Winter’s Grace by the Numbers

How might I count the days?


By the sounds of rain

On a field at night?


Or should I tally mornings

Of fickle, teasing light,

On the edges of storms?


Could it be the screeching egret,

High overhead in dark skies,

Framing chilling air into promises

Of frosty tinkerings.


How might I add these days?

Where a single leaf,

Bright star fluttering,

Shuffles to rest,

To dream in the soft cradle of spring.

A Climate Lament

My sweet river

Where have you gone?


I knew you

Of bygone places

Wrapped in icy mornings

Beyond time.


Sweet songs of your seasons

Passing stories

Like childrens secrets,

Magical and suprising,

Refreshingly indifferent.


That was us.


Among your soft curves,

bantering about,

Often silenced in reveries,

While whispers passed across

Your eyes

Sparkling of emerald dreams.


Not you,

Not me,

But this.


Different now

In a sadness.


In the bony grip

of a relentless routine


And unwelcome.

Framing the Wind – a first draft before it all goes away

How the light catches this corner of the kitchen now.

Some effusive glow that might have left us spellbound

And captive to a late afternoon pause.

But that corner hides dust and crumbs

Winters droppings and excuses and dark things.


This time there will be no pagan contemplation

Of this full circle before us.

No, this light pulls us away from the long dark

Where we lived maybe close within ourselves,


In a way that accumulated warmth and a dim light can do,

Pulling you in while tempting you out

In short fidgety bouts.


Now, with almost forgotten suddenness,

Light piles through the window

Like the first time

When it pulled us out there.

A long ways from there.


And once out that door,

A long ways from here.

Convinced there were ghosts out there.

This is that time:


The long fetch up the hill:

Landscapes of new Spring grass

Flailing and moving.

Ever with the hard line of something

Hidden just over the hill

Waiting to knock at that broad, dark door.

Light now streaking through its edges.

Cheshire Winter

I remember tracing

Across the pale silvery worlds

Of sharpened sounds

Lit by January moons.


Curse you,

Impatient rain,

And how you fidget!


Casting this land

Into a great serpentine lapse,

Of water and light

With everything sparkling

On a mid-winter’s night.

Days of Rain…… (or: Dought part 2)

In other years,

Those times, now hastily sealed in envelopes,

Memories of those days of rain:

An incessant November after a scorched Halloween,

Or cold February rain, broken by snow,

Gusting loud and clear that afternoon,

In another damp celebration,

To the beat of scowling wind and staccato raindrops.


Winter’s pulse traced across every window.


Then, rivers of emerald velvet,

Concealing cobbled dreams,

The electricity of fish,

And the hard lines of trees

Against soft winter skies.


We dreamed of things outside us.


Now, we wake in the crisp, tingling night

Like the sound of a pin snapping,

Where it lingers on the cold edge of dawn

And stretches under the long fetch of winter sun.


Summer’s long pause distilled and bare.


These days trudge on,

Held fast under shadowy chill

Where summer escaped,

As we wonder if it ever left.


We will remember this time.

Time of the Valley

 Away from the coast, for several days in June,

Where the river bends broad and wide, Spring holds on,

Giving way to an old vibrancy still lingering in the valley.

A chance morning rain: warm, brief, light as a whisper,

Sharpening the songs of birds and painting the last flowers across fields

Between dwellings added on to over the years.

The kinds of homes that either gather character, or become ramshackle.

If you are not careful, this seems like the way it always should be.


Look across the green fields, and see an old tractor here and over there,

Now rusted fossils of moving days, times of hard work,

And lazy Sunday afternoons, when kids would skip stones across the river.


A metal-sided shop, banged, dented and dulled,

Held fast by the thorns of blackberry vines,

Now only kept clear near a single door:

An oil stained opening to more rust, stories and passed toils.

Somewhere, in there, sometime, things just stopped.

But the smell of grease still lingers, over the tinge of mice and cobweb.


You don’t have to be careful in August, days of relentless sun and heat:

Wilting everything into tangled, thorny masses

Covering once proud fences, and clutching old projects

Long enough for them to wither of procrastination on hot, windless afternoons,

When soil bakes into hard, aching sticker-ridden swaths,

And old metal sorely creaks and groans,

Thirsting for the first cheating rain of late September.


If you are not careful, and forget this time,

When the soul of this place was able to pause

And exhale the long breath of relief,

you will be swallowed whole in this empty celebration.