The evergreens haunt the vineyard’s margin, encircling the bare
Truck-and-backhoe mangled hill from whose dry crest I stare

Across the lines of planted vines, in early spring; their dry
And lightening bark like chicken feet clutching at the sky.

The gravel spread about their husks reflects in crystaled gray
The inchoate heat the season brings educing each new spray;

And sour tar pearls dulled with dust bud on their fragile tendrils.
This is a time of promise and terror, an age that snares men’s wills,

And holds their eyes upon the living leaf, whose veined underside
Is death, and on these mildewed stakes, where fruit to rot is tied.

I too am here, it blurts in mud, it hums along the wires
Strung with notes of pinot noir, and gargles in the fire.

The cold wind cuts in from the lake. The season soon will turn
And, in its humid forgetfulness, prepare a darker turn.