Leaf in Fall

I feel hard without my love at my side;
she is the part of me that lacks the soft
buoyancy that rounds and bears me aloft
into the spring sky mirrored in the tide…
without her I wear my own prickly hide,
itch in it like wool that cannot be doffed,
or worse, am stark naked as if I’ve sloughed
in this rude world my best friend and my guide.

Lady, do not withhold your softening grace
and cause me more than pain: for winter’s near,
and why should either of us have to face
the weakened sun when our warmth could erase
the chill: isn’t that part of why we’re here?
Answer for pity’s sake. I am sincere.




Yes, I used to go into the city
to a certain all-night café to write,
walk down the steps into its lurid light
past hooded night owls and club girls pretty
until, finding a table to fit me,
I tried to do what I do best despite
and owing to the loud and gaudy sight:
to extract from babel something witty.

How different the new actuality
from that I imagined back in those days –
tonight with the best friend I’ve ever known,
in our own private principality,
sated and contemptuous of the world’s ways,
Saturday night we spend, we two, alone.



David Francis has produced six albums of songs, one of poems, and “Always/Far,” a chapbook of lyrics and drawings. In addition, he has written and directed the films “Village Folksinger” (2013) and “Memory Journey” (2018). His poetry and stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies. www.davidfrancismusic.com

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3 Responses

  1. Paul

    You feel hard without your love at your side? And without her you wear your own prickly hide – and are stark naked? This begs some comment I’m having trouble putting my pregnant finger quite on.

    • C.B. Anderson

      David was stretching the imagination here, and good for him! But some of his elocutions seem to have gone a bit awry. The “You feel hard” bit sounds rather salacious, which is just fine in contemporary songs, but somewhat off-color in other contexts. I hope your pregnant finger will soon bear issue.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    Well, yes, Paul. These are more like song lyrics than actual poems. When writing lyrics for songs, it is presumed that the words can be stretched or shrunk to fit the tune. And, indeed, there are few clues in either poem to suggest a regular meter. The meter in poetry and the meter in music are not isomorphic, which is to say that one cannot map one onto the other. You can add words to music, but in poetry the music is an emergent property of the words. I hope that makes sense.


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