Saturday, September 24, 2011



Rusty things: the wail of a cat in heat, a squirrel’s slow scold, the cry of a jay, and the black cherry leaves fading to a coppery red.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 09-24-11

Wailing while in heat, is it obsolescence,
or it is simply outright rejection? “Rusty”
could be the feline’s tag, a dirty brown
tomcat losing his prowess at seduction.

Scurrying to provide for winter freeze,
the dark-tailed rodent stands on its
hind legs, spits out mulch and coughs
out a wheeze sounding like a nasty scold.

Rusty at a chore at season’s turn?
Or is it simply its mute gnashing
over a tardy spring, and O so little time
between a lean fall and a dying year.

A hop and a weak chirp from a jay
that has strayed into a rusty bird-feeder,
is a clean shot at “rusty” except that its
cry betrays a failing in its warbling job.

When the black cherry leaves are coppery
red, is that not a vision of what is truly
rusty? The flaccid branches would soon
see these brittle foliage break away… 

but could not stop a quotidian plummeting
when winds rattle them into a quavering
that can only look from where I sit like
trembling hands gripping a rusty trowel.

Perhaps the yeoman in the sky has become
rusty in a doddering way, he/she/it/they
could no longer command blind obedience
from settlers who have learned to brandish

their rusty plows like rusty swords against
all that is slow in their earthly impatience.

— Albert B. Casuga

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