Earth clears the field stripped wet and raw,  

and I can finally hear what it’s hearing:

engines oily searing the asphalt,

the circling hawk’s spiraling claw,

the football clatter in my brain.

September’s festive barge floated away,

bronze October set sail,

now November’s gray glory stands docked in its pier.


I took a slow walk this morning,

bent low, alarming the neighbors,

but I was merely examining evidence:

Sometime last night November reached

down to pick up an hour and took a fall,

stumbling backward.

A bruised memory rides the air

where the extra hour used to be.


Shaking off trauma and deficit,

the 11th month steps out

in the silver leafless light,

extending a damp open palm to greet

the winded year, its winding down,

and seeing me motions me over,

saying take my hand,

stand out here a while with me.

© copyright 2021 Ray Waddle




Already in mid-October the couple across the street

are setting up the front yard – a spinning Santa,

dog elves pulling holy family on family sleigh,

gortex snowman skeptical on the evergreen grass.

Gently they get everything propped up and plugged in.


The holidays ease down with a calming courtesy,

the kind it takes to go to this outdoor trouble.

What still circles the earth from long ago always lands

in velvet reds and ribbon come winter, signaling stone

nativity deeps to haul up this curbside misrule once more.


Now it’s midsummer and the yard scene’s still in place,

blistered in July heat, and anyone driving by

has good reason to slam the breaks and take issue

with this off-season theological disarray.

Nobody’s going to do that.

© copyright 2021 Ray Waddle




I told my mystic friend don’t do it

don’t walk off just yet

don’t step otherworldly away

onto other trails or bow your head

toward other realms other mansions

walk here another minute

upon these rocks through this music

this tarmac this commerce

of God’s crowded images

don’t you see it takes a mystic

to see all this and abide and adore

and touch flesh and flailing pulse

amid outbreak and notebook

so don’t pack board depart just yet

you’re needed right here

© copyright 2021 Ray Waddle