Working the Snow

In a cold still time, there's that rising urge:
to be seized, get fired up; find an aim.
Maybe this is why we get born:
to feel the life-pull.
         To be squeezed and shaped into a needy state
so the tenderness is dragged out – to suck and push
and kick at space. To each his own.

And there's time: to sense how form performs
– and gets remembered by Earth, as, wrapped in meaning,
that becomes the belly from which we dangle,
sweetly oblivious.
         Maybe this is why awakening means work:
to grab the groundless and meet its blunt blade
as it prunes us back to the roots. Cold and clear.

Like today, when it’s snow-work.
We get out there grumbling, beat hands, and shovel;
carving a path from this shelter and on –
and on to the next.
         A track through the white-out for our boot-dumb feet –
which the snowfall will serenely erase.
And present its Noh drama:

white-masked earth, twisted gestures;
every tree, fence-post and print-pricking blackbird
etched in stark statement; soundless screams.
The biting absence.
         And radiance ascending
as my skin calls shivering back.
Then the listening’s unsheathed.

Now what’s felt is beauty; is how we're fashioned.
Hearts like buckets: bearing weight
while snow brings out our deep warmth,
and makes it sing.
          Maybe this day, like the rest,
falls stunned and goes nowhere;
but in digging it through, my darkness melts down.

It pours like laughter through the noose of the stars,
in a wintering that glows jewel-red.

Posted: Wed 11 Dec, 2013