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Excerpt for Where the Leaves Darken by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

WHERE THE LEAVES DARKEN


WHERE THE LEAVES DARKEN


A Collection of Poems By


STEVEN PELCMAN



Adelaide Books

New York / Lisbon

2018


WHERE THE LEAVES DARKEN


A Collection of Poems

By Steven Pelcman


Copyright © 2018 By Steven Pelcman

Cover Image © 2018 Steven Pelcman


Published by Adelaide Books, New York / Lisbon


Cover design & Interior Formatting:

Adelaide Books DBA, New York


Editor-in-Chief

Stevan V. Nikolic


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any

manner whatsoever without written permission from the author except

in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.


For any information, please contact Adelaide Books

at info@adelaidebooks.org

or write to

Adelaide Books

244 Fifth Avenue, Suite D27

New York, NY, 10001


ISBN13: 978-1-950437-23-8

ISBN10: 1-950437-23-X


Dedicated to Mom and Dad

And to Lola



The road is worn

By shades of light

Until we reach a spot

Where the leaves darken


Steven Pelcman


WILD ROSE

(For Lola)



As a sweet goddess

you run your perfume

with gentle wind.


Mother of queen bee

and victim of hand

and heart, you spread


your wings as a seasoned

veteran and summer virgin

in prayer that sits


in judgment flowering

of dark red among wild green

to become the purest lover


that breathes life and death

and dares autumn

to keep summer in its breast.


Steven Pelcman


CONTENTS



Summer in the Catskills

Velvet: A Cocker Spaniel’s Story

A Tree Speaks Out in Winter

Sunday Morning on Madeira

Bird Song

In New Orleans, an Old Black Man Tells You about the South

Pilgrimage Ends at Fátima

A Hospital View

Voices

Sunrise over La Gomera

An Ending

My Father’s Bicycle

Sea Lions on California Coast

An Irish Voice

Teenage Mother

First Morning Tram

Chapel of Bones

Homeless

Last Visit

Notes from Eastern Germany

Oma and Her Cat

The Last Time I Saw My Sister

Painting of Witnesses on the Road to the Crucifixion

Jerusalem

Under the Pantheon in Paris Where the Righteous are Buried

The Color of History Will Break Your Heart

New Year’s Day in Prague

The Waiting

A Cup of Tea

Old Man Walking to Market Place in Early Spring

Giverny

Easter Spring Walk

Meditation

Cats

A Tourist’s Welcome

Florida Turkeys Running Wild

Fishing on the Galata Bridge

Remembering Marrakech

Sidewalk Bakery

Lorelei

A Quiet, Lonely Room for Dying

Concentration Camp Number 144988

The Last Train to Auschwitz

A Father’s Last Seven Days

Anne Frank Speaks

Looking Down while Walking

Waiting at Night

A Proper Place

A Mother’s Final Journey

A Father Leaving

Madrid

Hailfingen-Tailfingen 1944-45

Toulouse

The World Beneath

A Giraffe Surprises Us

Spring

Every Season

Keystone Cowboy

Three Graves

A Sad Tune

About the Author

Publishing Credits


Summer in the Catskills



Once home was the smell

of wild strawberries

gloating on bushes

changing the summer air


in a tangled circus

of ancient trees

behind the small bungalow

we stayed in each summer.


I refused to hold

my sister’s hand

as we skipped

and shuffled


along the dirt paths

of the circled rim

of forest that deer

poke their heads through


in the golden ring

of darkness that settled

above us in the musty

wooden coolness.


The dark was darker then

and as the sun stirred

the air baby-red,

the knotty pine that drifted


my way scared me

with its carnival masks

and new-born distortions

and earthy silence.


My sister was

oblivious to the wind,

to the encroaching breathing

not our own


to the sounds

we thought we heard

of running water

over polished stone


as she held onto me

in the darkness

I could barely touch

or see through.


We began to run

through cobwebs

and clouds of mosquitoes

that hung in the air


dropping our mother’s bowl

of strawberries

bleeding over dry leaves

and caked mud


until we reached

the backside of the bungalow’s

slant boards and spidery windows

out of breath.


We wondered if forests

talk to other children

or if it was a secret

all our own.


Velvet: A Cocker Spaniel’s Story



Cheri says the kids like to play

outside in the countryside

of upstate New York


where the occasional criminal

is a black bear

tossing aside garbage cans


or a deer darting

in and out of the wood

that surrounds the property.


But Velvet always accompanies

Deanna and Justin as she rolls

in the first dreams of early


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