Seasons

When did I step into winter—
That I’d like to know.
The last I remember,
I was walking in the woods,
Autumn leaves, brown, red, and gold
Cushioning my way.
Azure skies above,
A brisk chill to the air,
Alive and invigorated.
Strolling fall’s path,
I recalled days gone by,
Fondly, a smile on my face.
Though I had suffered some loss
Of loved ones and missed opportunities,
The days yet stretched ahead,
Full of promise,
Things to do, races to run.

Like the nature of all springs,
Mine had been turbulent,
Full of self-inflicted storms
Interspersed with calm tides and winds.
But as spring had waned
And I became an adult—mostly—of mind,
Not just a hormone-driven body,
The storms grew farther and farther apart,
Until, somehow, without realization,
I strode tall and strong into summer.
Ah, how those days did shine
With family, friends, rewarding work.
Playtime at the beach every year,
Just the ladies and I splashing, laughing,
Drinking margaritas, singing, more laughing,
While lounging on the deck
Watching moonlight dance on the waves.

Autumn sneaked in there somewhere,
Easing through the door so gently
I barely noticed its entrance.
Thought my body wasn’t quite as strong,
It yet served me well.
And life went on—
Work and play uninterrupted.

When the leaves began to fall,
At last, I slowed down,
Smelled the proverbial flowers,
Worked less and played more.
I basked in my new-found freedom,
Did what I wanted when I wanted
With few exceptions.
I brushed off aches and pains,
Explained away the ladies’ and my abandonment
Of sand and sea and margaritas—
For we weren’t getting old.

Then, just like autumn,
Winter arrived unannounced,
Slipped through the back door
With barely a chill—
The old goat parked his frigid ass
In the center of my life
And refused to budge.
I called him names, cursed him, denied him,
But he did not go away,
Just became more entrenched,
Chilled my blood, brittled my bones,
Dried my skin, thinned my hair,
Invited gravity to sit at his side.
Winter waged his war
Without a shot being fired
And captured my youth.
Did he drink it?
Did he eat it?
Where the hell did it go?

Though I had fought him tooth and nail,
At long last, I humbly dropped all store-bought defenses
That no longer camouflaged what I had become.
Yes, I collapsed into winter’s embrace,
Those cold, bitter, lonely arms
And now—
Now—
That old goat sits at my side,
Sucking me dry.
I shrink and I stoop, forget things.
No smile now, I remember times past,
Of rivers that have run dry,
And seasons that have gone by.
Gone by—
Gone by—
In the blink of time’s eye.

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: Free verse is an open form or poetry. It doesn’t use consistent meter patterns, rhyme, or any musical pattern. It tends to follow the rhythm of natural speech.)

Image by Simon Berger from Pixabay

Senryu 1, 2, and 3

the days march along
flying faster as they pass
till I breathe my last

when my life’s time ends
will my soul find contentment
or haunt night’s sloe gloom

eternal unrest
is that what my death will bring
or an aught of peace

©2021 KT Workman

(Note: Japanese Senryu—Contains 3 lines, 17 syllables. 1st line, 5 syllables; 2nd line,7 syllables; 3rd line 5 syllables. Subject matter usually the human condition. There are three related senyrus posted here.)


Image by jplenio from Pixabay

Should Of, Could Of

in a wan wistful voice
swaddled in tarnished regret
the roads not taken
calls out to her
across the years and miles
of seasons past
from a long-ago time
when she was free
young and innocent
not yet compromised
by original sin
man’s heavy hand
or her own conscience
beginning a life of promise
unencumbered
by the weight of wrong choices
and could have beens
and should have beens

she recalls the things
absently gathered
along life’s path
stashed in a Mason jar
shoved under the bed
she takes them out
and one by one
weighs and ponders
the old woman smiles
drops them back inside
the crystal-clear glass
and as she dies
shakes the jar
pours the should ofs
and could ofs
onto the brand new road
and with a saucy grin
takes her first step

©️2020 KT Workman

Image Via Pixabay

Freedom

A crack zigzags across the old sidewalk
And wrenches apart the hot concrete,
Exposing a tiny sliver of earth
That for years untold
Has known only crushing pain and darkness.

While above . . . days pass, weeks pass,
And Summer relinquishes its sovereignty to Autumn.
Leaves fall; scarlet and saffron and umber tears
Scurry and dance across the sad gray surface.
Revivified wings flap overhead, rain patters down.

A frigid gale rides in on the back of the North Wind.
Ice crystals settle in the divide, cold elbows
Pushing against the argentine walls
That are desperately struggling to hold together.
The frozen earth shivers beneath this fresh onslaught.

While above . . . days pass, weeks pass,
And Winter reluctantly surrenders its silver crown to Spring.
Lightning splits the sky, thunder rolls and rumbles.
A deluge pounds the sidewalk; a cool river races through the cleft,
Torturously prying it open to the warming world.

The raw earth nestled in the crack feels a pleasant stirring.
A tiny fledgling breaks its surface and stretches toward the sun.
Oaken soldiers flanking the sidewalk tip their glossy green heads
To watch the miracle of birth arising from the ashes of neglect.
The dandelion nods its golden head . . . free at last.

©️2019 KT Workman

Photo via Pixabay