Crest: A poem for New Year's Day, 2011

Crest (New Year’s Day, 2011)

                                             - for Ann

When time is a wolf,
the year a pack of
yellow teeth; when one by one
we lay us down, or

stop to kiss goodbyes
when one of us can
run no more, then back into
the trees; when the howls

pause for a moment
to finish those we've
left behind, or pick off the
slowest, the weakest...

When time is a wolf
we bleed in the snow,
we bleed like a trail of crumbs
beneath snow-black skies.

We inhale air dead
as skeleton grass,
we etch the stone-dead air with
pictures of our ghosts

and our stillborn drown
down the wind.
                          But this
new year is a horse coursing
off a mountain white

with headwaters and
green with dreams of the
sea. When headwaters gallop
to the sea we fall

down the frozen banks
beneath the snow-blue
skies. Bleeding like an altar
we falter into

baptismal waters,
our bodies more scab
than skin. The track climbs into
forests white with bird

song, gold with sun-high
skies. We kneel in the
icing river, wash until
the water runs clean.

Thanks to Jim Booth for all the helpful feedback on this draft.

Categories: Arts/Literature

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6 replies »

  1. WOW! This is great. May I have your permission to reproduce it to share with prisoners? I have been known to stick a poem on an unused page or half page at the end of a photocopied brochure on legal help or automechanics, plus as a former editor and publisher of Redgreene Press and of Spring Grass and of Anderson Publishing (one of them), I’m assembling work on war and peace and recovery for a humble booklet to send to prisoners through Book’Em as many of them request books on war and other negativity. Book’Em currrently needs money for postage, by the way–as usual. also must get a webpage and a blog going.

    • Rosemary: Certainly, although please include a copyright notation for me. Meanwhile, do you have any recommendations for who might be willing to publish it? I just finished it and would love to see it accepted somewhere, but haven’t thought about where yet.