winter’s end

 

in these mountains, winter tends to linger, teasing us with spring followed by a new layer of snow…

trees.1262

 

winter’s end

 

each snow covered branch

is  like a phrase in the erratic final chapter

 

of winter, punctuated

by small dark birds, confused

 

by the storyline of the season.

while overhead, three geese

 

skim the treetops, crying out,

lost in this featureless white world,

 

desperately searching, like so many of us,

for a safe place to land

 

 

© 2019 jafink/oldbonesnewsnow.com

 

 

 

Wild is

frost

Wild is

(on the last flocks of November)

wild is small sharp sounds
rising through black, bare-limbed trees

wild is the weak
slant-light of morning

wild is uninvited, intrusive
discordant

wild is sudden

wild is imperative, urgent

wild is now and now
and now again

wild is a restlessness
a knowing
a coming together

wild is long fluid lines
spilling across an azure sky

wild is ragged and unstable

wild is perpetually adapting

wild is a fathomless
round eye

wild is feathers and fat,
muscle and hollow bones

wild is the cry of the straggler
desperate to catch up

wild is the cold hard fate
of those left behind

wild is thousands of wings

wild is the flock rising as one
over stubbled fields

wild is the wind

wild is the coming storm

wild is the snow
falling now in silence

to sanctify this precious

darkening world

 

 

© 2016 jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

wet dogs

foot

 

maybe mornings like this

are the price we pay

for all those years of compromise

of being barely close enough

to each other. We’ve survived,

at least we share that, such a thin

blanket to cover the cold spots

on cold mornings such as this.

Yet I do like grey winter days

when the wind rattles the leafless trees

and the world turns without shadows.

heading out, my dog looks daggers

up at the clouds — he doesn’t understand

the rain, why he should have to endure

these cold tears falling from a sheet metal sky.

Neither of us has ever been very good

with cause and effect, or the subtle attributes

of time. What choice is there but to carry on,

as we always have, sniffing at the rotten snow

heads down, shaking ourselves dry, nose

to tail as we go – just cold, wet dogs

searching for a place

that’s safe and warm and dry.

 

© 2016 jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

 

 

Solstice

 

cropped-dawn-patrol-2.jpg

when the dark clouds of December

press this thin light hard

against harder snows

it’s easy to believe that darkness

might descend and never leave.

 

the grandfathers made sacrifice

to the night, raised great stones

in great circles to gauge

the weakened light, to solicit

a resurrection- a harbinger star

 

calling kings and thieves to a promise

that in each of us lies a place

that has never been wounded, never

harmed, has never been beaten, never

branded by the white hot irons

of insufficiency. the sun pauses

 

for a son, while the cosmos slow

into equipoise. give praise, give praise

let us raise our voices to the heavens

let us light the pyres of winter, and attend

to the sacrifice, let us bow in supplication

 

that light might yet arise

from this black fabric of darkness,

that these stars might finally draw us home again

on this, the very darkest night of the world.

 

© 2016 jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

visitor

how strange it feels to return as a guest

to this city where my children were born

to sit above this frozen lake, barely a block

from where she squeezed them into the world.

chicago ice is harder than ice in the mountains

 

all blocks and harsh geometries, the cold indifference

of the city. there’s so much they don’t tell you

about raising a child, like how warm they are

when you hold them as they sleep

how they arrive complete with their own destinies

 

committed to making their own mistakes;

how you’ll touch them less and less as they age

as if you’re both slowly fading into a story

how you’ll watch, helpless, as they suffer

the crushing pains of this embodied human life.

 

beneath the ice, the waves still come, lifting and cracking

the heavy gray plates. one day, they say, spring

will return, but tonight, it’s just the slow rolling

of unseen waters, the lifting and settling of the frozen lake

the slow and brutal grinding of ice upon the shore.

 

 

©jafink/oldbones.newsnow.com

old snow

Image

 

old snow

 

 

I’m old enough now

to feel the arc of my life rising

over the years, the shape of it

and the erosion of old certainties

beneath. when we’re young

we experience ourselves as a point

as beings out of time. but I’ve knelt

in this cathedral long enough now

to be conscious of the beads of sequential

experience clicking softly through

my fingers, this error in perception

I refer to as me. the gap

between the man in the mirror

and the man in my mind grows larger

by the day, as if some piece of me

is trying to circle back to the origin

even as the physical me noses over

and begins to accelerate toward the final

target. maybe one day I’ll come full circle

and meet the boy of my original self.

what would we say? who would be

the teacher? and who the taught?

how much might finally be forgiven?

Winter is ending at last in these mountains

but the snow lingers in the shadows

like a difficult lesson— that everything melts

but in its own time, that even old snow

can still shine, that old ice

can still be dangerous, that old fingers

can still bleed.

 

 

© oldbonesnewsnow.com/ J.A. Fink