the wind remarks
to the old oak and young willow,
in a season when all is loss
and fields are fallow.
Leaves have flown
on the wings of migratory birds
and furred creatures have burrowed
deep into the cold earth,
gravely sleeping under cover of frost
The year dies,
resting on its hind legs
upright until the end.
The quiet resignation
of the turning earth,
its rotation of season
Everything is vanity,
reminds the wind.
All life stills in the end,
cold as stone in the deepest winter,
certain as old oaks stand sturdy
and young willows weep and bend.
In the November wood,
small furred creatures scurry
through the drizzle dampened leaves
making their way toward winter
and December snows.
Silent as the low gray skies,
the old grizzled crow sits in the dead hickory
contemplating the seasons change
and the cost of flight
and winter hunger.
Colors are muted
as well as sound
in the damp November wood.
Stillness settles in the shadowed trees.
Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.
the symbol of grace
an empty bowl
a broken heart
wretched and worn
I fall praying only
and the reconciliation
of autumn rain
deep throated thunder
distant as grief
present as oncoming gray
I reconcile my fear and anger
with oncoming winter
and my fall from grace
Winter and I have become acquainted,
the way old neighbors do,
with tall fences and barking dogs,
but knowing the other is there,
just biding our time.
Time moves in a circle-
a helix strand –
not linear, point to point,
but rising with the thermals
on the wings of large, dark birds.
The clouds stand still in the early winter sky
As if a breathless wind held them close
Looking to see if you withdraw your hand
I reach for you and always find you
Red maple leaves scattered across the path
Dried bits of life once vibrant
I search your eyes to see if our love
Has dried to dust
And I always find it
Winters chill settles deep into the landscape
Sharp frost rings the rattling grass
I lean in for protection against the cold
Longing for your warm embrace
And I find it
our breath mingles
creating tiny snowflakes
that rise in the north wind
delicate ice crystals
float with sparks
from the solstice fire
bright little boats on a celestial sea
rising embers sailing across the deep blue
ocean of stars
sparkling bright in the first winter night
We were walking with friends
behind their Minnesota farmhouse,
fields of cornstubble stretching to the winter gray horizon.
Suddenly from under our feet-
a heart stopping flash –
all feathers and noise and wings,
a vision of gold calling in alarm.
With our pulses pounding,
we watched the pheasant disappear.
We laughed at our fear
and marveled at the beauty and wonder
of what we had seen.
This must be what the shepherds felt
in a field a long time ago,
when they flushed
a covey of angels.
***This is a poem written many years ago but still one of my favorites. May you be surprised by joy and wonder during this Christmas season – K