered loss in view
Unrealized, but sensed anew

Mine the wavering Faith
That weakly calls, “Oh, God!”
As lonely hours I plod.
Stress as my 92 year-old Mother battles COVID.
Don Bouchard Aug 25
The stalling plane fell,
A toy, yawing back on its tail,
Tilting left and down
And down.

The boy’s dad at the stick,
Face immobile,
Almost careless as they fell;
He, his mother, and his father,
And a stranger, next to him,
Tumbling above Montana
Prairie hills surging
And nearer.

The stranger clenched the boy;
The tail dragger impacted a rising knoll.
The engine clanged and broke,
Dirt enveloped the shattered cabin.

Silence smothered cacophony.

Conscious of being dragged
Through a **** in the fuselage
Out into open air,
The boy saw little,
Couldn't make out the stranger's face.

His mother came through the side of the plane
A Cesarean section, reversed,
The boy's hope reborn
At the emergence of his mother.

She appeared dazed,
He thought, unruffled,
Dusty with a smearing of bright red lipstick
Stretching up from the corner of her mouth
To the edges of her right ear.

The boy knew it must be blood.

His father lay,
Crumpled oddly,
Head twisted between
Stick and dashboard;
Right arm somehow
Lolling through the fuselage.

Blood smeared the arm, the head.
Everything still,
Motion slow...

The stranger moved on hands and knees,
Inspected the boy
His mother,
Pulled them away
From wreckage,
Surveyed the scene.

Turning then to the man
Twisted and still,
Grotesque within the shell,
The stranger gazed.

Gasping,  the boy jolted.
Thought he saw,
His father’s hand ****,
Move up and backward to his face.

The boy heard,
Thought he heard,
His father sigh.

Fear surging
The son,
Caught in a wave,
Realized his first response,
A sense of ******* returning,
Having glimpsed,
If only for a few seconds,
3:00 AM dream I had to write. Sigmund, where are you?
Don Bouchard Aug 24
I sit eyes closed at the top of the wood
Desiring action, but in a dream,
Hooked head and feet immobile:
Near sleep of age, incapable to eat.

Necessity finds the highest trees....
Branches shake in sun-beaten ire;
No advantage find I in the moving air
While earth's face beckons me to fall.

Clenching now, claws deep in bark,
Creation's masterpieces find decay
Of foot and feather, come from dust,
This Creature must return to clay.

Vision strong still seeks resolve
As Earth below me still revolves,
Inward focus, resolute, admits
Tearing heads is now a chore.

Death's wind, inevitable, a chilling fact:
Who kills to live through victims' lives,
Though early arguments remain intact,
At twilight's call, they still must die.

From the West the same Sun sees me;
Only I have changed, and have grown thin,
And though my heart's set upon its path,
I've lost the strength to fly again.
Don Bouchard Jul 27
of the grandfathers (sigh)
sitting on benches (nigh),
at rest in a world on the fly
watching people going by,

remembering the scurrying
headlong youthful hurrying;
the doglike head-aching worrying.

content with wistful contrition,
reminded that waiting is a position
all who live must see in fruition.

Will be the poet, I,
unafraid to laugh,
unafraid to cry,
unafraid to live,
unafraid to die.

Will be the poet, I.
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