A time of waiting

For the earthweal open link weekend.

january dawn frost

This is a time of waiting
for the light then the lit fire
the cold chased into the far corners
and the sun to rise perhaps
above the banks of fog.

Of waiting for the night
to close
then open on a million stars
and the cold to sharpen like
badger claws in the frozen bank

A cold time of watching
for signs that warm is swelling
the quick bursts of birdwings
and tracks through the frost.

This is a time of dark brilliance
shadows behind the sharp edge
of every blade, a blood-slowing deep time
and I long for it to end.

Hope in question

Posting this one to earthweal.


Cold comes in the answer
and snow in the wind,
furrows fill with white, while
growling incandescence consumes
branch and twig
in our invocation of the sun we have lost
in the dark night of winter.

In the morning,
the embers cold and pitted with deer tracks,
ash streams, the wind still bitter.

Ice cracks in the north
with a dark voice full of teeth,
and in the wood
a thrush is singing.

Winter chimes

For the earthweal solstice bell challenge.


No bells rang here to break up the cloud
with silver sound, the echoing notes
of rivers flowing beneath earth and rock,
weaving veined chords from then
to now and beyond.

Sky squatted dark and heavy-jowled on the hill,
swallowed moon and stars, and how will we know
the time, how measure this great darkness,
how know when it has ended?

No bells rang to summon or alarm,
but the hart, sharp-hoofed, ran about the house
across the weeping grass and leapt the ditch.
Fox slipped through a fox hole, while the rain fell
cold as an empty seat in an empty house.

No bells rang here, no call to bow the head,
only the bull-bellow of the wind
that marks the turning of the world from dark
to light, and whether tomorrow comes bright
or grey as the pits of the sea,
the robin will sing in a poplar tree.

Black the day


Black the day of damp and squally rain
though the grass sea is still
and only the trees complain
of creaking joints

and about the house
a constant twitter of scavengers
bright-winged bright-tongued darting
from rose hips to the sad-leafed hornbeam.

Yet though the bird-mist colours
a wreath of red-blooded feathered life
black is still the cloud leaking its bellied rain
into the furrows

and the world sighs
between the loss of the sun
and the birthing of unseen roots.

In the air

Photo ©Beverly Orozco


No darker than the last night,
no colder beneath the same stars
and flood-lit moon,

but the leaves have lost their voices
once fallen, and the drifts crisped dry again
beneath a tardy sun

await the wind that comes from the north,
carrying unflinching skeins of geese,
and sweeps with relentless strokes
before the sill of winter.