Monday, December 30, 2013

Some new goodness

Through the twining leafless boughs
a light came soft into my eyes,
my sleeping spirit to arouse
beneath the grey and shapeless skies.

At the reading of the words:
Mary's union with her Son,
a silence rapt the very birds
for some new goodness had begun.

The calm light and the quietude
lingered in the winter air
and did into my heart intrude,
bestowing grace and longing fair.

And when the brilliancy had waned
beneath the grey and shapeless skies, 
I kept the light that I had gained
within my gently closing eyes.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The End of Autumn

Leaves, like shriveled butterflies,
ride on the last of the autumn sighs,
beyond the reach of birches grasping
with white fingers, while crows rasping
winter incantations, invoke the wind
of the northern wastes now to send
their coldness upon these muted lands;
spruce-maidens wring their tender hands
and shudder together in their green dresses,
as the wind blows wild the golden tresses
of broomsedge copses, beneath the moon
that trespassed the bounds of day too soon,
and now sails high in the gloaming skies
as the last fire of autumn serenely dies.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Courting

From: The Recollections of Judge William Granger (1843 -1935).

Our breathing spawned ghosts into the air
which haunted our winter wanderings there;
the crooked old fingers of frowning trees
shook at us laughing in the frigid breeze;
the noon sun at least seemed glad to shine
upon our path resplendent and fine.
We made our way down to Thornton Force,
which last time frightened your little horse,
so that day we left him behind in his stall;
(we preferred to stroll arm-in-arm withal).
The noise of the waters overwhelmed our ears;
the torrent rushed past like the passing of years;
the passing of years, 'tis now fifty years hence,
and the memory has been dear to me ever since.

Truant from the world he went

From 'Tales and Verses' by C. James Gwyllyn (1871-1914)
Truant from the world he went
into a churchyard outside Kent.
Business had taken him by that way
on a cold but serene December day.
An overnight snow had fallen there
and made of the place a garden fair,
white and hushed beneath the sky,
where the wind was but a gentle sigh.
Among the stones he quietly strolled
as the nearby church-bell deeply tolled.
He stopped to recline beneath an oak,
and to himself these words he spoke:
It must be peaceful underground
undisturbed by sight or sound,
a place to remember and forget,
beneath a snowy coverlet.
The fallen leaves are in repose,
a winter wind now softly blows,
but hidden under the frigid earth,
is a peace of more exquisite worth.
The weary there find lasting slumber
in bed-chambers of sturdy lumber
and in the darkness forever dream
beyond the pale world's fading gleam.
For long moments he sat there very still
then, seemingly by great force of will,
he stood and departed through the gate,
and hurried along, for he was late.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Elle and the Moon

Elle sat with little folded hands
and looked out on the empty lands.
She watched the Sun turn every shade
and then burn low and gently fade.
The Moon rose bright, but upside-down,
and looked upon her with a frown.
"You are too little a girl," said he,
"to be out at night on the grassy sea,
like a primrose lost among the weeds,
but oh! what are those shining beads
threaded upon your soft eyelashes
and falling onto your pretty sashes?"
"Tears," she said, "but leave me be,
I do not wish for company."
"Oh," he remarked, with old eyes blinking
surrounded by hundreds of stars winking,
"you cannot be quite on your own,
my course won't change for you alone."
She made no answer to him, but she
continued sobbing there quietly.
"My dear," he said, "weep if you must
over bitter loss or deeds unjust,
but I must on my night-course pass
over you sitting there in the grass."
She kept in sorrow with head hung low
and he turned his frowning face to go.
Then drawing down to the little miss,
he there bestowed a gentle kiss
upon her cheek which still was wet
from tears that she was shedding yet.
She then looked up into the lamp
that was his face, her eyes still damp,
and saw, where once a frown had been,
the crease of a kindly smile begin.
She stood then drying her bleary eyes
as he made his way across the skies.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wintering Birds

From "The Last Journal of Gwyllyn"
Fly from here, you little birds
chattering bright with happy words;
your fellow kin have fled away -
but you have wings, why do you stay?
Flitting about in airy ruts
seeking to fill your little guts
with rotting berries here all day -
but you have wings, why do you stay?
Your kindred sought a warmer clime
and you stayed here for wintertime
where trees are brown and skies are grey -
but you have wings, why do you stay?
In your winter nests, O sprites,
you must shiver on frigid nights,
and shiver still at light of day -
but you have wings, why do you stay?
You have wings, and strength of life,
so why endure through winter strife?
Your wings could take you far away,
but you have deigned with me to stay.
You have deigned with me to stay
and with me watch the dying day
fade from hues of sombre grey
and into shadows fade away.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Last Date

Journal entry of Richard Edwards: November 15th, 1963.
Her smile was like a weak cup of coffee.
I looked out the window.
Leaves were fulfilling their autumn vows
and fleeing away,
far from scolding fingertips.
The sun was falling asleep,
to dream of moon and stars
and blinking neon.
The town was settled among the hills
and railroad tracks of yesterday.
Colors were fading from the photograph,
having been left in the sun too long.
She was saying something I cannot recall.
I smiled.
She looked out the window.
Night had crept from the shadows
and embraced the world.
But blue neon bathed the parking lot.
She asked if I was finished.
I drank the last of my coffee
and, hand in hand, we departed.