Poem: L.H. Bailey “Winter” [Vol. 2, #1]

January 2, 2009

 

WINTER
Liberty
Hyde Bailey

Snow to my knees, shivering blasts

Piercing slivers of ice and sleet

Creaking trees all rigid and gaunt

Clouds that drive in the wind-wild vasts

Houses clean gone from field and street

Footways buried to stall and haunt,

Ah winter, old winter, so braggartly hurled,

Unfrightened we stand on the top of your world,

Unprisoned and free as the birds that are whirled

When blizzards are loosed and the tempests are sent

Unhurried we wait till your furies are spent.

Wide is the world of the drifting snow

Wide over the waste the white rifts go

Travelling on with a ceaseless flow

Out to the voids we never shall know.

Frog insect and snake lie fast lie tight

Hidden and snug in pocketed deeps,

But we are alive come green come white

The year is ours while the ‘neath-world sleeps,

Ours with rabbit’s track and mouse’s trail

With grasses frayed and rough trees snow-limbed

Fence-drift’s clean curl and the seed-pod’s sail

Stumps white-turbanned and deep creeks ice-rimmed.

Crunch and crunch through the white snapping crust

With frigid bush and summer’s dead stalk

Where earth lies deep and ice-piles are thrust,

The trackless ways are the ways we walk,

Walk out and out with the swirling snow

On to the realms of bluster and blow

Where ghosts of the years of long ago

Shriek thro’ the hills to caverns below.

Stript to the bone is the wind-worn year

Cover and mask and ornament gone

Clear as days to the sight of the seer

We understand when the veil is withdrawn.

Come on, ye storms! Together we reach

Past and outpast the timid alarms

This is our day; and over the breach

We go the way of the warmthless farms.

from  WIND AND WEATHER: Poems

Doulos Christou Press, 2008.

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