the winter wolves

alpha wolf’s soulful call rides the bitter northeasterly wind
drifting between the driven snowflakes
through the tall dark timbers
into the stream valley, half-frozen and lonely
picked up, then finally returned by its mate
poised on the distant hilltop

only the ravens are brave enough
to allow the shrill howls pass over them directly
for them it is music for their teasing dance
to distract the wolves
breaking their concentration long enough
to grab leftovers from the wolves’ evening hunt

finally the hard white moonlight
ignites the pack’s glaring gold eyes
twelve unflinching beacons in all
eventually all voices are heard
and the haunting amber eyes disappear
having reclaimed the conifer forest for another night

A January Eve Riddle

We can choose to forget or remember
Depending upon our current reality
We are now just past December
Last signs, youthful vitality

Truth a mere lost vanity
Younger years, days gone by
Sparing all humanity
Hopes, dreams, say goodbye

Amidst the rush, long winter storm
Nights and days lose all form
Tell us why we should conform
Live we shall to transform

These dire times to be overcome
Onward, upward, way beyond
So much left to become
Then alas waves life’s magic wand

Confessions on a Bitter Cold January Morning

Slipping away each day
Life, but also illusion
Forgetting at times—
A good thing
Cleansing, renewing us
Purging the insanity
Killing off our joy

On this bitter cold January morning
The wildfire inside me rages
Consuming everything in its path
Including the faded goodness
I wear so proudly
As armor against death
And its deceitful bantering

The alchemist stirs the words
In familiar self-serving circles
The search for magic ends
No gold
Just more feeble incantations
Taking their turns
Dancing with time in poetic armor

Reminding Myself at the New Year’s Beginning

A new year begins
In one sense, completely new
Different than all others
In another sense, like all the others
Peppered with unanswerable questions

On this new year’s first day
I pause, remind myself
We live in each moment
One breath at a time
Each a miracle, a blessing

Also, I remind myself
We only truly live
When we align
With what’s real inside us
That giving us our heartbeat

The world is filled with lies
The biggest one remains
The illusion of permanence
That anyone or anything lasts
Past its time

Resolutions are fruitless
Leading us astray
Causing us to miss our real lives
Those fleeting milliseconds we exist
Just tiny ripples in the universe’s eternal vastness

December Morning

December early morning light
Hues of gray, black and white
Thin layer of fresh fallen snow
Winter’s beauty, such a show

Barren trees, so tall and thin
Limbs a dancing in the wind
First a squirrel, then a fox
Then ever slowly, geese in flocks

So still, so quiet, winter comes
Our hearts beat softly, tiny drums
In the distance, a cardinal calls his mate
To breakfast come, no need to wait

Thin stream of smoke from the chimney trickles
Watch it dance, your heart tickles
No need to rush, hurry away
Let linger, this December day