Pointless Rout

What of speaking any word—
the sound I mumble
to wring meaning from what I know
but can’t say and doubt?
Lao Tzu suggests naming anything
is, if not an outright lie, then
innocently absurd

In an earlier day
I tied tomatoes up in Shelburne sun
thinking how fine it was to breathe,
thinking how some would take that away
We’re living here with others
sometimes troubled by those who share our turf
and claim its bounty —why shouldn’t they,
without them what would it be worth?

I well recall you in your fire
you blazed me with your beauty
and played following days
like tunes upon a lyre

It’s mid November now
There’s morning frost,
a veil upon the yard
There’s stillness in this moment
The thermometer agrees
It gives credence with its mercury
which makes (till now) its lowest bow

Soon December faces off with January
(the final month is moving out)
—a duel to death, each icy finger
breaking in a pointless rout

by Jim Culleny

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