By Doug Bolling

These woods and autumn
smoke over low hills,
the ponds of lazing bass
and bluegill, symmetry of
turtles hungry for what 
swims there.
Call me change in the weather,
label me seeker in chief
of all things transient and
therefore lovely
therefore real.
No matter.
What’s in a name but
so much wind, a
noun ripped from
somebody’s dictionary.
Here where trees deepen
and shadow spills over
rock and fern I see the fox.
We have met before across
the spaces granted, the
eons that have made us
what we are.
He rests behind a downed tree,
a barricade saying
be there for me but not
too close. Friendship requires
a certain distance, a                                               
keeping things equal.
The sleek coat
now reddish now tawny
depending on slant of light
through the pines or what
sight chooses to see.
His eyes hold mine.
Brothers I say to myself.
Kinship of blood, fear, lust,
the primal rites of survival, perdurance.
These precious moments
wherein two strangers meet
and meet again, each a sovereign
tatter amid the world’s rage
hell bent rush to doom
or somewhat.
I salute you across
the spatters of sudden snow.
Tell me your songs
and I will answer.

Photo by Samuel Ferrara