4 January 2017 Leave a comment
23 March 2015 Leave a comment
A week of warmth
Then cold and snow
Wet and heavy
It’s only March
This can go on for weeks
Then wind and rain
The season of mud and broken limbs
The immutable promise
That it will happen
But what will it bring?
Like what we wish for
Must be accepted with care
Especially when they’re mutable.
16 January 2014 Leave a comment
Crows on our snow pile,
Crows in the back yard,
Our frozen crows in January
Put us on our guard. Sleek and black,
Blacker than the snow filled night,
Like the squirrels, they point north.
The rooster on the garage roof points north too.
You’d think there was something good coming that way.
There’s snow and wind and cold,
And it’s been coming that way all night and day.
It’s a January day.
The bird feeder swings back and forth
And round and round.
Sparrows jump on and off, up and down
Like children on and off
A playground merry-go-round,
Laughing, arguing, screaming with delight.
The wind whips and whistles,
Blowing and bending as it goes.
The temperature is sinking, and it’s early still,
But it’s not still. It’s biting.
The wind fills its breath with snow,
Greying the air, filling the lately shoveled walk,
Clouding the car windows,
Merging the leaf pile with the piled snow.
And now they’re gone,
The crows on our snow pile,
The crows in the back yard.
They soared into the tall trees,
Waiting, watching, cawing,
Waiting for January to take its toll.
13 January 2014 1 Comment
Chilling ghosts drift across the heavens.
Fragile fingers spread into a stream,
A suffocating, wan December sky,
Blankets coldly, easing downward,
And, humbly, we succumb.
Thus nullified, we rest,
And try to recover and rebuild.
We breathe slowly, and invest in solemnity.
We design aimlessly and conspire with phantoms.
We plan and plot and prepare. And for what?
We wait. For waiting is the last resort,
The final function, the night watch
When all the leaves have been stripped away,
When the brown ground lies fallow
And the lifeless sky presses down.
We are left on our own, alone at last.
Our winter’s wood has all been cut and stacked.
A kettle’s on the stove. Bread is in the oven.
The door is shut and barred. A lamp is lit.
It’s quiet now, and in the evening,
Dreams, unfulfilled, drift blindly to the ground.
They calm our solitude and sanctify our peace.
And in the spring, there won’t be any tracks.
3 January 2014 Leave a comment
When the water in the dogs’ dish
by the coffee shop door
is a broken chunk of ice,
encasing a single yellow leaf,
When the windshield grows
an inner film of mist as
the defroster tries to thaw
the rime of brittle crystals
that map an early winter vista,
When the last rich aroma of leaf mold,
the warm colors of maples and oaks,
the royal purples and peasant blues
of the asters succumb
to the first hard frost,
That’s when my mortality
stares me in the eye.
5 August 2013 Leave a comment
“As the years have gone along,
Our love it seems has risen and fallen
Like the chorus of a song,
Not sadly or coldly,
Nor badly nor boldly.”
“Not so,” says she.
“There was a time when it was clear,
When love and laughter,
Like sun and rapture,
Wrapped us in warmth and good cheer.”
“Not so much,” she says.
“But this is how it seems to me.”
“The love we have is what we’ve always had.
It’s not the love that’s changed;
It’s the lover.
Not the song but the singer.”
“How can you say that?
My love is part of me,
And thine of thee.
Our sharing is blending of these.”
“No,” says she.
“Love is greater than we.
It binds us to one melody.”
“For me, that cannot be.”
“Let us speak then of truth and other things
Of cabbages—and kings.”
3 February 2013 1 Comment
Another evening, as the light grows dim,
And crystal cold air crackles around the black oak,
The last few sparrows dart and chitter, grabbing one last seed.
Snow drifts down, silent, peaceful and dreamy.
In the dark come the dreams of sun and green.
In the petrifying cold come vague sensations of softness and warmth.
Behind the frozen puffs of breath come phantom whiffs of rain and trees in bloom.
In the deadly grey and black of night come fantastic visions of flowers dancing in the wind –
. Tulips, jonquils, scillas, snowdrops –
. Red, yellow, blue, white –
. White as snow.
Another February night drifts into snowy blackness and dreams of spring.
9 January 2013 Leave a comment
Stands a red bird ‘mongst the sparrows
On my neighbor’s backyard grill,
Indignant at the chaos he endures
There among the raucous chatter
Of the avian rabble’s prattle.
Finds piety counts for nothing on these shores.
But the card’nal works the table,
In the bitter winter snows.
He can’t just spread his wings an’ up an’ go.
6 January 2013 Leave a comment
From the banks and curves of a sunny meadow,
The white road dives
Into a brooding spruce curtain,
Its dark green deepening darker still
Under its emerald arms,
Its tops impaling an infinite sky,
Its deep blue darkening deeper still
Toward a sapphire zenith,
An arc etched on a mountain pass,
Its brilliant white glinting brighter still
Across the diamond crest.
The scene is ever caught, frozen, fixed,
A crystallized, thin-air gasp, instantly silenced,
Beauty motionless, soundless, timeless,
The place between one second
And the next, and now eternal,
Frozen in the ice of time,
Sealed upon the soul’s eye,
A green, blue and white land,
A memory before story,
Met forever one winter day,
A chance unlooked for and profound.
January 2013 – 40 years later