The dawn failed to appear this morning.
There was a slight lightening of the sky,
more a change of grayscale shade
that a shift in time-honored by the sun.
The crows seemed to notice, why else
would they stay silent, so unlike
most days when the first rays of sun
were the call to take up the cacophony chorus.
Even the squirrels noticed, and hid in the trees,
knowing this was not a normal day,
but soon emerged when the siren’s call
of nuts outweighed their fear.
We trod on into the park, picking
our way through the piled snow,
cursing winters cruel approach, our path
lit by our fading memory of summer.
Tomorrow the morning
will arrive as it always does,
eating the last vestiges
of night, painting the sky
in puce and crimson.
It will foretell the rain
that will carry our dreams
down the hill
and into storm sewers,
eventually to wash into the lake.
But in that moment
when the sky is ablaze,
none of that matters,
save the beauty of dawn.
He screwed up his face into the scowl
that fairly shouted to all, “Don’t Ask!”.
She knew better but knew also that she
had no choice, “What’s the matter now?”
“It’s just,” he said, softening a bit, “that
I so seldom get the weather I need,
much less the weather I want, it’s never
the sort I ask, no matter how nicely I put it.”
She threw caution to the wind, smiled
and said, “It isn’t, of course, that the weather
isn’t what you ask, it most certainly
almost always is. It is simply that the weather
is perfect and you always show up
in precisely the wrong place to enjoy it.”
On this one a taste
on this one clumps,
here a variegated blanket.
Each tree bears
the burden of winter
in its own way.
The crows were at it in the park today,
unable, it seemed, to agree on anything
and unwilling to let any other have the last word.
I asked them to stop, and that bought
all of fifteen seconds of peace before one
decided the debate needed to go on.
It was a cacophony hard on the ears,
and I wondered if the person who decided
that crows in groups were a murder
had ever stopped to listen, for to me
any group of crows is a cacophony.
As I thought this a small gathering
of wrens took up their autumn song,
and in the face of that sweet,
trilling chorus even the crows fell silent.
The clouds are thick
today, each merging
into the next like
an ill-woven blanket,
stitches dropped, but still
not admitting light.
None assumes familiar shapes,
none require more
than a passing glance,
though none promise
Today clouds simply
cast a pall and we
are left to bear
reluctance to be of use.
We arose from water,
crawled forth and inhabited the land
and claimed dominion
and the land appeared
to cede itself to us,
and caring even less.
We return to the water
feel its pull
but immerse ourselves
only partially, willing
to risk only half drowning,
the land and air
usually silent, knowingly
laugh for they know
that a fish
out of water
in a sea of air.