Poets’ Brew – November

<< Return to Poets’ Brew >>

Claire Carpenter

Season for a Sestina

I’m restless with the changing of the seasons—
stirred beyond words by the quality of light.
Wandering fall-colored trails in search of meaning,
I seek significance in moon-shadows.
For a moment, an aspen in full glory is enough…
Otherwise, all I can do is try.

I can’t take it all in, I can only try
to embrace the fleeting beauty of the season.
Whatever Heinlein wrote, there is never time enough
to revel in the subtleties of light.
Winter’s demons may be lurking in the shadows,
but today an aspen’s leaves hold meaning.

All my life, I’ve been seeking meaning.
I strive, I search, I try….
Afraid to wander too long in the shadows,
I throw myself entire into the seasons,
baptized by the clarity of light.
Sometimes beauty is enough.

On a cold night, a campfire is enough:
a source of heat, a source of meaning.
I search for answers in its light—
not how to find them, but how to try.
No way to slow the relentless march of seasons…
But the flames keep at bay the shadows.

The winter’s dark is deep with shadows.
It’s hard to see how striving is enough
in this, the hardest season.
Like the leafless trees, I, too, am bare of meaning.
It takes all I have to try
to seek the path in the pale thin light.

But the time will come to turn back to the light—
to abandon darkness to the shadows
to strive, to seek, to try
to trust that striving is enough
to trust the path we walk has meaning
and there is purpose beyond the turning of the seasons.

We must try to live our small lives in the light.
Joy has its seasons, so do shadows.
Look deep enough, and even winter’s dark has meaning.

Polo Lara Muñoz


We took it
at the September Fair
of that faraway ’99 autumn.
A little rain touched your hair.
We walked among the sweet
children’s gibberish.
You told me my sign is Leo.
But mine is Capricornio.
We ate pink elephant ears.
Red and yellow was the dusk
of the evening,
green was the mountain,
blue the sky.
A carnival of doves was
coming off your lips.
A thousand tigers were waking up
in the pupil of my eyes.
A man and a woman
were founding
a new kingdom
on a summit of a gorge.
Newly we knew the rustling
of the weeping willows.
We thought the world was
the perfect river to navigate
our infinite sadness.
Later came the unpredictable
dancing of the fallen leaves,
the howling of the trains
in the distance,
and the interminable
lament of the ants.

Yakima, WA

Terry E. Lockett

Welder’s Flash

For JC Lockett

I opened an old trunk in the garage yesterday
thumbed through some old photographs
and there you were- after a bear hunt
clothes unruffled as your demeanor.

Your eyes blazing through the shade of your fedora
through the steel and brick of your Iron Works
the eight decades and three generations that separate us,
through death itself.
Fusing your eyes to mine-welding my life to your own.

J C Lockett

Elaine Smith

Apotheosis of a Turnip

you slice my head off
with its yellow winter shoots

my tail, cut off,
lies naked like a rat’s
drifting root hairs

my skin, peeled,
tossed to the waste bin
blushes rosy purple

my crisp white flesh
chopped then boiled
roasts in dried rosemary,
olive oil, onion, and salt.

when I am turned
caramel in butter,
no one will ever
know I’m a turnip

LeAnne Ries


Lucille Clifton, Shadows:
“meaning is the thread/ running forever in the shadow.”

strange weather events invite meaning
huge snowflakes like peonies in November
before mornings become gray shadows
hawks hovering close tell me you are forever
while our clocks down here are running
somewhere the gears of time have lost their threads

old cloth from baby boxes and bits of thread
separated from socks and shirts have slipped their meanings
watches wound up to keep them running
blankets pulled down from closets in November
smell like you still, but they will not forever
what is gone loses brightness in the shadows

Through the sliding door the pine trees make shadows
in early morning, their needles thread
with sticks and birds and go on forever
begging every dream to tell its meaning
conjured up from deep sleeps of November
I share them quickly while I see them running

In home films I see us running
until reels halts to an end in shadows
We wore wool coats to church in November
and fur hand muffs where I found threads
makeshift rosaries wanting meaning
to unravel as the service went on forever

furniture is never moved but stays forever
and the water outside is running
nothing changes in these houses but their meaning
as new light fills corners which were shadows
I go back in time to follow other threads
with my overcoat, I tread backwards through Novembers

I was brought to live with you as a baby in November
starting my new life to last forever
placed in a family with a tree of threads
In a year I would be running
from morning until daytime turned to shadows
now I trace steps backwards to find new meaning

I tear off October to find November, meaning
new days forever follow shadows
running forward, these crossing threads

Chuck Forster



We rejoice
And weep!
We will call forth again
And protect
And truth!

Oh happy day!
Oh fruit of great labor!
Oh undying spirit!

<< Return to Poets’ Brew >>