And Words Are All I Have

I used to love September, but now it just rhymes with remember.

~~ Dominic Riccitello

September's Particular Sadness

Micro-poetry, a longtime passion... I write it on any subject that catches my eye and ear. Right now my thoughts are seasonally-driven, with the advent of Labour Day. Even its name is cautionary...

I like the power a micro poem can wield. How, by the very nature and limitations of its form, it can deliver more to the reader than often longer verses do.

Shorter seems easier. But it turns out not to be true.

Micro poems demands this of the writer: Say it clearly. Say it fast. The End.


Boats pulled out for the season,
Docks hauled ashore,
Cottage roads suddenly
Children back home, their minds on school,
All business now.
And like a switch was flipped overnight,
The water in the lake looks darker,
Deeper somehow.

Expiration Dates.

Obligatory backpacks bought, duotangs and
the cornucopia of Sharpies,
Heralding the dull march back to classrooms,
Schedules. School nights.
In its forlorn wake a trail of unhurried do nothing days,
Letting the season take us.
And this,
Lying utterly still on the sun-scorched dock
Until perhaps deciding to reach down to the water to
Trail a finger,
But only one.


The communal deck
habitually sun-drenched
now slick and wet,
perfectly still.
Six Adirondack chairs,
their cedar slats slick with rain,
rendered richer
in saturated color,
lined up in a precise and silent row


Just the slightest droop
in the leaf of the phlox.
Blossom holding up
but not for long.
A clock is ticking


Late August
the light becomes a

Labour Day.

Funny word for the quietest day of the year.
It’s time to be adults again.
No more ice cream for dinner,
Unending Scrabble games, meandering conversations,
late nights of poker and bad movies,
Sleeping til noon.
Time’s up. Get serious.
Set your alarms.
It's time to be adults again.
Summer, our permissive parent,
Waits for us until next year
Outside the classroom door,
And leaves us orphaned
In its sun splashed and glorious wake.


The geese heading south
emit unearthly,
discordant sounds
the desperate pleas
of those seeking

deer in gold
I wrote this poem years ago the day we sold a beloved cottage. I drafted it in the car on the way home and it came very easily; few do. I read it now and am catapulted back there, to indelible moments on a dusty drive home one long-ago September day.

Goodbyes Mostly These Days.

Why must it be
the most beautiful
the day we leave
for the last time,
autumn sunlight dappled
just so,
never saw it ladled
quite as deliciously.
The family of loons rarely seen all summer
now suddenly patrols the dock,
not wanting to seem
the slightest bit interested
in the ruckus.
The chipmunks will wonder,
where their nightly trove of peanuts has gone.
Grover the groundhog will sigh,
at the prospect of having to charm new owners
yet again.
The loyal pair of cardinals will search for us in vain
on their routine nightly visit
and decree their human companions
to be fickle,
at best.
Taking our leave in the late afternoon,
the dirt road will unspool dustily behind us,
and we may miss a glimpse of the new fawn
who pops her head out from the brush,
puzzled seeing anyone take leave
of such a place
when all around her
shines golden.

canoe on dock
pencil drawing red heart

Learning to Swim

Mother fast-friended Daddy’s distant pool cousins
So to be sure we could swim
In their inground kidney with a corkscrew
Slide we bit our tongues as mother jerked
Orange floaties up to our throats
And yanked our hair under latex blossoms
We kicked and screamed and held
Our breath with arms over our ears
As they roared kick/jump/keep your mouth shut
While Daddy’s-Mama’s-Brother’s-Girl
Smoked menthols on a chaise
In a gold bandeau drinking
Gin after gin after gin
Because, Mother said, once upon a time
She was a beauty queen before
She had a boy with sugar they called ‘Tink’
And Katrina with gold skin
And gold hair and gold ankle
Bracelets (a trophy come to life)
Who sometimes showed up
With a long-haired/shirtless/round-shouldered boy
To pick-up a few bucks
While I snuck into the house
To use the drowning-in-pink
Bathroom that was inside
Daddy’s-Mama’s-Brother’s-Girl’s bedroom
To sit at her wicker vanity wondering
Why the sun made my skin red not gold
To clip on earrings that hung
Like bunches of purple grapes
Before sloshing out the sliding doors
Connecting the bedroom to the slab patio
Right beside the pool
Convinced Daddy’s favorite Frank Sinatra’s
Bedroom must be just like this
Until Mother announced it was getting late
Until we packed into our green Pontiac
Until Mother, as heavy as the wet towels
She piled in my arms
Told me to put ’em up
Until I pinned each towel
Until all the corners touched

~~ C.J. Farnsworth

My favourite poem is the one that starts 'Thirty days hath September'
because it actually tells you something.

~~ Groucho Marx

I am here, listening. Share your own stories with me, gentle reader.
tricia handwritten signature

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