Winter Paints December on Lake Erie

If you look closely, you will see
The masterpiece Winter painted
Along mighty Erie’s shore
In the darkness, well into the early morning light

You will see his fondness for ever so subtle shades of gray
How one by one he bends, sheaths the tall ornamental grass
In rounded silvery whiteness
And how he paints ripply footprints at the water’s edge

If you look closely, you will see
The fluttering gulls in the distance
Seemingly small, yet not insignificant
Every detail a pixel of life

There’s more, if you look closer
If you’re willing to brazen the biting wind
Like the pile of jagged sticks, and mossy green rocks from summer
Now a single creamy white ice sculpture

And if you hold your eyes and heart wide open
You can read the painter’s signature
Written in the battleship gray sky—
December

First Take on Bratenahl

A cloistered place by the lake
Where old things still predominant
Surprisingly over new things
Yet new life abounds
Both imagined and real

A museum of sorts
Where old names reign higher than new names
Where quiet faces stand longer
In the mirror of time
Reflecting a familiar playful benevolence

A place where ultimately
The water washes away everything
Including the deepest things harbored inside us
Even our conditioned moorings
Holding onto us, as we hold onto them

Bratenahl, its own place
Yet a part of something larger
Something deeper
Something indelibly Cleveland
Yet one step removed