Hobo, buried in leaf-drift, late October
assumes the anonymous lineaments
of Everyman. His waxy cerements
are dogwood leaves. Each red-veined oar
folded in windblown fleets of Achaian galleys
is warped across a train-horn's major C
(simple shofar-call)... tenderly,
tenderly travels through the gleaning breeze
of Indian summer. Rudderless incarnation
of all waywardness. The wavering wake
of that warning trumpet will not break
his dream, his prodigal oblation.
The sleepy soul slips into masquerade
(medieval clown) at harvest-time. Loosens
the railroad ties, removes the rusty iron
armature, its cross-woven bridgework
of militant need – shifting, swaying, distending
into seedy player's weeds – a pumpkin field
of bulbous, over-ripened suns (moist yield
of drowsy memory, earth-whispering).
Gray clouds of whistling starlings wheel
beneath white bands in the stratosphere.
The absent carrier pigeon will not appear
(brooding, signaling) at the apex of the real
this time of year – rather, as an ember
glowing in the hobo-fire, where lost farmers
gather. Lost tribes, lost lands... wherever
disoriented pilgrim sails inch into November.