Beneath the trees, where the vixen burrows,

Kicking rime from cold-crisped leaves,

Blackbird scratches tiny furrows,

Patterns in the earth, he weaves.

Feathers ruffled by northwind sighing,

He digs for scarce, elusive grubs,

Cocks his head at the old year’s dying,

Ignores the tumbling roistering cubs.

Scratching, hunting, seasons turning,

Snowclouds billow where the grey geese fly,

In the sky a black sun burning,

Snowflakes drift where spring seeds lie.

And far away, where the northwind mutters,

Where white bears stalk the fat-sleek seal,

The ocean rolls, the white gull flutters,

Round and round the eternal wheel.