the scent of death coiled
along this trail,

beneath juniper
and parchment leaves.
We speak our fragile tales

as we pedal over
the muted landscape,
past the animal’s

remains.  More effort now
to see the quiet beauty
in what is passing –

but beauty nonetheless,
these little deaths
and fallen branches.

Clean Up

The sidewalk is stained red
where the leaves used to be.
I have waited too long,

the mulching already begun
as the tempestuous wind whips in
from the west,

taking half of the pile,
and still I move them
arms to bin, arms to bin,

these remnants of spring,
wet, rotting,
alive with squirming larvae

which, for some reason,
do not seem to bother me