The days are shorter, sharper is the air

The days are shorter, sharper is the air

and when, within the dog rose hipped and barbed,
the robin, winter king, in russet garbed,
clicks his tongue to summon to his side
bright-painted finch wings, redstart-bobbing tails,
we know that autumn’s come, it rides the tide,
with flame-red sails unfurled to catch the gales.

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#Three Line Tales: Snow

For Sonya’s three line tales prompt.

photo by Clever Visuals via Unsplash

tltweek157

Robin sits on the empty feeder with feathers ruffled by the wind and cold combing through the fluffy down next to its skin.

The feeder is empty like the countryside, fallen quiet because they have all gone away, leaving only snow behind them.

Robin peers through the falling flakes, smells only winter in the wind and knows, somehow, in the cold creeping ever closer to the warm core of its tiny body, that this winter will never end.

Microfiction #writephoto: New dawn

For Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt.

cracked-ice

The last ship left with its huddled masses for another solar system, abandoning the blue planet sucked dry and arid. When the old sun set for the last time, Earth’s skin cracked, and her last sigh froze in the glacial cold. In the silence and the darkness, the spinning Earth felt a jolt, and a tremor ran through the soil and the rock. A new star was calling across the universe. Slowly, then faster, night followed day followed night, so fast and so far, pulled by the young star, pulsing brighter with every parsec Earth covered.

Earth locked into her new orbit, and the first dawn broke in all the hues the old world had ever know, washed clean by the winds of space and warmed by the power of the young star. The ice melted, the soil warmed and shivered with pleasure, sifting and shifting seeds and roots. In deep burrows and earths, in river mud and deep sea sand, life stretched. Nests with cold eggs basked in the growing heat, and in the heart of a jungle of dry brambles, eggs hatched. Later, soon, when the first leaves unfurled green and tender, a brown bird with a red throat shook out his feathers and began his song, the first song in the new world that said: winter is over.

Into the dark, the robin sings

Photo©Brian Robert Marshall

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Into the dark, the robin sings,

Notes fall sweet as summer-ripe fruit,

Crystal clear, a cascade of song.

 

Autumn gathers like storm grey cloud,

Days grow shorter; the wind blows cold,

Into the dark, the robin sings.

 

Muttered voices call in the gale,

Waves pound on the distant strand, yet

Notes fall sweet as summer-ripe fruit.

 

The world is turning; the night begins,

Still robin pours from tiny throat,

Crystal clear, a cascade of song.

Last songs

ruszczyc_autumn_landscape

Though blackbird’s song is hushed, his eye’s still bright,

Searching through dead leaves while lasts the light,

The wind blows brusque and sharper every day,

No ruffled feathers keep the cold away.

Ripe fruit falls and bruises on the ground,

Too late for wasps, leaf fall the only sound.

 

From summer-weary birch tree boughs I hear

The robin’s song of notes, as sharp and clear

As icy water trickling in a rill,

As starlight glittering on a snowy hill,

Reminding me, sure as night fades at dawn,

That this sweet summer too is almost gone.

Winter King

I sent in a couple of pantoums to Three Drops from a Cauldron magazine. One of them will feature in the 2016 Winter Special, but this one missed the boat being a February poem. I’ll post it now while it’s still Brigid’s month.

Photo ©Frank Vassen

1280px-European_robin_(Erithacus_rubecula),_Parc_du_Rouge-Cloître,_Bruxelles_(15547988583)

Winter King stands before his hall,

Cold stars in his beard, ice in his breath,

Green shoots in the snow by the rath wall,

Robin sings loud, defying cold death.

 

Cold stars in his beard, ice in his breath,

Winter’s king claps his broad red hands,

Robin sings loud, defying cold death,

Night falls silent on Winter King’s lands.

 

Winter’s king claps his broad red hands,

Fire dies in the hearth so cold,

Night falls silent on Winter King’s lands,

No fire to blaze, no tales will be told.

 

Fire dies in the hearth so cold,

Across the fields she comes, she strides,

No fire to blaze, no tales will be told,

She comes from where the gentle hind hides.

 

Across the fields she comes, she strides,

With robin’s bright song she brings the spring,

She comes from where the gentle hind hides,

Snowdrops pierce and geese on the wing.

 

With robin’s bright song she brings the spring,

Winter king stands before his hall,

Snowdrops pierce and geese on the wing,

Green shoots in the snow by the rath wall.