Dan Overgaard: Seasons of Wind, Mud, Shadows and Pain

Dan Overgaard was born and raised in Thailand. He attended Westmont College, dropped out, moved to Seattle, became a transit operator, then managed transit technology projects and programs. He’s now retired and catching up on reading. His poems have appeared in Canary Lit Mag, Shot Glass Journal, Allegro Poetry, Sweet, Triggerfish Critical Review, Poets Reading The News and elsewhere. Read more at: danovergaard.com.


Photo © Robert Wade

*****

SEASONS OF WIND, MUD, SHADOWS AND PAIN

Wind

January stumbled in, stage right,
rehearsing how last night he’d flung about
theatrically expressive loads of snow
and stomped around the garden, drifts in tow,
collapsing as his bluster sputtered out
when greeted with a therapy of light.

February grabbed and slammed the door.
Though flushed with cabin fever she was cold,
and clutched a faded sweater to her chin
as though an icicle were sliding in.
She shuffled to the sofa—looking old—
and stared into the shadows on the floor.

March arrived, both late and moving quickly,
launching a wet attack against the glass
that slapped the gloom upside its equinox,
and hassled all the uptight window locks
enough to rattle them. On waves of grass,
windsurfing little shoots pitched antically.

Mud

April perceived, with coffee clarity,
that something should be different in the yard.
The shrubs were ill-behaved; grass had no grace;
the rocks conveyed no weight or sense of place.
The mud was soft, achieving would be hard:
order and passion, trimmed to parity.

May spoke to passion rather breezily—
her generosity was blossoming.
She had great licks of mud along her arm
and laughed about her childhood on the farm
where mud was blood and cousin, burgeoning
was all. She finally left, not easily.

June, on the verge of floral recklessness,
entered with music and a wild bouquet.
But nobody offered a toast to mud,
who’d raised the flowers and brought all the food.
We were too warm, but it was passion’s day.
Perfection melted in her wilting dress.

Shadows

July was fired in a hot balloon,
puffed up to climb in blue, and drifted off
at a timeless, cumulonimbus pace,
casting its shadow down some other place.
Still, gravity protested those aloft
till thunder paused the cooling afternoon.

August provided shade and lemonade
after the cousins’ game of hide and seek.
The grand old siblings, hearing echoes, fell
with practice into stories you could tell
had rubbed them raw at times (they let us peek).
We felt their pull, not weak though slightly frayed.

September, that old crooner, always turned
on something lost or mournful, like desire
that dropped like leaves, or how a falling sun
would draw the longest shadows, tease and run.
What you could learn by gazing into fire
was: smoke got in your eyes, but memory burned.

Pain

October, bent on revolution, sent
its agents to the streets, and how they splashed
the windows and the boulevards with red.
The agitated mobs of leaves were dead
before they knew it, swept to gutters, washed
away, blown off with orderly intent.

November strafed pedestrians with rain,
and cloudy bullies pushed the light to ground.
We fled to houses, hoping they were safe,
all refugees and looking for a laugh
at groaning tables. Passing thanks around,
we felt the platters dip where some were gone.

December rolled in early, blowing snow
and slightly pushy, expectations strung
with care and hopeful dishes in the car.
We watched our memories billow in the air
before they curled away—the way they hung
but left us pierced, as only we could know.

*****

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