The melody arose from the most unexpected place. They heard it deep within the woods and even the birds fell silent peering around, searching for its unrevealed source. It carried on for several verses and then, as quickly as it came it was gone, the final note carried off by a spring wind. No one entered, no one left the woods that day and though many searched no instrument was found and the trees of the woods grew silent at the searchers’ approach.
I want the sky to be that certain crimson tinged with burnt sienna and cinnabar, but today winter is holding sway and the sun sneaks off behind the gray wall from which it only peeked, and left the day one of grayscale where intensity replaced beauty and even the cardinal opted to stay high in the spruce, offering only an occasional glint of red. We come to expect this, it is a season of colorlessness, and the only question is whether we can hold out until spring returns the full pallette and nature takes up brush again.
The moon has gone past full and as waning as I write, it’s slow retreat hopefully taking with it the burden of winter, that we now must measure in feet, the inches having been heaved up, one upon another. Spring will come soon for a taste of it, for spring is an inveterate tease, preferring to appear only long enough to let the melting snows floor around, and to occasionally into our homes, so that we, maps and markets in hand, pause to dream of the summer which we now doubt will ever appear.
He says that foremost Mao Zedong was a poet, and knew that all poetry must at some level be political, must incite the reader to rebel against complacency. I say that Zhao Zhenkai wrote as Bei Dao as the ultimate act of rebellion, sacrificing his very identity. He says that I am anchored by the weight of realism, and I say that he needs reeducation. She says that neither of us will ever write the just open bloom of spring’s first rose.
First appeared in the May 2019 Issue of The Broadkill Reivew
There is a heaviness to the sky a weightiness belied by the gray of the clouds, even the departing sun seems to whisper that it will be replaced by rain in short order. You feel the weight bearing down, as the heat of the day dissipates, and although the first drops have not yet fallen, you know that it is best to be within when the rain begins for it will do so without warning and with little care for your presence, for this is how Spring demands your attention.
She isn’t used to the cold, she never will be, and she hates it with the sort of passion she once reserved for people of a different political philosophy than hers. She grew up here, but she left. She has never regretted the departure. She visits only in late spring or in the heart of summer, or early autumn and is here now only for a funeral, which she hates more than the cold this winter. She wishes that the death could have occurred in late spring, early autumn, the heart of summer. She is certain she will die in one of those seasons, or at least in the deep enough south that no one attending a funeral will have to freeze and curse the winter. She has no intention of dying anytime soon, for she has a great deal left to do and some of that clearly involves cursing winter and hating the cold with a passion.
The temperature falls, slowly at first but gaining speed, as though in the grip of winter’s gravity. Winter has the potential to be a black hole season into which we enter and imagine we will never reemerge into spring. The wind whispers stories to us of a time when this was all ice when no one complained of a chill for there was no one. We turn up our collars to remind the wind that we will remain here, for nature has given us an equal dose of stubbornness.