So Winter Passes
Deep and deeper still,
beneath the ragged elms and gnarled oaks,
tangled roots as fingers lie knotted,
entwined together as in prayer
in a dark, winter-night dream.
Snow over ice layers upon the brooding woodland floor
where tiny skulls of mice and bones of voles
lie buried in a sacred grove, a holy grave.
Far below, life stirs…
A drowsy waking from a season long asleep.
Tiny cells, seeds, fungi… shudder, stretch and groan,
beetles, nourished upon their deathly repast
now grope and crawl, pushing upward
to tepid warmth and low-horizoned sun.
Brazen amid the monochrome,
green daggers poke forth,
pregnant with blooms, waiting, impatient for spring;
Not soon enough their fragile beauty to
decorate soft mosses and the ice cold stones.
Old winter-stiffened reeds, brown and broken,
form cruel beds for rats and wrens,
nestled there, hidden, huddled from the bitterest winds,
now will be cut down,
giving way to verdant shoots, tender wands
soon to sway in summer breezes.
Months of near death and ice cold pain
yield grudgingly in the dark earth womb.
So winter passes and spring is slowly born.
by Danny Cutting