The bite of winter

The season’s dog has clamped its jaws,
biting deep into my warm, moist flesh.
It’s bark turning the sky dispiriting grey
as a canopy of death, an ash urn turned
upside down clutching at the life below
with corpse cold fingers. The birds
refuse to fly, those that do soon drop
from heaven, feathered chunks of ice.
To breathe is to inhale shards of glass,
each breath a searing arctic surgery.
The air is still, cloying, a suffocating chill.
Frigidness permeates every pore in the body
making hands useless, hammer struck fingers
ache dangling off reddened fleshy paws.
The end of the year brings the burden
of survival to all creatures; except
those frozen in stillness, burrowed deep in
the earth never knowing the suffering above,
sleeping to awaken when spring triumphs,
banishing old man Winter to his northern realm.

©2013, Donald Harbour

This chill

bone of my bones
flesh of my flesh
succor me now
in this hour of night
when the blush
has left the grape
the winds bring
the valley mist
rolling over hills
past the barren vineyard
toward the ocean current
seeking north though
not knowing why
it drifts from me
yet it lies deep
finding each crevice
in the veneer of life
bone of my bones
flesh of my flesh
why is there this chill
in my heart and soul

©2010, Donald Harbour