by Thomas Davis
The old man walks into the cedar forest.
Cold waves rise up to thunder white-capped rage
Against dark dolostone cloaked white with snow.
The twisted trunks of trees, born in an age
Long past, reach out into the old man’s path
And clutch at bearskin boots as black as night.
Time whorls as lightning jags above the slate
Of waves, and thunder dances cloudy light
Into a rush of wilding, whistling wind.
The old man stands upon a cold, high ledge
Inside the wierding winter of the storm
And stares at ice congealed from clouds of mist
That glitter as a shining spray transforms
The frigid air into a swirl of light
Reflecting darkness from the dolostone.
The old man sighs, and in an ancient voice
Begins to sing, his voice a toneless drone.
Out of the icing mist a flock of geese
Fly, wings a whir, from cresting, foaming waves.
Behind them shades of geese, dredged out of time,
Come streaming from the darkness of the caves
Beneath the old man’s ledge shined black with ice.
The old man lifts his arms and tries to see,
Inside the mist of time, what fate is threaded
Into the heartbeats of humanity.
The cedar forest snakes its roots through stone.
The storm’s crescendo rises as the lightning
Disperses fire above the raging waves.
Snow whips through wind, a hail-hard stinging
That bites through deerskin clothes into cold flesh
And brings cold tears into the old man’s eyes.
Tears freeze; the geese shades disappear; the man
Stands blind beneath the fury of the skies.