Life of a Leaf (day 2408)

I’ve grown accustomed to leaves turning my memories from fresh to curled, a well understood paradox that changes the tide so romantically it hurts like the small spots beside the bulging veins growing inside.

My smile has grown lines, my heart has extended its beats, my hearing has begun to dance with angels upon the dead leaves blowing along the roughly trampled ground – are these our memories we have yet to experience, or have they been forgotten and left to dissolve into earth?

So I crouch down low and embrace the softly blowing wind that helps me to see my passing time I used to think I loved, I used to want to love, so here I’m hurting from spatial infrequencies that cup my involuntary spasms from underneath the table and remind me to forget to itch the pain.

Does this leaf know it crumbles within my palm so slowly softly? Did it reach for me in a pure moment of thought, expecting my return upon amber wings of a sun soaked day like an emotional Prometheus on a personal mission.

Then, like the ashes of memories crumbling in scaled hands of our Phoenix, so too shall sun rise again over the horizon of a small family farm to bring with it a wet spring full of insight and gratitude that runs the width and depth of a heart shaped leaf settling softly upon a well worn path of insight.

Back Endings (day 2283)

I never wanted to fall apart like this
Leaving pages bent and pencils broken
My back pages are written upside down
And my back pockets are filled with memories
That keep reminding me I’ve gone away.
Rusty backstops echo number five
From a once was now gone away
And we might send a letter
To remind you we’re far from you are home.
I close my eyes and wind lays your whispers
Upon my hardly kempt whiskers
With leaves blowing too early now
For autumn to be upon us,
Yet every breath I hear coming towards me
Leaves traces of my sadness
Rolling along to the tune of the trans-Canada
Like coyotes howling in the night
Reminding me you’re far away.
But I don’t want to say goodnight
I don’t want to wipe the tears
That cool my evening breeze,
I want to take back my endings
I never meant to write down
In a love poem I never meant to send,
No, I want to listen to the stars
Until connection has been made
And my back pockets hold bits of paper
Your pencils wrote to me.

Back Endings by Ned Tobin

The Ancient Sword That Stole Away With You (day 2195)

If I could be the ancient sword
That stole away with you
One waltz that takes us merrily
To the sea so free.
Each bond you felt that held you back
I’m your liberating sharp
Whimsically eager at your call
Lightly laying aside ageing leaves
Floating our minds upon the breeze.
For your sup I’d fix your cut
Sliced so fine, no toil to chide
A glass of wine to ease your mind
Relax upon my sturdy spine
Your head upon my shoulder.

Moon at Midnight – Part I (day 1975)

There was no moon at midnight
And my road was clambering on
I saw what appeared to be shadows
But from what direction I could not see the source
Nor could I understand their movement
For my breath was beating strongly
Inside my mind that couldn’t sit still.

They say whenever you’re lonely
To hug a tree in the woods,
That everything will be better
Once you listen to the wind through leaves.
But my footsteps weren’t taking me there
My trees were full of eyes
That growled when I got too close
My fire had died down to a whisper
Which danced away upon every breath
That beat so wildly inside.

I tried turning my back to the fire
So I could let my eyes adjust to darkness
Cold dampness swept into my chest
That left my fingers clinching at the dirt
I sat cross-legged on ash
That was surely trying to make it’s way
Up the inside of my leg
Like slowly crawling worms
With no direction home.
My fingers felt like dust
Long gone into a night with no end.

Slowly my eyes began to make out a hue of indigo
Through the trees that crept ever closer
With a faint scent of a silhouette
That began to sing me a song
Reminding me of Joan Baez singing acapella
Which always led me to Bob Dylan
And one of his nearly alarming harmonica solos.
Stars began to blink at me
Through gusting fog that sped
As fast as the dying harmonica sounds.

I could begin to see markings
Upon the bark of the nearest Douglas Fir trees
Bark so thick that my hands impulsively
Rubbed each other
Acutely feeling dusty skin on the back of my hands
As life began to seep back into them,
Shocked one too many times
From the dark night that lay behind.

I pulled my wool blanket closer
Remembering I am a warrior
I am made of two hard feet
That carry me on through a winding
Needle covered path
Weaving past lagoons and over boulders
Over roots and upon grass
Sometimes lost and always home
And rusty feathers settled beside me
Wishing me goodnight, so I fell asleep.

part II

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Daybreak (day 1972)

Laying down I set the sun
Along an open road
Straight as an arrow spun
Dandelion my mind.

I spoke two words as silent prayers
Echoing within my world
Which made grass and leaves shake
Around my spinning head.

Tomorrow shall a mystery
Overcome each step I take
I wait, henceforth, patiently
For the coming signs of daybreak.

Megalith (day 1960)

I could write out the sounds of a thousand butterflies,
Or hooves of ten blazing stallions;
I could impress the weight of three falling leaves,
Or hardness of one megalith;
I could fall to your feet in Roman respect,
Or your arrow you’ve sent on the run;
I could find every fruit in the garden of Autumn,
Or a reason to look far away;
I could let a simple dream drift off like a wish
But I’ll never let your heart away.

Autumn Meadow (day 1957)

As Autumn turns it’s leaves loose
Winds speak colder upon my brow,
Footsteps crackle amidst ripened grass
And needles lay their pointed lips
Upon a hungry slugs slime.
But look, just there!
A toadstool sticks its neck out
Searching the air for sticky sweet moisture
To sporulate, propagate.
How richness exudes from dampened bark!
How heavy air cools thy heavy breath.
And maple leaves, the biggest leaves,
Lay down, carpeting the meadow safe.

Ode to Autumn (day 1931)

When I was a little lad
I can remember quite vividly
How I’d run around in wool:
Jackets, mittens, and a toque.
Rosy cheeks would rush between
Piles of raked leaves
Exploding as a shaggy dog may
Tongue half way to the ground.
I remember putting my nose
Pressed right to the ground,
Smelling dirt and grass
And observing in minute detail
Leaves turning from green to brown
Crackle them along veins
Once so vibrant, so alive, fresh
Now so similar to the dirt
Squished between my fingers.
Bugs, beetles..
Busy in the dizzying mirth
Of all such decay.
Here, I would stay,
Madly fascinated with stacked flower pots
Textures of clay now everywhere!
From where did they come?
Every Autumn was fun,
Preparation everywhere,
Chopped logs and canning jars,
Hockey sticks and Halloween,
Snow banks and toboggan pulls.
I can remember the dying sun.