Shifting Patterns

  Mark Alan Osterhaus
  AC Missias
  Paul MacNeil

shifting patterns
of an old brick path ~
wisps of morning snow
three driveways down
he raises his shovel in greeting
pale posts
behind the billboard
empty vines
passing headlights
one radio station into another
quiet lake -
a falling leaf
ripples the moon
slow rain in the birch grove
mushroom pickers
plume of ash ~
father and son poke
a mound of blazing brush
bending with the hookset
a barracuda flash
the curve of his neck -
a breeze across the table
scatters my papers
rounding an island rookery
the airy bob of coupled pelicans
sheltered lovers
on the mountaintop
red wine and fruit
billowing from the palm tree
a dragon kite's colored tail
all day
a pale moon ~
droning cicadas
browned on one side
the smell of afternoon hay
resort beach --
just enough room for
one more umbrella
parting the mayapples
a beaver's bleached skull
lemon blossoms
the keeper takes a tray
of honeycomb
the tang of a mint julep
a colt kicks the starting gate
ripping through
packets of seeds
her muddy fingers
between two Renoirs
the sunlit wall
they hang the mobile -
a wind-up bunny plays
the cradle song
under the arch of a bridge
her warm embrace
his footsteps echo
across the empty plaza
winter stars
a boy lands with both feet
the squish of slush
crumbled concrete blocks
the black belt's I-yaa
lingers still
the words already out
she watches his smile fade
Juliet rises
behind the curtain
the cast lines up to bow
working late
the spider's slow descent
first cool evening --
from behind the garden wall
a crescent moon
countertop breakfast
orange hats on deer antlers
raccoon raid
a light frost settles
on the littered scraps
plop of a board's end
the sawblade whirs to a stop
a ceiling fan
slices the darkness --
sleepless night
storm windows stowed
we laugh through the screens
an earthworm crawls
on the soaked ground
peach petals
between weathered roots
acorns sprouting


Started: March 16(?), 1998
Finished: June 4, 1998