Frank Rutledge

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  Number of Storms

High up on the head
fate dealt a heavy blow
a number of storms
drove the bird songs
from the treetop
all she left behind
was the whistling
and wet gray skies.

Legend is the last straw
broke off mother's words
quiet summer evenings
spun cobwebs galore
traveling down the riverbank
howling the song of dogs
that's what God made heaven for.

  Blackberries Along the Ravine
I question summer blackberries
about methods used in mysteriously
transforming daylight
earthworm dirt, and thunderstorm rainwater
into everyday alchemy.
Sunbringer answers with life's juicy sweet
breakfast miracle.
  Afternoon Falls
Cast a gaze on the
fading length of sunlight
crawling across the hardwood floor
turning a dusty bedroom
into a sacred cathedral
for two spent lovers
drifting in & out of dreams about sainthood.
  Reaching For An Armload of Hope

Saintly summer dissolved
like a sugar lemon drop
pretending to be a monk.
I prepared for the lengthy
solstice dark night rest.
The winter flew past like
a black winged crow flapping
a quick disappearing act.
I had hoped for a stretch
of solice and creative hibernation.
The frozen punctuation of a snowy
season melted like ice on a spring river.
March 6, 2003, this calendar day
arrived like a jack rabbit in heat.
Thrust on my peaceful hibernation.
Sudden loss of direction scattered
like pages torn from a library copy
of "You Can't Go Home Again."
Tossed about the slushy streets
by a warmed breath whirlwind.
Solace was punctured useless
like the head of a snare drum beaten
by madmen addicted to the dissonant
melody of the human war song.
I'm finding it difficult to resurrect
any hope in this Armageddon red atmosphere.