Wilderness


On the road that passes from the old, dead world

unto green glades under a cloud-ridden sky,

a traveler takes in the sweet mists

and is reminded of a dream.

Breathing out, he shares what life he has

with the long, unkept grass

flowing as waves atop a stormy sea;

waves that break against the stony road

and sink back toward trees skirting the northern fringe,

whose wind-tussled leaves shiver in the gusts

of early autumn.

The ashen Sky, his guardian,

She groans from labor pangs,

withholding until the last second

the bounty thus preserved from its conception

as God might retain such gifts until some fullness of time…

if only time would ever grow full.

This, to my sister.


Is he not free who rises with the sun

and cleanses himself of the night’s dreams?

To recall an epoch when he could dash

from the shadowed room to the one in which she slept, sound.

There, the shadow not so real as she…

and crawling into bed beside her

he sleeps the night into a day.

The sound of her breathing akin to a bay tide flowing.

She, a steel door set against the deluge of tormentors

who call for the little one beside her.

She holds them at bay though she sleeps unknowing of them.

The night lengthens; he presses himself close to her and uses her as a shield…

Morning comes and he greets it

as though to say, “I have come round to you again

at the turning of the earth.”

He kisses her as she yet sleeps and returns to his own bed,

for the morning is as young and beautiful as she.

The Wolf


A hollow night. An empty road
winds down through a field of evergreen.
A traveler looking to rest his load;
a patch of grass where he can lie, unseen.

Down from the path, a broken bed
of stones sleep beside a moonlit stream
and bright-beamed stars overhead
burst like holes in a blanket’s seam.

To sleep would be a blessing
but the autumn leaves have long since fallen;
the road stretches on, time is pressing…
What if he should wake, find his warmth stolen

by winter’s first snowfall?
Near the bank, the grass is soft;
he thinks, “Just a moment is all,”
and goes down to escape the draft.

As he bows to the water for a drink,
his eyes follow the stream round
a sharp turn at the forest’s brink,
diving past the slope of a grassy mound.

A bristly paw steps out into the light.
Under starry sky the wolf feels welcome.
‘But who is this seeking shelter from the night,
sitting under my moon? He is far from home.’

Their eyes hold upon each other.
No breath outweighs the trickling
of the water, joining them together
as though it were a sacred link

untouched by ages time had forgotten.
“Tonight we share the moon, the river,
perhaps as we did in the Garden…
when my father walked with his father.”

A howl from over westward hill
calls the wolf home; the beast is gone.
Under coarse shoes, Earth lies still…
“We who are divided, once were one.”

A hollow night. An empty road
winds down through a field of evergreen.
The traveler rises, tightens his load
and drifts into forested shadow, unseen.