Author Feature - March 2022

John Muro is a resident of Connecticut and a graduate of Trinity College, Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut. His professional career has been dedicated to conservation and environmental stewardship. In the Lilac Hour, John’s first volume of poems, was published in 2020 by Antrim House, and the book is available on Amazon. His poems have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Barnstorm, Euphony, Grey Sparrow, Open Door, River Heron, Sky Island and Vita Brevis. He is a two-time, 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee and his second volume of poems, Pastoral Suite, will be published this spring.

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In the lilac hour,

The growing green season slows

The ache to fruit and flower

Recedes. The want to grow,

For a time,

Gives way to a soft easing

And a divine

Purpling of grass and trees.

Wind is quelled,

The mellifluous sparrow,

The tumbled crunch of gravel

Underfoot, hushed; the glow

Of oriole-bright lanterns,

Displaces a moon of shook foil,

Stars in leaf-bowed branches burn

And burn; ash drifts to soil.

A damp fragrance lingers

Grafts to tongue

And so, to ear, creak of hinge

From the garden gate.


Now, the brighter blur, 

The quickening of things,

Before the ever after. 



Sunlit fingers uninvited come

Prying open windows,

Turning out bedquilts

And rearranging the larder;

Winter-weary eyes lift from earth 

And the garden’s stubble.

The season we’re turning from

Was long in leaving and slow

To stray. All things blue wilted,

Including the sky. All was harder

And hardened; a still-birthed

Season from which we still stumble.

Above eaves, ice-laden gutters run;

Cold is easing. A near-liquid flow

Of water and snow-matted

Stones that will fall back to yard.

Most are small in girth,

Red-brown and umber.    


There’s beauty in the undone

And the unkempt, though.

Consider the orphaned crow’s

Dull sheen; search is harder,

Surely, but blue’s unearthed

Hearing with eyes half full.



In this hour of respite

Tangled in drooping dark,

Porch lights turning out

Stars brittle-bright spit.

Frail senses wander,

Spy the flitting black

Smudge of bats; crack

Of doors that linger

Long on pneumatic air;

Pondside, the muffled plop

Of a kingfisher, perhaps,

Pitched clear

Of willow. Lavender

Scents from the garden

Bite; a distracted wren

Discerned in a queer

Shaft of moonlight. 

Most made to mean 

Something between

The darkness and light.



All becomes more alien as we age;

The life we inhabited is lifted; set apart;

Something known, but strange,

Giving way to a slow,  

Certain ending.

The mind is dumbstruck; and the rage

Fixed within this frail, four-chambered heart

Fades to cold; orange

Embers once glowing

Now are abiding

Ash. Wants matter so very little now;

The loam-rich earth and foam-flecked sea

Call to us, 

Diminished senses still


The brute turning out of a life ill-spent; bowed              

And broken; a raw, frail design too easily

Frayed brimming with decay and rust;

Fragments settle –

To field or foam lying.


Enter, then, with steps long and slow,

And extinguish this aging heart;

Let me, for once, feel as though –

However uneasily –

Life’s been worth trying.