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Winter Sequence
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Miscellaneous Sequence

Winter Sequence


Fresh ash
On the bent fireplace poker
Worn thin;
How many more oak limbs
Will drop in the winter wind?

Setting up
A grandchild's crib--
Such expectations!
The winter wind outside
Becomes stronger this day.

The hawk rises up
Leaving its windy perch--
The January sun;
Nothing moves on snowy fields
Except the blinding glare.

The river's current
Moves through ice-covered shallows
In this cold world;
I'm constantly guessing
Which way to turn.

Pale light
Moves through the snowy sky--
This faint moon;
Will the snow's sheen
Guide me on the right path?

Between the ridges
Of windswept snow--
Blue shadows;
The sun's light can't warm me
This January day.

A candle flame
Flickering in a draft--
Moving shadows;
Celebrating a birthday
With friends as gray-haired as I.


Flickering somewhere
In the soughing branches--
A chickadee's cry;
Millet seeds flake
From the cold suet ball.

The moon splits
Into flecks of light--
Window frost--
Forgetting a friend's name
In this cold draft.


The cold sting
After breaking through snow crust--
These unsure steps;
Trying to be stalwart
Against the winter wind.


Falling icicles shatter
On crumbling steps--
A sparrow hops
Amid the damp cracks.

Until its rhythmic flight,
The cardinal--
A red trace amid snowflakes
Crossing the silent ravine.

Water trickling
In the ice-covered ravine--
A quick thaw;
But how the winter wind
Still disturbs my dream!


Paint peeling from the trellis--
Fresh snow;
Will this body ever adjust
To the wan warmth of winter sun?


Waiting for
The dam's thick ice sheets
To break apart;
A pair of geese rise up
From the huddling flock.