The Dying of the Trees
The metaphor too blatant,
dying trees prefiguring a death,
and yet, it happened.
A corollary: the rock-hard soil,
the drilling of holes for planting.
Compare this to the rigidity
of hearts, or heads,
as days are counted down.
A new house signifies,
perhaps, a new beginning.
A large house, lost amidst the barren
newness, needing trees.
Planted: elms and maples,
birch and dogwood.
Out from nothing, turning
weedy earth to woodland.
One summer past, a swarm.
Landing in a tree
that soon will die, Pausing briefly,
moving on. Looking for a place
to build their queen a home.
Expand the metaphor --
the bees illuminate the need
for life to stay in motion.
A house for sale,
all while the plants are failing.
Grown with struggle
in red clay soil.
Many hours spent watering;
wasted hours, used
in vain. Watch as they all succumb.
Watch, as we succumb.
Purple Days of Winter
The tar in winter sunlight,
appearing to seep through
in reflecting purple pools
at places where the chip-sealed
surface is most worn. Purple too,
the shadows cast by trees, tall
and structural in their February
nakedness, lining these minor
roads on which I ride.
Everything seems violet today --
a brilliant world, colors saturated
and full, crisscrossing the low hills
that line the river valley.
Saturated, until I turn for home,
heading south into the sun.
For now, the road has lost its hue,
winding silver across the broad
terrain, gleaming in its monochrome.
About the Author: Paul Ilechko is the author of the chapbook “Bartok in Winter” (Flutter Press, 2018). His work has appeared in a variety of journals, including Stickman Review, Mocking Heart Review, Gravel, Dash, Slag Review, Oberon, Dime Show Review, Saint Katherine Review and Autumn Sky Poetry Daily. He lives in Lambertville, NJ, with his girlfriend and a cat.