The Fever Broke

The fever broke.
I swam
to the surface of awareness,
fighting the tide
of bed linens and pillows
panting
drenched
spluttering to breathe
through the barrage of coughs.
I barked like a seal
taunting the beach.

The fever broke.
I stretched
exhausted on the shore of the duvet
the sun rose above the horizon
casting golden light
through the windows.
I reached for a glass of water
though the sweat ran off me
in rivulets unquenching.

The fever broke.
I move
slowly as the virus
slips through my system
the cold subsiding
into fits of coughing
preceded by glass-shattering sneezes,
no dainty lady-like aschoos,
more like glass shattering AH-AH-AH-CHOOOOOs
scaring the cats
wracking my body
leaving muscles aching.

The fever broke.
I remain
unbroken though
barely able to speak,
and a bath is exertion enough
to send me napping,
seeking the lost dream
from which the breaking fever
pulled me away,
though the coughs
drag me once more awake
unsatisfied and confused.

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Frost Folk

Brown leaf 1

The nights dark on darker
cold on colder
shelter the growing of the Frost Folk,
who cannot live in the bright light
or warmth of the day.

The Frost Folk live in shadows,
short is their time the Mayflies of winter
rising up of an early morn
sinking into oblivion before day’s end,
yet they are musicians
making music in crunching thin ice
and the slow mournful drip of their death.

The Frost Folk grow over rock and heather,
altering the structure
of fragile flowers too late blooming,
reaching up from the edges of leaf
for a better view of a world
observed but briefly.

The Frost Folk are the denizens of winter
they are those who paint on glass
shiny textured undecipherable images
and who decorate the grasses
in white lace and bangles of crystal luminescense.

Pause and delight in the Frost Folk’s gifts
for even in winter
they are not always present
making music or leaving art
in the wake of their passage across
our landscapes from the mysterious
world from which the grow
and to which as droplets they return
weeping for a life too short
and a cold darkness not long enough.

Winter’s Cold

Winter’s cold weaves
expanding icy lace
barely visible, upon
dark needled yew,
bare branched ash,
berried brazen holly,
spreading fernish tendrils
patterning across surfaces,
setting miniscule shards
of crystal standing upon
leaves alive and dead,
making no discernible distinction.

Winter’s cold rests
in places saturated by preferences
eons old and untamed still,
raises misty on the rimes
bounding fields again water swollen
too sodden for any but the swans,
when night-water standing shallow
transubstantiates to ice
slippery and shining
seen in unexpected beauty
on the dawning of the day.

Winter’s cold steals
upon and over roads and pathways,
undetectable until too late,
ice black as night
as dangerous as
frozen projectiles thrown
by no hand seen by human eyes,
plummeting,
from eaves and rooftops
crashing to break the quiet
impaling the unwary.

And now Winter’s cold
drapes shoulders undetected
and gloves fingers invisibly,
it can steal into the Self,
it can freeze the soul
with discontent,
it can freeze the heart
with regret,
it can freeze the mind
with memories,
if one be not careful
it can reach out grabbing
the joy, the hope, the wonder
from the season’s bright festivities.

Be wary then and watchful,
though most of all,
be bold with wonder,
be extravagant with joy,
be generous with love,
be not afraid,
embrace with delight Winter’s gifts,
short lived each year,
filled with immense mystery
and the deepest magic.