PALE LEMON FIRE IN A PARTLY CLOUDY AUTUMN, poem by Dennis Mahagin

Nearly noon, on Thursday
late October, and I see the trees
swaying within a wind that means
only business,
no fragrant breeze
here, no idle
burlesque:
merely rote
screams, blue note egress from boughs
with foresight and worse, they bite back the bark
in street light poses, they feel so much
better, much better come
the dark.
This time of year, this time
of life it breaks
down the anger, ache by ache, cold moan
in the heart attack
eaves, but maybe you know it
by now, too? by God
we must not feel so sorry
for those leaves, in free
fall, going to a place that gets

umber, then full
on, naked in a month: Winter
is the ruddy face of a poet
at sixty…
Or the ticking
of radiators
in my youth, they run on
steam,
sticky sheets left
obliterated in the middle of the poster bed
of those welfare hotels, I’d check in
for kicks only, sucked off
dry by the usual specters, too many raven-haired sins
to enumerate them
now,
down the block, some bloke fires up his chain saw,
and back in my brain, the fat Irish bard
in green felt derby hat: … Let it go, boyo … But oh
to anticipate the wood smoke, arriving soon
in a kind of unison, doubles as an astral
sob; now it’s about half
past noon.

mahagin3Dennis Mahagin is the author of two poetry collections: “Grand Mal” from Rebel Satori Press (https://www.amazon.com/Grand-Mal-Dennis-Mahagin/dp/1608640515) and “Longshot & Ghazal”from Mojave River Press: http://premiumreading.com/content/unbelievable-longshot-ghazal-dennis-mahagin-online-get. Dennis is also the poetry editor for the online magazine, FRiGG. He lives in southwestern Montana.

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