Tag Archives: Poetry

The Winter Woods: A Sestina

From my late afternoon window, I see the woods
in black, ragged lines in winter.
The trees of bare branches mourn the loss
of leaves. Deep within the woods is an encircling mist
Where the soft earth, softer for the leaves, awaits the rain
and the season of austerity and peace

And I too, seek the austerity of winter peace.
In the late afternoon, I long for the woods.
I wait for the passing of the cold and relentless rain
to walk out the small door into winter
into the curtain of the clearing’s remembering mist
The leaf-covered path sings a song of loss

The song of summer’s broken promise, a song of loss
But in my walking the dark shouldered trees offer peace
and quiet solace in the chill and veiling mist
My breath in quiet cloud breathes with the breath of the woods.
Each step forgives the loss, forgives the winter.
In the clearing, breathing within the mist, I await the return of the rain

The passing of the high clouds, gray and filled with rain
ease the well within me that murmurs of loss.
The brown leaves do not mourn the vanishing sun of winter
They fall as they must, in forgiveness and peace.
The afternoon falls into the swift dusk of the woods.
The first drops of rain fall against hands, fall through mist.

Memory lives in mist.
Mist, snow, sun, starlight, moonlight,clouds, rain
Bring lights of their own beauty into the woods
Remembered joy, endured pain, and mourned loss.
In memory offered as prayer, my spirit finds peace
like the wild, bare, and mysterious winter.

By my walking I move through winter,
Walking the earth’s soft floor, along paths of mist.
I leave wait in the woods for the fall of light to find peace
Though the swiftly moving clouds bring rain
I leave behind for that hour, the day’s demands, and honor loss
and the healing paths of winter woods.

The woods wait through winter’s loss
though mist and rain, to offer peace.

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Too Late for This Path

I am walking too late for this path,
but I could not turn away
from the harvest moon rising
across the field as wide
as the magic before me.

I should turn back,
but the frost is settling upon the grasses,
bent and patient.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Hat on a Madman

You were the hat on the madman
holding in the smoke thoughts
holding in the firecracker sparks

You were the hat on the madman
listening to the moonbeam siren
listening to the green spaceship summons

You were the hat on the madman
into sympathetic flames
of stellar love

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How Could We Know?

How could we know
that the severing hand would come at last
for her,
the last innocent among us.

How could we know
that by standing once
(when they said we should not)
singing once
(when they said we should not)
kneeling once
(when they said we should not)
that we would go this way

How could we know
that our defiance
made the passersby a part of the fight
whether they chose it or not?

How could we know
that the severing hand would come at last
for the final innocent among us?

How could we know
that we would hear them
nailing shut her door?

How could we know
we who planned nothing,
that when the light was gone,
when the moon was gone
that our dry hands, our bleeding fingers
would scramble into the wood
until the door was down
and we could take her back?

How could we know
that after that we were moving,
always moving,
through brown bracken fields at night
on forgotten roads in what had been
the heart of America
past relics of prosperity and hope and lies
in neon and weedy parking lots.

How could we know that
the last thing she would see
of freedom
would be the brown-edged petal
of a dying pink rose?

How could we know the enemy
had so many empty rooms waiting for us?

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Come Too Far

I have come too far
by dark cars arriving lightless
at remote and discarded crossroads

I have been picked up
and carried from one place to another
by silent drivers

The world outside
has ended
only a few of us were not false

The last driver left me here and disappeared
two or three days ago
Another one has not arrived

I walked here
to this boiling pond
to throw in the last of my lies
the fake passport
the airline tickets
the travel journal describing places
I have never been to
Paris and the sandhills of Nebraska

I remember a corner in Chicago,
under a burned-out train track
my last home casting
dark shadows on the blasted pavement

The first of the dark cars arrived, waited
I had been valuable
worth saving.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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That room sticks to me like a shadow
the pacing accusations in the mirror
the time wasting slowly across the wet windows
this end to that end to this end to that that end
the long hall outside
the shuffle outside that would stop
and move on

Those years stick to me like shadows
the fretful worries in the worn rug
the dust left at all the edges
that corner that corner that corner and that corner
caged problems with no answers
the trees bending down in rain outside
waiting to spring back

Copyright Kay Winter

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New Angels

Is there pity,
or wonder,
or both,
in a new angel’s first glimpse
of earth
looking back?

Does the blue globe pull its tides
on the angel heart?
Do the clouds reach outward
to catch at the white feathers?

Are the tears heard?
The shouts into the darkness?
The songs rising?
The catch in the throat?

Or is there at last,
and only,
the peace of silent space
and the Almighty beckoning?

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Octpowrimo Day 3: Death Metal

Death like metal in the window darkness stood waiting.

The weary man’s midnight sigh gone
in cough struggle, lapsing to stillness, let go.

And stars go along, eurekas go along
with the concert lights snapping off, one by one.
Memory of dashboards, bar jukes, basement stereo lights.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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The Dirt End

It has come down to
the dirt end of winter:
one last lucky penny
lost in my coat lining.

I had saved it to pay
for small
and flightless hopes.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Out of the Fog

Out of the fog
the soft sound of
cottonwood leaves clicking
as the drops fall from
one leaf to another
down time
to the blurred
by the door of the hotel
swinging open.

The smell of eggs
in chafing dishes
and the mixture
of morning colognes.

I want to go back
to the fog outside
the long walk here
and find the wet bark
and soft click of leaves.

Copyright Kay Winter

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