Thursday, February 5, 2015


Listen. This will matter in the end.

Stepwise from the hill, the gulley curved,
Serpentine, between the fields and trees.
One step brought it up against a fence;
Shattered sticks collected there like bones.
Water spread behind them in a marsh,
Walled in by the fortress of the spruce,
Cedared on the other slope. Concealed.

Winter afternoons pulled shadows out,
Lay them, blue, upon the snow to fade.
One spot near the bones collected light,
Sprayed it back in spectral powder hues.
Timed correctly, visiting revealed
Galaxies of colour on the snow.

Spring will take the snow and bring the flood.
Water drains away; then you can see,
Buried to the rim beside the creek,
Built with all the care of any house,
Coffin-like, a box of water: clean,
Clear down to the floor where day reveals
White sand smuggled from the mountainside,
Spread upon the clay by piercing rain.
Box of water? Box of sand? A door?

Step aside a pace or two: a tree,
Dead and naked, shorter than a man.
Wedged today between one bough and branch,
Open to the air: a tiny jar,
Grey with greasy foulness. Right above,
Hanging upside down with wings outspread
(Death could not remove its urge to glide),
Strung up by its feet, a heron.

Have I told this tale without a key,
Kept you from catharsis? My regrets.
Be assured, these images from life
Beckon me to think about the past
Sealed up in my skull. When I am dead,
When my head is gone, my past will die.
Here: a glimpse, ephemeral, for you.

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