Autumn leaves - Millais
West Virginia – A Life
Once a cog state,
good for only coal and oil and gas,
it was always almost heaven to me.
I sit out this lifetime on my porch now;
my dreams are ancient mountains,
cool trout waters, may apples and black walnuts
white pine and willow, sycamore.
Our old log cabin in the wildwoods,
my one-room school, a walking bridge,
grapevines over rivers, skimming stones.
Winter and I are kin now;
where once was warmth, sub-tropical and kind,
there’s only snow, bone-seeping ice, so cruelly cold.
I seek my solace in the Appalachian Fall,
its radiant colours lift me somewhere high,
a place near heaven, bright and God-given.
I still hear music in my heart,
the fiddlers and the balladeers, they move me
with their tunes of joy, laments of pain,
and strains of Ireland in their tears