Beneath a Dust of Snow


The darkly puffed clouds, pregnant with snow,
hang dark and bitter and over mountaintops flow.
A cowardly moon casts a muted light, reflecting
scattered jewels across the veil of night;
Winter descends.
The rippling hills in the park in dusted white repeat;
streets grow eerily silent beneath unmoving feet . . .
The timeless face ticking on the old clock tower
shivers as the bell strikes its mournful hour.
The city sleeps unaware, or lost in the memory
of yesterday’s warmth and illumination.

He, from his frost-laced window panes
in silent rumination, stares out in pain
over the bitter whiteness of the slumbering town,
Seeing through swirls of white softly floating down
one candle burning in the window of a shuttered house
where this night the flame of love was cruelly doused
as she, in death’s harsh grip and coiled embrace
surrendered the light that transformed her face.
The frozen earth, itself reluctant to let her go
as he laid his love to rest beneath a dust of snow.

He desires like this to forget what will not pass,
Grey death, stale ugliness, and the sodden grass.
Deep in his heart old bells are beaten again,
Slurred bells of grief and twisted pain.
Dull echoes of hideous places where poisons grow,
he desires to drown in a cold white peace of snow.

The Winter Years


These are my winter years – when regret and recrimination ravage the soul. Half-remembered memories rattle like marbles in my brain-pan, conspiring against my forward vision. My voice but an opium whisper, offering no defense in the foul darkness of my affliction.

The souls of my feet rest upon cushions of prayer that never took flight, for my appeals were falsely laid; in this moment, I am content to lie upon my prickly bed, rankly scented with the sweat of whores and cheap whiskey. Offering no apology, and upon God’s ear none would surely fall, I hang contorted upon my cross – He has forsaken me to my earthly transfiguration.

The familiar smell of petrichor wafts through my open window; for a moment the abyss before me appears clean, washed, and inviting, stretching out  beneath a crescent moon like the hangman’s noose. My dreams are shards of colored glass laced with the blood of my inequities. The red cold hours of this night unwind slowly, but unwind they do!

My tortured eyes yearn to see Death’s gnarled fingers reach out for me in the gray fog of morning. These are my winter years – when the mirror of my existence reflects the harshest light and my bones rattle in contempt. Free will was never intended for men like me whose eyes grow dim with temptation’s agony. If He had plans for me, He kept them to Himself, so I have chartered my course beneath starless skies.