Tag Archives: winter



she was a dumpster digger
of an undetermined age
a little strumpet left
to cruise the city streets
hurting fighting dirty

when a trumpet-playing hand
in the Salvation Army band
lifted her up from misery
took her to shelterland

“Hallelujah” was the name we
gave her when we took her home
we cleaned her double paws
we fed her fish and love and
just plain “Lulu” she became

not cute not pretty she is
small and oddly beautiful
a true fur person of droll
asymmetrical black markings
on a fluffy coat dull gold
strangely short-legged
with wise yellow eyes
mooting the question whether
felines really do have souls

since winter’s come she has
the job of watching snow

leaving her customary station
on the piano by the metronome
she jumps to a wide windowsill
as soon as flakes begin to fall

there she remains a sentinel
until snow stops she simply
stares quite statuesquely still

it’s harder now with getting old
yet there’s a grit about her
watching there—like a survivor
pondering a once-known time
or place where it was very cold



the cold comes downward
clutching at zero and below
hardening the river’s edge
to shims and milky floe

carrying the omen of
the last loon’s tremolo

now the rapid river run
must deepen with the chill
grow slower downward
as the alewife also will

under her darkened ceiling
keeping vigilantly still

her ceiling has become
this shining gelid floor
where legged creatures may
step out to gingerly explore

shuffle over it foot by foot
toward the opposite shore

take my hand I hear
on a down-floating feather
and cross now safely
on my ethereal tether

should we slip-fall-drown
we will go down together



Now is a perplexing
season in between
the custom quartering of the year—
no bloom, no grow,
no reap, no sow—
the water of the world
collects itself to overflowing
and becomes the atmosphere.

Another drippy morning dawns,
we mutter “not again…”
the paperboy who thumps
his sodden news against the door
looks mad as a wet hen.

The gift of tears has come
to Tefnut, weeping, on her knees.
Damp wads of facial tissue fall
before sad movie after sad
played on our DVD’s.

It’s February fill-dyke, be it
black or white, the farmers say.

Time for the heavens to let loose
the sins they’ve taken in.  Time
to cry for nothing, night or day.



At dawn, half-awakened
by a whine in the still dim

before limn-light, I wait
beside the door

as the perfect spot
on ice, in wet, is sought
away from this and
nearer that (made worse
in winter given all
along the trail is cold)

over same old ground
now back, now forth
until the centrifuge begins
around the spot, the spin
moves in, faster, tighter
towards the go—

(of a shrimp, the crouch;
of a frog, the squat)

for a black dog’s unburdening
in a garden white with snow.



This morning north
and east of what
was once my home,
the dusky mountains
trace their frozen
undulations mystified
against a salmon sky.
In the middle distance
cozy little houses
tuck themselves among
deep mounds of snow,
exhaling from their
brick red chimneys
all I know
of them or theirs.
Nearby the pointed firs
point up, to pointlessness
through january air.

Nowhere is home.
So home is everywhere.