Let’s try something new. My first writing love is poetry, but a lot of people hate poetry because of how it’s presented in school. I’m going to try to change your mind. The first Word from the Range each month will be a seasonal poem. The good news is that if you don’t like this class you don’t have to attend. Bad news; if you do attend, and like the lesson, you still don’t get a grade! The following is excerpted from my book, Ground Tied.


Only October


Restless grasses stir in their sleep

before settling under a litter of twigs

and trivia that summer left lying around.

Against the windbreak, a heap of russet,

gold, and scarlet rustles in the breeze;

October’s discarded dancing dress, tossed

onto a darkened stage after the audience

has gone. A smaller swirl of color

flutters like a scarf, flirtatiously twirled,

then cast off as a favor to the crowd.


A while ago, in blue bright light, her

scattered sequins flashed a bongo

beat; clattering castanets skipped

down the street. Now, under scudding

storm clouds, their hollow rattle

reminds me of Ezekiel’s dry bones.

I tell myself it’s only October

acting out, demanding more

than her share of attention.

It’s just what prima donnas do.


Tonight, staccato taps touch

frosted window panes. She tries

to scrape off shingles, cries forlornly

outside my door. I tell myself it’s

only October begging to come in

out of the cold. Huddled by the fire,

I push down dread of bitter nights ahead

and days of short sun; find scant comfort

in knowing spring will surely follow.

After all, it’s only October.

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