To the four winds


South wind bends the slender stems
Of flowers bowed beneath its light caress
Scattering the perfume gathered in cool bowls
Of petals cupped around the flowers’ heart.
Wind from the west blusters and blows
Herding rain clouds straight from the sea
Barging the skeins of voyaging geese
Tossing light and shade from a changing sky.
Cold bites hard when the wind’s in the east
Dry and bitter with the arid taste of steppes
Ruffling the feathers of huddled birds
Sweeping the sky smooth as an icebound lake.
But when the winter wind roars from the icefields of the north
I hear ancient sagas in its chilly voice
Told beneath the smoky beams of halls that rotted long ago
Tossed upon the backs of glassy waves
And chanted by the sea grey clouds
Rowing the turbulent snowy sky.

Three storm haikus


River ravels rafts
Water-lashed broken branches
Gulls perch storm trophies.

The garden trembles
With Atlantic gusts—rose bows
Scattering petals.

Black cloud spews torrents
Rods of pewter rain slew slick
Lightning-streaked chaos.



Ghost tree, the silvery poplar
When the north wind sharpens its edge
And bends the boughs along the bank
And ruffles its hand through the sedge.
Ghostly the voices that murmur
In the branches that scratch at the eaves
The sedge sighs and whispers in sadness
To the poplars’ wind-rattled leaves.
The high tide carries wild voices
When the wind scatters silvery frost
But only the poplars listen
And repeat the songs of the lost.
The countryfolk hear the lamenting
In the north wind and stop their ears
Gainst the keening that wails through the poplars
The death songs that nobody hears.

The wind in the poplars


The wind from the sea
Soughs in the trees
Its sinister hiss
Like the song of the surf
As it rakes through the debris
Left by the tides
And spits out the pebbles
That stick in its craw.
Wind shakes the branches
Playing the dirge
Of drowned souls and dead stones
Full fathom five
Where cold water rolls
And above the wind cries
With their voice in the leaves
To the wide open sky.