Winter’s Triumph

One quavering note of winded horn,
Was forced aloft, brazen and high, 
Lifted and on winter winds borne,
Upwards through the frozen sky.

It silver echoed from the moon,
Resounded into darkening gloom,
Passed through forests far below,
Tired then swiftly through the snow,
And by such cold was forced to die.

Again the Hunter sounded his call,
Summoning ice from skies to fall,
To sweep the earth with iron death,
With one silent, frosty breath.

One stroke and winter would be his,
The sun could offer no true hope –
Then was triumph of the cold,
That in one night transformed the gold,
To paler light, more blinding, steel.

The forest froze, no creatures sang,
Only the horn of the Hunter rang,
Despairing, the moon watched the sun fall
As Winter came, and conquered all.

Cross of the Rock-shelter River

In a somber light a man passed by
The lonely path which carried him
Through shadow’d gloom within his heart
Without, it shone around him dark.

In day or night there was no change,
For dwelling alone, turned within
Naught to be seen but dull, unending
Living – man’s death with his sin.

So round ensnared by mind and thought
He traveled days and down the hills,
Turning ’round the mystery
Of our enslavement to our wills.

Until there found him forest green
And shaded hollow filled within
Near mottled flecks of violet shade
In feath’ry air, a misty sheen

Where stilled a hushed echo
And little creatures fled
Away from Man as man fled God
The trees clear bled, and green turned grey.

He halted, hearing a new wind
And with the sun’s break in the leaves –
Or was it leaves that broke the light? –
A shiv’ring slice of thought came twining
Through a door outside his mind.

You care for the tree which held Me,
And work with  tools that pierced Me,
But sadness finds you when you look,
At yourself and the faults and failings,
Of the souls I saved through these.


Don’t seal closed the open door,
I stand without a-waiting.
You snare your thoughts in circles,
Bruising your soul with sin,
But find escape, this prison break
When you just let Me in.

Escape not from yourself
Run never from your nature
If God became as one of thee,
You flee – you flee from me.


Find not disgrace in wandering
Deliberations deep,
If you will turn out from within
‘Tis My truth that you seek.

You think you fear Eternity –
But think of it as time,
You trap yourself in creation
Forgetting it is Mine.

While men fight bitter battles,
Rivers of blood red spills,
But the Man alive brings comfort
To the lost soul in the hills.


And as the moon arched high that night,
As sun fled playfully,
In a final jest the great light gave
The flare of the Trinity.

*The photo was taken on the bank of the Androscoggin River at sunset.
Its name comes from the Abenaki or Penobscot dialects, and means ‘River of rock shelters’.




Seaside Battlefield

Oh tell, dark mud, stained and dyed in rivulets of blood,
Why scream harsh tones, the ravens and crows,
Amidst the ash and hellish cries, choking skies
Bone and flesh, metal-torn, bowing to the reaper’s horn?
 
What saw you fading to the years,
What said you against the deafened ears,
To still their hearts to cold hard death?
What wind you stole to take their breath,
How lie you silent, reeking mid-sun,
The first is finished, the war begun.
“Silence, mortal, I am but they
Who in late years have passed this way,
They died to fall and live in me,
Someday to fall into the sea,
Forever roaring battle song

Assaulting ships and wrecking wrong.

“I saw more blood than I can hold,
To them who fell as they faded I told,
Be now at peace, no war can find you
And with new fire their forms flew on,
Kindling stars with battle-song,
The body of old falls deep to me,
Each soul goes to where he would be.
No tempest shrieking moves them now,
Before no conqueror shall they bow.
I lie here famished, glutted in death,
Waiting the tide to cleanse me again,
To send the memory of these wretched men,
To the grave, to the fish, to the birds, to their rest.”
And their memory? is it to be lost
As changing to fog flies the frost?
 
“What matters it now, they know who they are!
Some are remembered for the deeds they achieved,
But remember this, you hot-hearted fool,
Not Achilles would be known if not for the thousands
Who perished before him and after his wake,
Though his victims be piled and burned in red mountains,
Pain and oblivion spurting black fountains,
Leaving behind them ten thousand to grieve!
Alone man is futile, in battle or peace,
Surely ’tis true that great men may come –
Not one, I tell you, not a single one,
Has lived but for the weak who first raised him,
And if dying in violence and heat of Hell’s hate
Is action held worthy of memory and song,
Then hold still in closer the hope of each tide,
The flow of life and peace and war,
Each birth and death, every drop of rain,
Which over history cleans and renews
The ill or good fortune all nations shall choose.”

 

A Memory with You

In the darkening hours, with whispering wind,
All feathered flight alighting in trees,
Singing to the stars an evening song,
Watching the sun stretch shadows long,
And forested mountains black in the shade,
Shadowy clouds and evening breeze,
Looking down on the lights all man-made,
Awaiting the starlight and moon-shafts to fade,
Under clouds for a moment, and burst forth again,
Revealing the names of a thousand dead men,
And softly sitting, whispering there,
In the peacefulness of Somnolent Prayer

Distance of Dreams

Alone was the evening; awaking the breeze,
Away went the wind, casting off to the seas
Worn red dust of the hidden road running,
First earthbound now flying, and mocking the clouds.
Clouds of once-white gleaming all a’gold-red,
Afire from dragon, or lash of the sun,
Welding sky to ground, star-place and Ocean,
Most brilliant blue and gold, setting in motion
Some minutes of stillness; a love’s silent wonder.

In harmony with strains of the mountains’ deep heartsong,
When a girl let her heartbeats, her breaths, her longing,
Be caught with the waiting winds, off where they will,
The stars heard them rise and woke from dreams thronging,
Flickered and pulsed, keeping time of their fires,
With that of her soul; To fly glist’ning o’er wind 
Feeling cool clouds ‘neath moonlight she would,
To the stars and dreams if anyone could.

You Shall Yet Find Me

Perhaps we’ll find a Time somewhere,
In a crag of memory made,
Singing along with the crickets there,
‘Neath a ceiling of sunlit shade.

Or then that Time may give a share,
Of a darkened raining glade,
And to wander a path will be ours ‘ere
The sweet new Dawn is made.

We wait for the Time to find us then –
I’ll be there just the same,
Wherever a Hope finds a path to run,
You’ll find me there – Somewhere.

. . . forever past fleeing snow,
In the shade of a tall tree’s glow.

Winter’s Anticipation *

Light-haired and soft, the Sky shakes out her locks, 
Sends starlings scattering in wheeling flocks,
Arising from restless night, the land
Moves rippling, unfeeling, beneath her soft hand.

Just a-flick’ring and flashing all silver serene,
Shining and shimmering mercurial sheen,
The world lies glimmering in beauty – but dead,
Still mourning, the Sky in clouds veils her head.

She longs for her lover to wake and be free,
So long has he lain ‘neath this grimly wrought sea,
Ah, patience must bear the discontented hours,
‘Ere the grasses appear and the land flourishing, flowers.

All lovers apart might long for the spring,
While seeing in the Other some cold deadly thing,
Desiring to thaw the cold, glittering skin,
Rooting out the clouds casting shadows of Sin.

Still despite a lonely night, unrested,
A little thought of Spring is tested,
And the sun brightly shining can not bear to leave,
Lest alone the other should chance to grieve,

The light is of hope, though not perfect life,
Alone we now see it, winter’s little knife,
Will melt in the presence of the oncoming Sky;
The sun giving heat, ice shall willingly die.


*This can not be said to be solely my own work; my lady lent me the most important portion of the poem before I began – both word and thought.

Be Our Fire

Frosty gale, come up, come up,
Climb up and o’er the mount.
Flying, singing, Icily flinging,
The snowflakes like stars beyond count.

Wailing winds, come down, down,
From scorched hilltops high.
Fan the dust from our souls,
Revive the white coals,
‘Till they blaze and burn with a sigh.

Oh God, our God, draw near to us,
We would love through you alone.
Be the Sweetness between us,
The Fire in our hearts,
And Desire to be brought Home.

“Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.
~ St. Augustine of Hippo

Humility in Love

I have no words to speak to you,
The world’s gone numbly cold,
So many things that one could say,
None new – the world is old.

I have no songs to sing for you,
My voice is worn away,
A whispered breath is all I have,
Until another day.

I have nothing to give to you,
My hands are tired, still,
A gentle touch of hand and soul,
Your good held in my will.

I have no heart to give to you,
I gave it to our Lord,
He deals it back to you, I pray,
I – your flaming sword.

I have no love to give to you,
Save that which God gave me,
I pray it comes as close to He,
Who purged sin on the Tree.

I have nothing to offer you,
That I have to my own,
I merely give out my gift, Love,
Nourish the seeds here sown.

We have only All to accept,
And give to all again,
For Eternity in Love with you,
I’d bleed a world of pain.

No Love is yours to keep,
But giving it away,
You’ll find that it has been repayed
On the Eternal Day.

Remember, nobody has anything, not Will or Life or Love, except by the act of God.