Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Interviews With Forest Denizens

Keywords per Sol Magazine's winter contest edition.

Firs really quite prefer winter
(in spite of the occasionally damaging wind).
They can't see-- of course-- so the gray
sky doesn't bother them. A little sun
suffices; they're not making flowerbuds.
They find... common... the revelry of spring.

The trout-stream is frozen solid, except at the spring.
Ice protects fish from the worst of winter
but they'll die, like flowers sealed inside buds
if it lasts too long. Slow coils of ice wind
around their hearts. They whisper: Come sun.
Free us to come forth, sleek and gray.

Whatever the weather, this boulder remains gray.
"What do you think of spring?"
"I'll swell and crack in the heat of the sun."
"What do you think of winter?"
"I'll freeze and crack in the bitter wind.
These rock chips are what I get instead of buds."

Stags are starting to feel their antler-buds
itch, though still covered in soft gray.
Another year: come the autumn winds,
they'll bellow mad challenges. But spring
is time to feed up, recover from winter
and watch the new fawns play in the dappled sun.

Caterpillars get new knowledge with the sun.
Tasting the sudden sweetness of these buds
they understand the season past was "winter"
and that sky isn't meant to always be gray.
The coming season will be "spring",
And when their wings come, they'll learn about "wind".

Icicles bleed at the touch of a warm wind,
die in the fierce glare of the sun.
Cruel, destructive spring!
What does the world need with ripening buds?
Ice blossoms in a thousand shades of gray
but no-one has eyes to see the beauty of winter.

At the end of winter I spoke with the wind.
It said in a gray voice: "Enjoy the sun.
Remember flowers are dead buds, winter's corpse is spring."

No comments: