Fierce Beauty

Fierce BeautyWalking a black lab at night is a wonder
When snow is two feet deep,
More so when sallow Moon
Slowly begins to turn bright silver,
And all the world is hushed.

High above drift shadows of clouds,
Lake half frozen as it holds
Its covey of swimming ducks,
Shoulders of hills watching over
Fierce beauty that blankets Earth.

Lights from cars miles away,
Like halos of saints or angel wings fluttering,
Cast haze upon the naked trees.
But it is late March, snow upon fallen logs
Only visiting, like frogs will do come June.

The air is cold, but not frigid,
More like gnarled hands of an old woman,
Sitting alone in winter’s chill, remembering
Her wedding dress, forever white—
Still shining in the fading light.


Ready for Spring

Ready for Spring

Sometimes when you’re all ready for Spring,
Daffodils and tulips ready to bring—
Suddenly clouds move down from the North,
Winter returns with incredible force.

Blizzard comes with howling wind,
Two feet of snow makes all the trees bend,
Then ice to make the shoveling hard,
Only drifts visible throughout the yard.

Again and again, life changes direction.
Even prayer fails in attempting correction.
So trapped inside with intense spring fever,
Remain in the lodge along with the beaver.

Run, Young Bull


Run, young bull, out upon the greening fields,

Dance black against the blazing sky

As though the madrigal’s tune is

Felt upon rough hide, sharp hooves tapping out

Code faster than blacksmith’s hammer hits the steel.

Let life flow as fingers of rain upon your

Massive marbled ribs, before the butcher

Comes to thrust quick blade, trembling into heart.


Enjoy your prime, Sweet One, before man

Obliterates life and stalks of corn

Reach high in sultry July heat.

Life for you, far too short for young bulls.

But do not fear the Spring,

Beware that time when hay is gathered

In bales and staked against the winter’s breath,

When Eagles fall still at noon,

Serpents bury into ground.


For now, put your shoulder to the ash,

Scratch hard against the solid bark;

Forget lament that old river knows in its flood.

Run out naked on broad range,

Feast upon the gentle rapture of full moon.

Kiss the pebbles in the stream

When drinking in the midday marvel’s heat.

Have no fear when breathless lark

Begins to sing the end of spring.


But when the Sun begins to carve

Toward southern realms,

When year aches from amputated months—

Gone within raw wind as memories lost,

Where sometimes seems more simple just to die

Than survive cruel thrust of knife….

Forgive me, but useless is the wordless prayer

That takes no notice of your bleeding heart.