Mailbox Sestina: Αἰ Μοῖραι



So here’s the edge of summer’s moment cutting deep
Into protracted memories like sharpened blades of grass
You’d again taken for granted, cow-spittle-glazed,
And cutting up the crickets’ measured elegy –
Their legwork of liquid notes evaporate all sound
As land’s early greening trades out its clothes for brown.

The rainy soil’s luster only gains a dulling, tired brown,
The remnant spring in swaths – distant, distinct, deep
In mind, part of what you would clothe out with grass,
With lordly lawn, its tailored fabric, soft and glazed
With the shine of wear, emblazoned for daily elegy
As a farmer weaves his tractor through afternoon’s sound

Of balanced borders. All totaled, summers sound
With sunlight bolts box-stitching hay into barn shadow’s brown.
The country road between is your way out, up, deep
Beyond the quilted blanket-thoughts of fleshy grass.
The day’s departure leaves your traveled eyes tear-glazed.
Your tires chew away at shoulder gravel’s hard elegy

Like a sewing machine unspooling its chattering elegy,
Appalled at its own insistence. Summer seeks a ripe sound
Until autumn’s minor, inflexible, but expectant brown
Begins dragging the apple bough down, down… and pierces deep
The childhood that furs its small feet with fresh-cut grass.
Let Fate travel fast by dusty rural route. A mailbox glazed

With morning hours, here, now, awaits a friendly farewell glazed
With the come-and-go of September’s scissoring elegy.
As crickets compose life’s counterintuitive sound –
Even so, your ceramic mind will glaze with brown.
The packeted letters of June, July, August recall: deep
As sleep was, new as birth is, lasting as the grass

Will be, so you go. Sewn into the sad scent of mown grass,
You roll your dew-threaded window down, bleared and glazed
By your own eyes, fit, shaped, and draped in elegy
Like yesterday’s news, its darkness delivering sound
Judgments with junk mail. You open the latch at dawn and brown
Yawns with reminiscent light, hints from its night-deep

Throat what allotted secrets whisper deep in the grass –
What this glazed morning addresses: prepackaged elegy
Writ in sound hand, tied with baling cord, wrapped in grocery sack brown.


  1. Jonathan Webb says

    Bittersweet. Very moving. Thanks, Man.

  2. Beautiful, Mr. JOB. I’ve read it three times, the last time aloud, and though I’m not entirely sure what the whole thing adds up to, I really, really like The childhood that furs its small feet with fresh-cut grass.

    • i guess I was playing with the Great Loom of Time and Sisters Fate (‘We are fam-a-lee…!”). Basically, I took a sophisticated view of time and eternity and placed it on a farm. The juxtaposition of sewing with rural things. So back to the drawling board….


    • Slight edits withal.


  3. Who took this photo? Absolutely stunning. So appropriate with these beautiful words.

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