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,

sprinkled down

upon the



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.