One Night

One Night
by Juan Ramon Jimenez

The ancient spiders with a flatten spread
Their misty marvels through
the withered flowers.
The windows, by the moonlight
pierced, wound shed
their trembling garlands pale
across the bowers.

The balconies looked over to the south;
the might was one immortal and serene;
From field afar the newborn spring times’ mouth
wafted a breath of sweetness o’er the scene.

How silent! Grief had hushed its spectral moan
Among the shadowy roses of the sward;
Love was a fable–in shadow & overthrow
Trooped back in my rides from oblivion’s ward.

The garden’s voice was all–empires had died–
The azure stars all the outcries provide
With silver crowned me there, remote and lone.

One night appeared in Hispanic Anthology (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1920).
Juan Ramon Jimenez Mantecon was a Spanish poet awarded the
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956. His many works include
La Soledad Sonora (Revista de Archivos, 1911) among others.
He died on May 29, 1958.

Early Winter Haiku

dwindling frog song
as weather begins to cool

banish the Covid virus 


I bet he will write again

why do I invest my precious hour
writing poems that lead me to dead end?
the man with MFA rants.
I will never write again. 
He is just one of us many poets
struggling with bills to pay.
How long can he survive not holding the pen?
I bet he will write again soon,
longs to see, at the tip of the pen,
the lovely fairy that delivers the pieces
to some generous editors who hate rejections;
she even surprises him with near miss prize.
Pleasure of sharing my word with the world
is too much to trash,
he will shout in the wee hour, long live the poetry!    

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©Byung A. Fallgren

Sound of One October Afternoon

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Sound of One October Afternoon

In the backyard, when read a book,
with the warm sun by my side,
myriad sounds tease my ears.

Sound of apple in the tree ripening,
its aroma, green yet sweet in the eyes;
at the children on the scooters the dog barks;
a flock of doves’ coo, flashing the patterns
in the near sky, flying artists;
the lone bumble bee groans,
hovering over the withered blooms, grumbling,
where do all the others go?

A stealth approach, silent yet loud,
in my inner ear as the time:
two brothers, with the slender and delicate
antlers, bucks!
their curious eyes on me,
what’s that lady on the chair doing?

I smile, a long smile, until they turn and
moon, their white moons, and trot off.
I brush off and get up, grateful for
the blissful moment, untainted
by the somber world bruised.
Embraces me silence,
etches in my mind a note. I miss you.

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©Byung A. Fallgren

Late Delivery

Late Delivery

We’ll call you fifteen minutes before heading
your place, the man on the phone says.
Two new recliners, replacing the old couch,
full of ancient dust and stories, will soon be
the beloved in our living room.
All day I wait for his call. No call. When the twilight
vanishes from the junipers, I close the little gate, draw
the curtains, retire to my room, and read the paper:
A delivery man killed an elderly woman for money…
The phone jingles, splintering the silence in the house.
We’ll be there in twenty minutes, ma’am, says the gruff voice.
He hung up, cutting my urgent plea, come tomorrow.
I look outside the window across the dark street at
the neighbor’s unlit window. The couple must be
in bed by now.
What if…? I shudder at the possible horror, while
alone. He won’t return tonight.
I brave calling the neighbor and tell her the situation.
We’ll watch for you. Her voice, sisterly.
Her window re-lit.
Thank you.
A big van’s headlight creeps up at the corner
of the street, pulls up in front of my house.
Swung out of the van is a short, dark man, followed
by a tall, young man, their faces blurry in the dim light.
The way they lumber toward me menacing enough;
they could be bad wolves, pretending delivery men.
Neighbor’s dark silhouette in the window, assures me.
When, finally, in the light, they reveal their faces,
I sigh; they don’t look like thugs. But thugs don’t
look like thugs, do they?
Calming my heart, I say, are you boys usually work
this late?
Yes, ma’am. Sorry for the late delivery.
They strut back to the van and bring the chairs out,
put them in my living room, and say,
Have a goodnight, ma’am.
Have a goodnight, you two. 
As the van leaves, I wave to the neighbor in the window.
Our smiles, two floating stars, lost in the dark night.


©Byung A. Fallgren

The View on the side of the Road

The View on the Side of the Road

Silver sky and the land join in the sea of smog;
submerged, the wind turbines wave their arms,
like drowning octopuses.

Drying lake gives her way to the green invaders,
like old soldiers with no weapons.
The smoke will dwindle with the winter’s arrival;
dried lake will begin to refill
as the irrigation stops
in October.

Nature replenishes what she has lost,
but she cannot revive the perished creatures;
polar bears, beavers, and others may live only
in the children’s story books.
In the smoke, the wind turbines point fingers,
as we panic at the foot of the crumbling hills,
fumbling on the plans on the surface of the sea.

©Byung A Fallgren