November 30, 2005

Early Winter Poem on the Hill in Lanark

A crunching frost last evening in the highlands,
the lambent moon high above the trees,
an embracing darkness and the
aurora borealis dancing over the hill.
An early winter stillness flowing like a shadow
down the trail below the oak trees at twilight.

Winter stirs among the short days,
the whisper of cold moons to come,
the rattling dry breath of the long nights,
like these old bones that move creaking
through the brown grass, dead leaves and fallen twigs

Patterns everywhere, and not of my making,
but the Old Wild Mother's weaving,
marbled stones, hoary branches, mottled leaves,
prints of wolf and deer along the trail,
puddles deep in the wooded hollows rimed with ice,
shreds of tattered birch bark blowing free.

There are ghost scents on the wind this evening,
of fresh turned earth and summer fields,
There are echoes of the wild geese going south,
the old rail fence creaking when I leaned on it at dusk in June.
If I listen, I can hear the stream moving away in the gorge.

"Rest now sister," it tells me in its hollow voice.
"Rest you now, for all things turn in time, and we,
like the seasons, must await the time of our tuning."