Sometimes a poem is like a fever
that flares up in the heart
and set the fingers burning:

They blaze out on the page,
scribbling their inward fury
until the fuel is spent
and the heart is left exhausted.

Other times the warmth of spring
settles on the soul,
and by fragrant winds and a warming sun
communicates a lightness to our words
and allows us to share the joy of life with one another.

Then winter comes. We walk with
Slow, even tread, afraid to slip
Into the icy cold below,
Or to slide out of control –
Headed we know not where –
And so we let our rigid forms protect us
From the threat of self-disaster.

These things have their season too.
And no more can one write out of moment
Than mistake the night for day
Or find in the gaze of the moon
That same glaring brilliance of the sun.

These things have their time –
Which leaves me waiting for the days like autumn
When summer’s plumage is bedecked on winter trees,
And in her eagerness to shake off his chilly blight
She explodes into a million shades of purple and maroon.

When my poems have this in them, I smile,
Remembering the rapture of one Virginia fall
Seen through a child’s eyes
When leaves, like rivers, flowed to the ground
And I learned to rejoice at the very fact of Nature.

From that day until this
I look back at those times with nostalgia;
Happy at least that in the seasons of poetry
They come back to visit me every once in a while.