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

What will you give

I am not ready, not ready,
I do not want to grow up,
I do not want to become a lemming,
in this playful existence I ask,
why do we rush to that cliff,
the abyss of no return,
living in the shadow of life,
only a ghost of what we could be,
fearing the dark beyond life’s walls,
making excuses for mortality,
seeking immortality in myth,
life is how the sun feels on skin,
life how the snow feels on your tongue,
a gentle breeze in loves hair,
the caress of a baby’s touch,
the sweet smell of a puppy,
the small things that touch you,
what will give you eyes,
where will you find it, where
will life rear its head and kiss you,
will life hear your final thought
into whose arms will your spirit return,
life is so precious, so unappreciated,
what lives will life merge with yours,
and, what will you give back, what?

2014, Donald Harbour

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

A winter gift

The first snow has begun,
born in great white blossoms,
descending in ballet pirouettes,
a Swan Lake performance, ballerinas
balanced on delicate ice crystal toes,
spinning, soaring through the air,
their symphony a soft whisper,
singing the song of the season,
cadenced by twittering sparrows, and
the castanet of forlorn autumnal leaves,
the hills and valleys are awash,
a winter vesper lave blanket ,
tree branches lift up spindly fingers,
praises for the life-giving snow,
spring dwells in their heart wood,
their thirsty buds drink the promise,
they do not complain the caress,
beneath the soft touch there is life ,
sleeping in an earthen bed it waits,
snow, how your blessed gift is loved.

©2011, Donald Harbour

Winter change

Ahh, yes! So there you are. I see you snow.

The gathering voice of old man winter,
summoned the icy north-wind to blow.

Gently shaking, each oak limb trembles,
scattering a mosaic color carpet below.

The leaves a membrane for the season,
left over from the year’s autumn show.

Now nature is snug beneath its blanket,
Awaiting December’s first quiet snow.

©2011, Donald Harbour

Winter is not welcome

We chose the house simply,
On a slight rise surrounded by nature,
Tight against winter chill.
Inside Chopin, good wine, warmth,
The voice of the fireplace a whisper,
Its heart beat, a pulsating heat.
We have climbed life’s mountain, together,
Hand-in-hand, helping, sometimes waiting.
The scent of us is mingled in the night,
A winter storm beats on the door,
We will not let it in, it is not welcome.
Winter is the change, the long sleep,
The blanket of snow preserving the spring.
We will look out our windows in May,
There will be flowers dancing with color,
Like memories stored, they live in belief.
We have always believed in another spring,
Nature’s reward for surviving winter.
Beside me on the couch I see you,
Your smile sweeps the cob webbed years away,
My wine glass empty, yours left untouched.
Though the hours only receive my breath,
I know you are there, patient as always.
These memories of you, small fragments of life,
But they are all I have and that is enough,
Their inner light pushing darkness away.
When sleep finds me, I will dream of you,
Holding you through the winter night once again.

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour