terra Tara terrene, doncha know the earth is a virgo queen (of the long roads and the sun, or tractors and loams on the edge of the world) /

The last or small towns in figurative and literal sunsets. The winter dusk waiting in some line of
dusks to have its descent upon vast, vast, impossibly vast lands. Also, to a discerning eye, a
notification sign affixed to a pole or stick denoting the future conversion of the lands of business,
residential, or other designations. But first the king winter moment of seconds and years—roads
like causeways and the old barns sometimes peaking up— hill, flatland, on concrete forms.
Pastel blue. Garden variety red. Muted green and also grey. River, lake, estuary. Many towns
have the same street names. Old church. Little store. Eatery. Stationary. Outskirts are factory,
train tracks, old buildings for lease or sale but some just abandoned—concrete ghosts and some
paper or drape dances in the cold wind alone outside a single pane broken window. Way back the
tree line, evergreens, birches, other. The ancient sun still strong, slightly warming. Feed corn
fields. Aren’t the dwellers of houses alone, lonesome, melancholic, ruefully ruled by Saturn even
on an otherwise sunny Saturday? Maybe. Maybe not. Blackbird. Owl. Hawk. Water flows and
other water is frozen. Frozen and flow. Flow and frozen. I watch the clouds. I look for a sign or
marker perhaps metaphysical. I don’t know why. Everything crisp and still and clean. The rains
and snow have attached to millions of branches and stayed. A sudden gust and a sudden guest.
The spirit of some thing that stretches beyond the length of the road.


Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian poet and nature photographer. Recent work appears at The Notre Dame Review.