Lovers: A Homily

Gordon Osing


ISBN 978-1-944682-49-1       64 pages      $10.00

A Gift of December


Leaves turned russet and yellow lakeside,

the hills prove late blooming a possibility,

rescinding for a while the promise of songs

about the austere stages of romance, and worse,

black sticks and branches overhanging this

my own world. I know whose woods

these are. And I have only today to get

something right, which means finding me

in this momentariness. So what’s new in that?

Forgive the old fashioned verse and the Frost

plug. (He’s hard to get around.) Who knows

but that tomorrow crucial witnessing is withdrawn

and the heart of the mind of the soul with it.

How to live wholly for a while is what one gets.


Happily a poem once begun writes itself,

as if there were such things as the laws

of songs. Well there are. (Blame Bach.)

They’re there but you don’t know till after

the first line. And the last furnishes closure,

as in fiction. (Those in this trade know what

I mean.) Now, what about today, this hour,

this morning that has night for accompaniment.

I watch all morning the leaves furnishing

my day’s yellow light and it narrows,

invents the eye, the same eye that survives

the dark and the ruins that must soon become

the hills. My only hope is my selves endure

in what I am unable to complete.

Gordon Osing is Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at the University of Memphis, where he founded the River City Visiting Writers Series.