Resilience

In the glade an old Red Oak stands naked,
except for a single fluttering leaf,
still cast with the color of fall.
I have watched it for hours, and
I wonder if is proclaiming a message.
An axiom of life in its resilience,
its tenacity to purpose, to refusal,
a dogged determination to hang in there.
Though the winter wind tugs at its grip,
still it stays convinced that it must,
if not for purpose, then for the tree.

©2015, Donald Harbour

The wheel of the year

There is sleep in the air,
rustling leaves begin to fall,
the sagging eyelids of the season.
Each day a crispness awakens,
it heralds other subtle changes,
rest for the land, flowers, lakes.
The cleansing purgatory of snow
gathers its chemistry in the north.
The gentle breeze whispers: “Quiet now,”
the hush is Mother Nature’s cool touch
upon the frantic fevered cheek of summer.
Human hearts yearn for this time,
they cling to past ancient old ways,
a quickening yearning for the hearth,
harvested fields, ducks on the fly.
Goddesses lurk in the shadows,
Modron and Olwen lean into their work,
shouldering, turning the wheel of the year.
Sages know only spring and autumn hold love,
the dawn and twilight of seasons,
the spiritual recharging of all life.
Smoke rises from a distant chimney,
it has comfort in its languid message,
a temple incense carrying prayers.
In the living is the solitary knowledge
that with the ending of the year awaits
creation’s glorious beginnings,
the only promise winter gives up.

©2015, Donald Harbour

Morning in the South

I arose this morning –
the dawn silently tip toeing,
across the sleeping dark horizon.

Bare stark branches of trees,
gatekeepers of the coming day,
beseech the horns of Luna to stay.

Night has left behind diamonds
glittering, strung across the ground,
a gift for the coming spring.

Tendrils of fireplace smoke waft
with the musky clear, crisp air,
a ritual offering to the hearth.

Fluffy feathered birds chirp awake,
shaking the cold from drowsy beaks,
tenors tuning up for their work.

A distant hound speaks its mind,
announcing another glorious
morning in the American South.

This magical moment of wakening,
carries the heritage of time,
of past and present, of tomorrows.

It touches the soul, the heart,
with things that are gentle reminders
of what it means to be a Southerner.

 ©2015, Donald Harbour

The least of us

Tonight, a cold north wind
finds a tormented soul,
encrusted in cast-off old rags,
discarded fabric, forgotten cotton,
feet clad with worn out leather,
a motionless form lays crumpled,
held in a cardboard shroud,
the scraps of existence, no joy,
a forgotten shadow of life,
of what was, of what could be,
the wonder of city night lights,
perform kaleidoscope dances,
they mask the most precious,
humanity’s sack cloth clothed,
life should not suffer so,
life abundant should provide,
the lesser are the mightiest,
the strength of the spirit,
existing to remind us of,
in a heartbeat, are you, am I.

©2014, Donald Harbour

Winter long flying bird

The hawk of winter is sinking
its talons into the soul of earth,
bitter grievous dark beacon of
the long sleep, long flying bird
that beckons the forgiveness of spring,
it cannot wait its task for it blankets
this night with the howl of its song
and the moulting of its cold cold feathers,
perched upon the dead and fallow ground
there is hope in the birth it nurtures,
a blessing in the sacrifice to destiny,
it will not nest forever but for the morrow,
cast back to its northern clime
duty bound to leave us when the sun
awakens from its southern sojourn
with a heated nod shooing that pesky bird.

©2014, Donald Harbour

This house

The house is speaking tonight,
commentary, with clicks and sighs.

Its mouthpiece a north wind,
moaning, as the zephyr whistles.

Then, gathering itself up
to move, with the darkness.

Somnolent solitary shifting,
as if, the night hides secrets.

Does it hide truths of the past,
a desolate sentinel of time.

Lives lived, lives lost, composted,
can its timbers remember, and speak.

A whispered reciting of life’s passage,
I do not understand its language.

An ancient part of me hears, feels, and
knows, this house dwells in all of us.

©2014, Donald Harbour

Slaming the slam

this night is cold and wet,
an ice water rinse of clothing.
parts of me curse my inability
to find shelter, leading me to
a lapse in judgement, it is
an illustrative life event.
my only solace, a dimly lit beer tavern,
it is a  rain drop caught on the tongue
quenching a drought of understanding.
there thrust into amateur night chaos,
finding a poetry slam pit of confusion.
in a grungy corner perched on a stool
presumed poets are preaching,
spewing out denial, these floundering
disciples of expressionism, railing
against men, women, war, peace,
a rambling dirge of complaints,
they are puppies barking at nothing,
cats piteously crying for recognition.
words strung together, randomly
searching for cognitive thought,
limited by their experiences, they are
lost lunatic poetic apostles ,
wandering a wasteland of thought,
the poems dried fish divided
for the masses. their vinegar will
never be made into wine, their bread
offered is stale, pitted by the weevils
of claustrophobic boredom, the  voices
self searching plastic soul surgery.
the  beer is flat and tasteless, untouched
I return back  into the drenching night,
thankful for its companionship, once again
wrapped  in the comfort and warmth of its misery.

2014, Donald Harbour