Fall Notes

The beat of a train
At the crossroads of rain

Trucks on the street
And wiping of feet

The rasping of leaves
And patter of eaves

With leaf blowers
Offensive to the last flowers

And avian overtures
Announcing departures

Autumnal music
Turns inwardly magic

It fades from the forest
Like flowers from a florist

It creaks like a door
And falls through the floor

The descent is unkind
To the shelter of the mind

With accelerated sawing
The rot is gnawing

With tree shredders
Like men of letters

Outside our windows
Drift reds and yellows

Apples percussing
A quieter sussing

With more and more blue
Fruiting into view

More and more space
Attending the race

And late-night squalls
Pushing pianos over walls

In the Beauty of a Lower Heaven

Autumn in Paris is like summer in a lower heaven.
Sycamores and chestnuts paint the air,
Pencil-thin branches sketch the city like Utrillo,
The Seine sets leaves in moon-glass.

We caught the metro at Bir-Hakeim
Near Vel’ d’Hiv, the Nazi detention center.
Cyclists went flying into fire and ash
In the beauty of a lower heaven.

Something grotesque in the accordion
Like a fascist playing Mozart.
Something hypnotic in the sound,
The bellowing of giving birth to terror.

In the beauty of a lower heaven
All the people are lovelier, tranquil,
Even at rush hour music tames
The writhing beast of megalopolis.

Goodnight Paris, bonne nuit,
Your accordions are like history
Repeating the music and the horror
In the beauty of a lower heaven.

Goodnight Roseline, Simone and Eliana…
We will meet again, Aviva…
The doors of the trains are opening
In the beauty of a lower heaven.