Cliffs, Compost Heaps, and Raptors

Evensong, trademark for a slipping away,
past an apostolic lift,
a black squirrel,
or last aspen,
or singular poplar,
taken up in the sadness of the drifting leaves,
to be consumed by fire,
dumped in compost heaps.

Banks of yellow and dark bronze; long stemmed plants droop,
devoid of stories, plans,
the greenery maintained as it can.
The drifting leaves leave no sign,
nor the imperious sky demand,
acceptng patterns of wild geese, solitary raptors.
Denuded trees have no secrets, traces of their pedigree
dissipated into the distance –
rumours of banishment, lying in state.

Exiles in a trance identify the shredded bark
restless at places they have come to,
resigned to monologues.
Far or further weighed against one another.
The cliffs of childhood are no nearer.


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Frank C. Praeger is a retired research biologist who has had poetry published in various journals in the UK and the USA.