After The Second Snow

The deathly cold of Mother Nature’s chill
And cruelest son bites deep into the ground,
Freezing to solid ice both pond and rill,
And thickly crusting every lake and sound;
Now as the wind swift’ dies, the air is still,
Marred only by the rustlings on the mound
Of black and hardly scavengers unbound.

Across the scattered carrion in haste
The leathery nigrescence of the crows
Strips bear the spoils of Winterworld and waste,
For Satan’s bird cares not how cold it blows;
In ice or desert, Ravenslord unchaste
Is mastered by the one desire he knows:
The craving which with rising hunger grows.

The landscape, stark and naked in its white,
No other signs of life deigns to betray,
The songbirds, silent in the morning light,
Their cheerful chorus long since drained away;
The Sun, although unwarming, sparkles bright,
And stings the eye that dares to meet its ray,
Reflected in the crystalline display.

First time around, the whiteness left us hope,
This time it does naught but demoralise,
Its harsh companion seals the envelope
Of death with icy kisses, and the skies
Are no more blue and nebulous with rope,
But uniformly grey; no alibis
Nor mercy is extant wherein She lies.

February 11, 1985

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