Window feeder birds

My window feeder birds wait out the night
on hidden branches of nearby shrubs and pines
where writhing winter winds can’t reach them quite
the way they would along the power lines.
My window feeder birds retard the cold
with shivers in a frantic, desperate haste—
they burn themselves, beneath their down to hold
the heat, to save themselves from frigid waste.
My window feeder birds resist the wind,
though not by strength of grip or force of will:
The touch of inner balance keeps them pinned
to perch, to life, despite the gusts and chill.
We seek the balance when the night blows stark
and shiver as we hold on through the dark.

Our tradition

We like these woods the best in snow.

We’re brought here by the season though,

to cut our family Christmas tree.

Which one is right, the kids will know.

They run the rows, the better to see

atop which pine our star should be–

“It’s this one! This one! This one here!”

–until on one we all agree.

We linger in these woods so dear

to feel the warmth of Christmas cheer,

and then our silent oath declare

to this tradition we revere.

The woods feel like a living prayer,

but there’s a feast we must prepare,

…. and hours of love that we must share.

…. And hours of love that we must share.

A porch light on

The long, hard road concedes no place for rest,

and cold, dark winds allow no time to pause,

so on, headlong, we plunge toward the west.

The sharp turns, slick with ice, extend their claws

to rake the highway free of we who yearn

too much to see the miles between us fade.

The dreary hours cause sleepy eyes to burn

and weary minds to conjure thoughts half made.

But through the mist you shine, the way torch-

lit towers called the sea-tossed ships to shore,

the way uneasy parents leave the porch

light on to greet their children at the door.

…. Seen through our hearts, you are a beacon bright,

…. a welcome home, a refuge from the night.

This old spouse

The paint is peeling from the heat,

and walls are showing signs of wear.

The floor complains beneath your feet;

beware the sagging bottom stair.

The years may dull that youthful gleam,

but nothing shakes the solid base

nor saps the strength from any beam:

This house remains a living place.

Since this is where you choose to live–

bring light to dark and stoke the fire–

you know this house has much to give

and dreams to be all that you desire.

…..So long as you will make this house your own,

…..the rooms will wake with life and love of home.

The death of dreams

The quilt, thrown back the way it is, allows

the warmth of sheets still moist with sweat to rise

and fade, and cool the heat your scents arouse.

Against the longing, I have to close my eyes.

You stand, I know, at the window where you’ve stood

before and watched the winter sun you dread

forsake the day much sooner than it should.

Against the wanting, you slowly bow your head.

Beyond the pane, a mist embalms the trees

in shrouds of ice and, as the storm lurks near

the house, the sodden sheets of raindrops freeze

against the glass, too cold to run as tears.

………I can endure the death of dreams no more:

………I wake, and turn my face toward the door.