October 22, 2021
Two Poems - Autumn and Cascade
By Stuart Stromin
By the time
I got to bed
(after dancing with strangers
in a dive bar of prisms and reflections),
the shy, soft rain,
which had been tentatively
hinting and whispering all day,
As if cut
by paper scissors,
the fallen autumn leaves
in wet rusty colors
glowed in little orange stars
where they were pasted.
The air was brisk, not too biting for the season,
not raw enough for breath to freeze,
but the bony trees were bare of greenery.
Winter is still in the cloudy distance.
I walked towards far-off lights,
not sure of where I was going,
but not caring.
There was still time to turn back
through the gentle rain falling
from the misty skies.
Not drunk, not dead-on sober,
I came upon the hotel,
woke the late porter from his cozy rest
so I could turn in for the night.
But winter bears down with a skeletal grasp,
against resistance to the final gasp.
You will meet at Niagara Falls at noon
Explore the dark side of the moon
Lie rotting in a third world jail
And drink the tears from the Holy Grail
You will be at Notre-Dame for midnight mass
Swim naked breathing laughing gas
Watch your children learn to dance
And risk it all on games of chance
You will fornicate like a hutch of rabbits
All your hard limits will become your habits
Sail across the sea on a Chinese junk
As celibate as a repentant monk
You will save Ophelia from drowning
Get thrown out of the circus for clowning
Rise to receive an Academy Award
And fall in battle upon your sword
You will hear the strings of a violin
Try to go out the way you came in
Taste the salt on the coastal air
Cascade on currents that flow nowhere.
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