How long will it last?
Butterflies are in decline.
Monarch flutters past.



Nevermore (and Somewhat Less)

Beside a little country church,
The ravens on the gravestones perch
To do, not what you might expect,
But are restrained and show respect.

All dressed in black, a sober band,
At strict attention, see them stand
And croon to those who are interred—
A tune, in fact, that’s best unheard.

I’m sure that their intent is good
And they’d sing better, if they could.
The raven’s song—the point it serves?
To grate upon a dead man’s nerves.




There’s a fine little chill
In the north country air
And that’s why Farmer Bill
Doesn’t have time to spare—
With the full Harvest Moon
He must now reap his share.



Joe Tessitore is a retired New York City resident and poet.

NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to mbryant@classicalpoets.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.

8 Responses

  1. Patricia Redfern

    Joe! Especially favored, “Autumn.”
    There was such clarity! A great write.

    Patricia Redfern

  2. Damian Robin

    I like the progression of the ideas in the haiku. Also the singsong simplicity of the other two. They’re also very apt in timing (as death is for all seasons and Autumn is here). Re the graveyard one, methinks tis thine, a LIVE man’s nerves, the ravens’ “words” do grind upon.

  3. Julian D. Woodruff

    “A tune … best unheard” is fun. Reminds me of Ives on the optional choir in the 1st mvt of his 4th Symphony: “better without …”

  4. Sandi Christie

    I really like “Nevermore”- the title, the meter, the ending- it is all very fun.

  5. Cheryl Corey

    Now that you’ve written a poem that references October’s harvest moon, can a poem about November’s hunter moon be far behind?

  6. Margaret Coats

    A well done haiku, illustrating decline by going from plural in the second line to singular in the third. Not to mention the internal rhyme of “butter” and “flutter,” which is the kind of rhyme often found in Japanese-language haiku. And for the opening question, gardeners have had success in increasing butterfly population with plantings that feed them. But beware, this may also increase the population of birds and squirrels that like to eat caterpillars.

    I like “Nevermore” even better. It’s pleasant graveyard humor with a satisfying punch in the final line.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.