Nothing ends here
in the rush of the bitter wind
over the snowdrifts.

I have forgotten
the last call of the birds
as they left.

The rocks are bare
and sleek with white ice.

I stare at the ring light of ice
around the sun every morning.

The stars at night are endless.

The letter to me
from the one before me
says the winter goes on forever
and that I must stay.

But I need only my breath
as it leaves my body.
I no longer need
the weight of the earth
to travel.

I will build a ship
from ice
and the black pebbles
along the frozen river.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Full Moon New Year

Blow the bells toward magic
oaken and tangled
in the dark rim of trees.

Chime songs frozen in air
over the last snow of the old year.

Slow this cold night
silver children
of the full moon.

Be new
at the still pond

Voices of regret and hope
carried by north wind
to your wept heart.

Darkness in your limbs.

But there, just there,
do you see?

Lights glance
across the ice,
through the passing
of one year,
toward another.

Copyright Kay Winter

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A door seldom opens in the late Tuesday clouds
Up here in the tower.

None of us have wings, for all our celestial perceptions.

I want to fall backwards out of this life
into the city.

I have a white bag filled with tissue paper.

I don’t mind leaving nothing behind.

Take me to the silver doors,
with one last look at my reflection,
I will escape clueless
into the alley,
befriended by a tortoiseshell cat.

I want to fall backward out of this life.

There is a place that I will make waiting.
The sidewalk will crumble behind me.

I will no longer be the legs ascending the opera stairs
ahead of you, no longer the complacent shoulder.
No longer the pieces you think
you put together.

I have earned this small violence.

Copyright Kay Winter

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At the end of my wandering,
I wait with the golden leaves
For the autumn sky
to desire my flight.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Birch Light – reposting

Standing on the ridgeline
just above the golden quiver
of a birch wood,
We see, above the treeline,
a gray, stained sky approaching.

We throw our arms across
Autumn’s shoulders
As if to ask it
To tarry.

So that we can remain
this golden,
this splendid.

Copyright  Kay Winter

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Evening on the quiet bay,
A distant swirl of gulls
against the autumn woods.
Near me, a silent white moth
Flutters toward the balcony light.

Copyright Kay Winter

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At the mountain lodge
Gazing at the autumn sunset
A shared glance among
The blushing maples.

Copyright Kay Winter

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I am afraid
Only the powerless people
Believe it.

The ones who know already.
The ones who have cried in the bathroom
At the homecoming dance,
Who woke for decades in the early hours
Plotting an escape,
Who looked at the ceiling,
Looked at the desk,
Looked anywhere else.
But the ones who need to change,
Don’t  believe anyone,
Don’t believe their own eyes,
Don’t believe
What they did was all that wrong.

The powerless people,
Believe their eyes,
Know what they saw,
What they felt,
Turning toward the wall.

They know that the key fits in that lock,
And that behind that closed door
Is what wiped through their soul,
Wiped through their name,
Wiped through their new dress.

They know.

And they believe each other.

Watch out.

Kay Winter


Slick crimson sloe gin in a few red cups too many.
Potato pancakes after Halloween candy.
The bagged soup
That actually looks like it.
The oily bitter fizz salt water –
Oh sweet mother of God –
that you drink the morning of your procedure. 
That mushroom dish
from the Italian restaurant I cannot ever –
No not ever – go back to.
Have you horked up mushrooms
Then don’t tell me.

Kay Winter