Winter Series


The Great Blue Heron

The great blue heron stands on one leg – a schist-grey boulder in the wind –
Its four-toed foot fastened under copper needles of bald cypress,
Its back flanked against fading clouds of claret bayberry,
Neck deeply curled, head held steady, bill sturdy,
Its eyes graze on shivers crossing the pond

Blue jays squawk, starlings flock, a white-breasted nuthatch creeps and probes.
The great blue heron stands on one leg – a schist-grey boulder in the wind.


@ Imbolc 2011

As the winter weary scoff at shadows of insolent woodchuck, I’ll be chasing Brighid’s breath in the buoyant blossoms of witch-hazel and the halo of
hellebore borne within blankets of snow.

I’ll be stalking the pale yellow eye of a Rusty Blackbird and opal lipped lakes cracking under bold concentrations of luminous scarcity where a thirst for spring will fall
        captive to the orb of winter’s imperturbable coda.


One wish, desire
On solstice night

May your soul fly free in a primeval wood
Bright with the flames of sanctified fires
And the serene silver singing of stars

May you delight in the company of joyful spirits
With whom you share the precious gift of your Love


A whisper sweet stillness speaks to me at winter solstice each year, arriving as a haunted holiness with the dusk, signaling possibilities revealed in the promise
of snow – that slipper of sleep sent as solace for Earth’s labors and woes.

I welcome the long dark night with heart open to every deep chord of silence,
every sorrowful rasp of wind, every spent seed-head and rigid stem sculpting a shadow against the winsome sky, every pine tree that sings of an Eden where

the harshest of seasons wreaths wonder in the sigh of a sparrow.


Solstice Villanelle

Father winter saunters in, his walking stick afling
As if to say, ‘No time for sleeping here!’
A bride in her finery waits in the wings.

Amber needles of bald cypress lay drying
A cover for the earth as warmth disappears.
Father winter saunters in, his walking stick afling.

A camellia blossom, rosy face smiling
Chides the wind’s whistling so raucously clear.
A bride in her finery waits in the wings.

Her betrothed mutely ponders her ravishing
Beauty, and deftly conceals a few falling tears.
Father winter saunters in, his walking stick afling.

Mother Nature, diviner of Time’s passing
Draws curtains of light over the Meer.
A bride in her finery waits in the wings.

Expectant hearts fill to overflowing
As ritual fires erupt far and near.
Father winter saunters in, his walking stick afling.
A bride in her finery waits in the wings.

Tsuga @ Imbolc
Follow me to the hemlock grove
Where we’ll dance with the ancient shades
Call Imbolc’s priestess in
Before the snow appears. Come
Fast. Brigid is fleet on her feet
The wooly adelgid sleeps.
Tsuga canadensis, caroliniana
The afflicted
Listen to the tears of the mourners
Brigid, giver of faith,
Save some part of the day we so rue.


@ Solstice

Hush, hush
Winter’s quiet calls
Knit up your raveled sleeve

        @ Solstice
As days grow short
And spirits sink with dusk
Draw on the light
Stored in silver bark and
Murm’ring bones of trees;
Reflect heat held in
Sap and cone, needles of
Hemlock, juniper and fir;
Trace beauty in
Lilting boughs of crabapple
And orange hips of roses;
Learn from the pluck,
The discerning wisdom
Of winter birds that eke
Sustenance found in the
Soft flesh of fruit
Buried in hedgerows of yew.

2 Replies to “Winter Series”

  1. Every word flowing from the screen is just
    exquisite! I feel as I am walking beside
    Dolores as she writes, smelling tasting,
    sensing each magical element she shares. I
    shiver in the wind and smile with joyous
    spirits brought to mind.

  2. Thanks again, Karen:
    I see you are making your way through these TRACES of mine and responding just as I have dreamt readers might. Your receptivity is a precious gift.

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