Today they are still here,
and I am too, in late September.
My hummingbird pair. One darts in
to feed, the other perches
drinking deeply, tipping her head back
to let the nectar slide.
I feel that energy sweet and cool
down my throat.
Their absence looms, a large bell
with muffled clappers tolling
unopposed, reddening the trees,
exiling light, ushering in cold.
Lately the question, will they
visit me again, or will there be
someone else looking out my window
twelve months on?
Each year it is harder let them go,
as if there were a choice.
outside my door the guard has changed
a day of wet and gloomy gray
whisked off by racing clouds
abdicated winter steps in minuet retreat
the sullen blue gray glow of rained on slate
is caught by short lived slants of morning sun
and wind, a small all-hands treetop voice
is loath to roar (for now)
the dripping cloak that wraps this house
begins to dry and shed small gleams
the morning raven fly by
lacking winter urgency
green daffy blades push up
brash in return, migrating from the soil
no longer threatened accidents
almost time to prune and clear a way
for the celadon and smell of spring
I’m mindful that March in New Hampshire is fickle, and for a good long while snow will be a possibility. the path to spring is never straight up here.
in the end the day
brought almost nothing
waiting for the thrash of winter’s fist
to stop us cold
a flick of indecisive wrist
a shadow of much bigger kin
spewing this and that
a weaving mincing minuet
danced by a drunken storm
that in the end
picked up its skirts
and ran away to sea
a bit of tongue in cheek this morning. we got off easy yesterday during a noreaster that could have been much worse.
Many days since I have seen a moon
both night and dawn obscured by cloud or rain.
Days of leached out richness
lacking diamond clustered white,
creep fingered winter reaching out
to shackle and restrain my thoughts
till sun regains the upper hand,
tossing me the keys that come with
fledgling green and tender smells of earth
(around an oxbow bend of time and out of sight).
Tonight we have thick, clotted blots of snow,
flake armies blanketing the world, scouting
morning’s aftermath of shapes standing bright
against fresh blue. A constant roar
of moving trees, teeth of the north wind auto harp.
Deep ink heaven once again blown clean,
Diana’s slivered waxing moon
emcees emerging stars, until he comes.
A reaching leap of arms and sword and strength,
his belt the perfect anchor for my eyes,
standing watch, protector of the frozen skies.
I look for Orion each winter, knowing he stands watch over our frozen nights.
even though the days
have turned a corner
and the sun shines boldly
on my pillow once again,
I am stalled in
longbone chilling thoughts
lusting after green and heat
until bursting out to tramp
the blues away, I hear
the white pines talk,
waving over snowbound roots,
the creaking cold of boots
on crystal flakes,
see the angled sun
illuminating dusted white,
a swirl of snow
blown off a tree,
a swarm of frozen gnats
in winter air,
a multitude of hungry
upside down buff teardrops,
our mourning doves in
bundled rows awaiting seed,
ruby pendant berries,
blinks of color over monochrome,
protecting buried nubs of spring,
I turn for home
longing sated once again,
and know I will regret their
While colors fade and drop
as browns and grays emerge
upright leafless spare
The sun finds a new path
closed off before the change
This new light is a gift
an opening of space and beam
delights forgotten while
the world was green
There the gold of larches in the marsh
a roof line now exposed
a barn or field with open sightline to the hills
All these a balm to ease our journey
into winter and the snow
My cousin, the writer Jack Skow, gave me invaluable advice when I showed him this, still not sure if I got it right since then.