In the Bleak MidWinter

Lake in snow Dec 2013

In the Bleak Midwinter

rime crusted snow
printed with track of fox and rabbit
a race to the burrow
where the vixen fell short
of feeding her hungry kits
and the swift hare lives to dance again

ice embossed tridents of bird track
gray dove feathers
spots of crimson blood
where the snowy owl found his target
and lives to hunt once more

runes of bone cast in the starlight
iridescent scales gleam
where the cold flesh of fish was devoured
and the silken mink lives to swim again

silently, the stars appear
where Orion hunts his nightly prey
life and death in the winter meadow
under the solstice moon

*** On our short hikes in this beautiful snow, we find tracks of all our fellow inhabitants that move mostly unseen – fox, deer, coyote, rabbit – and sometimes we run across evidence of the hunt.
All a part of the course of our seasons – K

24 thoughts on “In the Bleak MidWinter

  1. A beautiful observation of hidden nature – evidence only found in tracks and scattered bones and feathers. Tis a wonderful season – but for some of Earths fellow inhabitants – a difficult time.
    Anna :o]

  2. Kathleen, this is an exceptional poem…teeming with the foxes and the vixen and the snow, and all there is in life that is to celebrate and applaud and rejoice in, even in midst of the bleak Midwinter. Sigh. I have had an appointment with nature’s beauty in your words. with fond thoughts, Dee

  3. Wow, Kathleen, you present death that is life in each stanza of your poem so that–except for the fox’s kits–I can have no regret for the crunch of bone and the red of blood, no doubt that Orion meant the same thing and we too are separated by only a step or maybe none.

  4. Lots between the lines here, Kath, the crackling of your footsteps, the wind’s woodwind sonata, the ice decorations on the spiderwebs, rail fences, bald rocks–loved the puffs of breath I could see between & off the words as your breath became a mini-weather system; loved the refrain of dancing, hunting, & swimming; a joyful, brutal, honest glimpse of the darker side of Hallmark holiday imagery.

  5. Nature is not sentimental. My grandmother was a farmer and she used to say that only city folk can afford to be sentimental: nature itself is cruel but fair. Sometimes you win and sometimes the other wins. But life itself is renewed annually.

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