Map of Austin Poetry #165-1 Theme: Snowy, Dark, and Deep: Tribute to Robert Frost

1. Leaf's Fall by Paula Bentley


Frost was

right then. The

gold cannot stay.

Crinkle of a world

sighs into a long slide

through blaze of echoing leaves.

Believe, know, each vein holds untold

wonders and understands more than we

can see. Be silent, and watch the leaf's fall.

2. Neighbors by Jack Dell

Everything's shut sometimes except the barn;

The family's all away in some back meadow.

- Robert Frost

A Hundred Collars

On farms in northern Massachusetts,

a willow seems obligatory,

with pines along the drive,

at least two sets of maples,

and perhaps an apple tree.

Stone fences, which Robert Frost said

make good neighbors, are everywhere.

But neighbors. Where are they?

Porches, where they should

rest from their labors on wicker rockers

and slatted, chain-hung swings,

never seem occupied,

come Spring, Summer or Fall,

not to mention Winter.

And yet, though you seldom

hear a sound, they surely are around.

Inside? Day and night? Incessantly

sewing, mending, washing, ironing,

hooking, tatting, cooking, baking,

making pies for the county fair?

Or, out there in that barn, or shed,

thrashing, threshing, meshing,

mashing, milking, shodding,

seeding nursery sod for crops ahead?

Never stopping from bed to bed?

Or in the fields somewhere,

Doing who knows what they do out there?

And do they see each other, anywhere,

except, as Frost says, when they need to share?

3. Winter by Forestine Bynum

Who will go before you

your feet, the dog, or dust

Who will remember the trees

The air or your voice

Step silently as you proceed

For you know not who is watching

And taking notes of your passage

What differences will you make

How will you be remembered

Through the carvings in tree trunks

By an unknown or the birds flying south

Or shall you go before the winter

Leaving no tales for the feet to explain

And let that be the end.

4. Fire & Ice by Frank Pool

You live in fire, and I in ice.

Within the circles of desire

And sentences that loves require

You pay a public price.

My solaces airlessly conspire.

You to ash, me interred entire--

Either judgment will suffice.

5. Conserve Compassion by Danzr Von-Thai

no child is born jew

christian muslim atheist

only pure human

6. To R. F. by Gloria Amescua

Only one more poem before I sleep

a few more words to drown in

a flood of images to keep

inside my eyes.

I swallow a hundred syllables

an incantation on my breath

roll them on my tongue

tasting of stones, grey skies, grass and sweat.

Then sighing--flowing, they seep into muscles

rhythms binding blood and bone.

I fall deep--deep

finally coming up for air

fresher for having been there

steeped in magnetic words.

7. Frostbite by Nicholas Schriber

"Good Fences Make Good Neighbors"

pronounced that dependable, wise, old

American Sage

Practical... Dependable... Unflappable

I always hated that poem

Always believed instead

in the Me of smashing fences

and walls of small minded

American common sense(TM)

Pretending to be the Other(TM)

you might erect your fence against

who would climb over

tag it with graffiti

or simply tear it down

Pretending I was that One

Pretending I hated that poem

and the respectable Man who constructed it

That his choice of roads and his snowy fields

leave me cold

For coldness in the face of such

simple sageness

could be an emotion with potential--

Antithesis becomes the road taken

away from his simple suchness...

to find it wander back at day's end

and fall like snow inside the soul of an old man--

From rebelling chaos into:

Practical... Dependable... Unflappable

Good Passion Makes Good People

8. Rock Creek by Maritza Rivera

On this side of the creek

bikers bike

joggers jog

and skaters skate.

On that side of the creek

are the deer.

9. Snowed by Evening on a Woody Stopping by Michael Brown

Stopping by woods on a snowy evening,

I halted amazed and unbelieving;

In a filled up forest of snow, quite losted,

There alone stood Robert, frosted.

10. Stooping By Trash On A Stormy Evening by Gary Martt

Whose trash this is I think I know,

her can is down the street below.

She will not see me stooping here

to pick it up while wild winds blow.

My little dog must think it queer

to run out in a storm so drear.

Is it a service or romance

that I should pulse to persevere?

I saw her once, a haunting glance,

a forceful voice, defiant stance.

Now overhead the rain clouds weep:

why should I choose another chance?

Her eyes are lovely, dark and deep,

though I have autumn leaves to sweep,

and piles to go before I sleep,

and piles to go before I sleep.

11. Seeking Words by Sanjay Kuttan

Rummaging through

paper bags of memories

boxes of cherished letters;

seeking words

before time caged freedom,

life sentences

italicized and cobwebbed

in the attic of my mind.

Words freely floating

without the commercial print

of supporting lines

rich with beat and punctuation,

an intoxicating rhythm

sensually pounding

the drum skin of my heart

gently nursing a wanting soul.

12. Breaking Through by Susan M. Ellis

The page, like virgin snow,

beckons. I hide in the forest.

It sends whispers through the trees.

"Make your mark, make your markā€¦"

First one step, then another, the crunch

of snow as pleasing as the scratch

of pen across the page.

Impelled by the sound I start to run,

darting here and there wherever

my feet take me.

Fear dissolves like cumuli

on a summer day.

A field mouse joins me, the delicate

print perfect counterpoint

to my heavily booted foot.

Shadows climb in and out of footprints

as the sun plays with clouds.

The work is alive, with voice

and passion, I rejoice!

The finale - a free fall -

exhausted, on my back

I sweep the snow with arms and legs,

in benediction the angel appears.

13. A Yellow Woods [excerpt] by Vicky Vlach

Part 2: During and After, or 'Maybe Some Floods Just Shouldn't be Dam(n)ed'

We were all hot and tired and dirty from trying to corral that wild beast for weeks on one.

I saw her that day, filling bag after bag with sand,

tying them off and tossing them along a human chain attempting to make like a little Dutch boy,

in a heroic effort to save homes and loved ones.

I noticed her unperturbed calmness amidst the swirling chaos of encroaching anxiety and furor, and wondered if she might have been through this before.

She just smiled when others brought more bags to fill.

It wasn't one of those fake smiles most people give when they get too tired and too busy, when they're preoccupied and don't want to be bothered anymore -

no, not one of those smiles.

She saw you.

She looked into your eyes, and saw you.


someone would talk with her, helping with the bags, or the sand, or whatever,

and when they moved on, they seemed lighter somehow.

And then one or two or even three sandbags

would come down the line feeling heavier than most,

though each was filled to the top.

But we were all hot and tired and dirty,

so I could have been imagining it.

I noticed that sand stuck to her exposed skin,

and sweat carved its own rivers

around and through her clothes.

She wore hiking boots, jeans, and a butterfly-print tee-shirt with the sleeves cut off.

I wanted arms like that!

© 1993/1997/2000 Vicky A. Vlach