The Dawn Quartet

I was wakened by the rain
heard through open windows
pat patter pat beating
like a small tight drum,
then beyond the cloud water’s music
the winged ones began
their chirruping songs
to scores they only know
once the pattered drumming
slowed and ceased.

Head resting on my pillow,
cats eager to see if at
o four hundred I was awake
enough to heed their
presence and desire
to break their nightlong fast,
I heard the morning’s
emerging avian songs,
voices added one on one
the vocal ensemble reached
but four this morn,
no dawn chorus then for me.

Still, I was blessed,
and with a grateful heart
listened to the sweet refrains
of the dawn quartet
to begin my day,
the damp air perfumed,
the ground wet and leaves
bedecked in glistening droplets
after several dry weeks
under a cloud shrouded
breeze bearing sky.

Winter Arrived

Rain falls.
Mist rises.
Clouds glower.
Sun hides.

Winter.

The outside world contracts.
The inside world expands.
Darkness overtakes daylight.
Morning shortens.
Evening disappears.

There is day.
There is night.
Dawn shrinks.
Dusk vanishes.

Only two times now:
shortened day,
lengthened night.

Winter arrived
damp and dank,
cloud shrouded,
sun starved.

When the golden warmth
appears
suddenly,
an unexpected afternoon
of sunshine
fleeting glorious heartening,
before clouds once more overtake,
dropping temperature,
stealing our illusioned sky
turning vibrant blue to dull gray,
a new pattern
autumn well and truly gone,
replaced subsumed forgotten.

Horizontal rain
wind borne
lashes whips rages
reality tipped sideways longwise
playing with our minds
toying with our souls
dampening our spirits . . .
unless until
acceptance.

Welcome the time of retreat
when dark and chill
replace light and warmth,
preparation for regeneration;
face discomfort
to shatter complacency,
accept lessons
in softer seasons ignored,
embrace the work of winter,
learn not to fear darkness
but to cherish light.

Winter the harsh season.
Winter the winnowing season.
Winter when then and yet
hide forcing the now
into shard-sharp relief
focusing what is most important
no frills no embellishment no decorations
can hide us from ourselves.

Allow the trees’ austere forms
to show what we avoid —
that we too stand naked
before the cold truths unavoidable
we are vulnerable
we are fragile
we are capable of hope.

Samhaintide

Prepare now
for the Samhaintide
make ready
for the delicate dawns
the diaphanous dusks
are upon us.

They will not last long,
these daybreakings
these nightfallings,
before we realise
all will return to what
we know well
and cope with better.

As the light shrinks itself
making room for expanding darkness,
when the constellations
more brightly dance
singing across the star strewn sky,
we keep the Samhiantide.

Out the corner of the eye,
was that a shimmer,
a swiftly darting energy
manifested momentarily,
the shadow stealthily
moving as a cloud across sky?

Barely audible
almost beyond our hearing,
was that thrumming,
the muffled chanting of the ancestors,
just the comfortable side of discordant,
who no longer sing in our harmonies
whose melodies grate the senses?

Yet, yet the sight of them fills
us with wonder and reassurance,
their musics astonish offering us solace,
we do not know how
it is possible for us to understand.

Samhaintide,
prepare to encounter what
we do not expect and accept
what we embodied
do not now understand.

The mystery of death,
the other birth
shrouded until the last moments,
and let us not wait until death is upon us,
to embrace and be embraced by
the reality we are not alone
either in our living or our dying.

Open and let go,
prepare now
for the Samhaintide
make ready
for the delicate dawns
the diaphanous dusks
are upon us.

They will not last long,
these daybreakings
these nightfallings,
before we realise
all will return to what
we know well
and cope with better . . .
unless we choose
a different way of being.