Poeme de Tony deLorger

Prairie Day’s End

Tony DeLorger © 2021

Kerosene lamps and dusty wood,
the redolent scent of simple habitability,
shoddy cracked floors of gnarled timbers
and a straw-mat plume gritted
with prairie hues and spurs,
all in the rustic charm
of heart-felt accommodation,
charred pots and metal pans,
wooden spoons and knives but few,
while bowls of ornate ceramics,
offer a wash and refreshment.

Over a few rickety windows, idle,
somewhat opaque from red sandy attention,
scant fabric as curtain ends, crookedly hung,
displaying some pattern of finery
interjected by dirt and cobweb stains,
but one fireplace, hearth
of blackened slated stone, a frame
and iron-pot hanging, still reminiscent
of the stew left wanting two nights ago,
and a dark brown oaken table,
etched deep with life, two stools
with wicker backs and a bed of hay
lay cornered as hard as it looked,
covered by an adequate needlepoint blanket.

Outside the prairie dust
whipped the log-face,
window glass a rattling,
as the evening changed a little less
than burning, eased intention,
and while the smell of biscuits
on the griddle collided with dust’s
stale aroma, a horse whinnied,
led to the barn to be fed, hooves clattering,
a cowboy parched and ready for home,
removed his encrusted hat
and calmly shook off the day,
as his smile opened the front door.

The Village Proper

Tony DeLorger © 2021

The village, a rustic pea in a coved pod,
sat at the windward base of rising basalt cliffs,
vibrant green fingers rose to its uppermost spires,
as if a frosting to an Emerald Isle,
and the sun danced with golden glitter
upon a calm sea gloaming as clouds conspired
for gilt-edged praise slowly sinking in day’s relent,
invited night in stars to vet moons aspiring
luminous glow.

Smoke coiled from chimney stacks,
blue ribbons in a slow affectation of release,
collecting a misted haze seemingly
in the protection of each stone edifice appraised,
as yellow light caught window glass unawares,
itself lamp-lit from within,
as sailors home from a lean day’s fish,
sipped rum by the fire, awaiting
yesterdays fish stew remnants to polish their blues.

Street lamps dotted the few streets of the village
as a dog bayed at the rising moon,
and the boats clattered in the gently lapping swell,
while taut wet ropes creaked like wining children,
the path to sunsets awe in contrast
to the stars now winking, as the
cold night implored the polished cobblestones
to smear with a wet roiling of reflection,
no a whisper of objection shown.

Alpine Morn

Tony DeLorger © 2021

The sun climbed the eastern escarpment,
poking its head up fleetingly
to glimpse the indolent meandering river below,
and as those shadows deep and dense
eased gently into morning’s gift,
green leapt from the rugged slopes,
thistle blues and moss-covered rocks
attuned with the ascending sun,
evoked a silent paradise.

Mist in thin layers still clung
to the hills just above the rushing river,
glacial green and chilled,
cresting white bubbles in its knot-twisting flow
as fir trees dotted the shores,
saplings sure of growth
with pine-needle zeal, yearning
for that valley floor curtain call of light,
as the latent frost cleared its sleepy eyes.

A hawk cried from high up over the peaks,
scouring the green undulations for a feast,
its earthen hues and feather plumes
such contrast against the invested blues of the sky,
gathering white clouds like a plump fur collar
to counter the early chill,
and to then bask in the warmth
of yet another alpine day,
where light is painted in a glorious appraisal.

The Neophytes

Tony DeLorger © 2021

Hooves clattered over
grey, smooth-worn cobblestones,
the echoes exacerbated by the
unfeeling courtyard sandstone walls,
as windows like arched cut-outs,
bled light into their dark refrains,
and eyes peered from the darkness, while
solemn habit-clad monks bearing
forks and shovels, buckets and books,
turned heads, curious as to the arrival.

Six young boys, filthy and wretched,
descended from the rear of the blanket
and straw-covered cart, and in single file
followed a tall, painfully thin monk
through a heavy oak and iron riveted door,
the shuffling of their rushed young feet
like a penny rolling into the distance,
and as the door shut with a thunderous boom,
the monastery swallowed hard
their neophytes.

Silence writhed in discomfort
as they received these new souls,
yet no smiles engendered confidence,
only an expressionless, indistinct grace,
a reverent echo from bland spaces
as the monk guided them to a wash-house
for delousing and a harsh lye scrub,
before given a rustic habit, leather sandals
and a tiny cell accommodation
with a straw bed, table and candle.

What apprehensions rose with fear,
as each lad faced unknown agendas,
a monastic life undreamed or considered,
in the hands of these silent hooded zealots,
cold stone walls and cloister bells,
the endless repetition of offices
and the discipline of every afforded breath,
all this in the quiet of a new bed,
where drifting dreams of fear and dread
swirled in laboured concern.