The forest is the only place…


where green is green and blue is blue.

Walking the forest I have seen
most everything.


 I’ve seen you
with yellow eyes and busted wing.


And deep in the forest…

no one knew.

“Hawk” – Wendy Videlock

snow day

Lone bird

In winter

    all the singing is in

         the tops of the trees

             where the wind-bird

with its white eyes

    shoves and pushes

         among the branches.

             Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,

    but he’s restless—

         he has an idea,

             and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings

    as long as he stays awake.

         But his big, round music, after all,

             is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.

    In the pine-crown

         he makes his nest,

             he’s done all he can.

I don’t know the name of this bird,

    I only imagine his glittering beak

         tucked in a white wing

             while the clouds—

which he has summoned

    from the north—

         which he has taught

             to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall

    into the world below

         like stars, or the feathers

               of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,

    that is asleep now, and silent—

         that has turned itself

             into snow.

– Mary Oliver, White Eyes



under the crackling white


Tell yourself

as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.


Tonight as it gets cold

tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.


And if it happens that you cannot

go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.

-Mark Strand, Lines for Winter

Entering Winter


Poor muse, north wind, or any god   

who blusters bleak across the lake   

and sows the earth earth-deep with ice.   

A hoar of fur stung across the vines:   

here the leaves in full flush, here   

abandoned to four and farther winds.   

Bless us, any god who crabs the apples   

and seeds the leaf and needle evergreen.   

What whispered catastrophe, winter.   

What a long night, beyond the lamplight,   

the windows and the frost-ferned glass.   

Bless the traveler and the hearth he travels to.   

Bless our rough hands, wind-scabbed lips,   

bless this our miscreant psalm.

– Dave Lucas, “Lines for Winter”


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