no. 80


it snowed again today,


as if the precipitation couldn’t decide

whether to be feathery soft or needle sharp

or somewhere in between


but it allowed the wind to direct it,

brushing over my exposed face

and sneaking its way past my

scarf to the back of my neck

as exposed as a green sapling


of course it was cold,

but it was also isolating

it held sway over my thoughts

i couldn’t decide whether i was alone

or just lonely


it layered itself over existing

iced piles from days ago

becoming white sand dunes

unwelcoming, no respite

except the equally unpleasant

miniature mountains of

frozen slush and dirt framing the road


cars threatening to baptize me

with wet detritus of winter

so unholy, yet a fixed characteristic

of the end of the beginning that is spring

the devil in the details of


(written 22 march 2018)

no. 74

the return of the swans

three purposeful arrows they are

black iron-tipped and fletched white

from whose bow were they loosed

they do not wonder

their destination, their destiny

their synchronous flight marked

with such felicity by the hand

of some omnipotent deity

or perhaps by internal longing

for halcyon existence on a

distant but familiar lake

(written 27 april 2018)


no. 71

of light in the dark, no. 4

wind bathes the sky in sound

there is a rent in heaven’s fabric

where grey storm clouds, once woven

now at the mercy of that lion’s roar

escape their weft and warp

the sun’s ray a celestial needle

deftly repairing the hole

and flowers turn their heads

to marvel at the sight

(written 22 april 2018)

mundane musing the twenty-seventh

pussy willow

i took a walk this morning

searching for something

i knew with certainty i would

not find

still, with crow-like tenacity

sharp-eyed and wary

of others passing

i continued my search

relieved that my path

was not so monotonous

it wound through the trees and brush

covered with winter

tenacious suckers invading the shore

along the river secretly moving with

hypothermic sluggishness

under its protective crust

i knew they were nowhere to be seen

those which must be had

right now

by eager fingers and

eyes brightened by the prospect

of natural treasures

slender wands knobbled with

incongruently velvety catkins

silvery-grey in their sprouting

decorated with feathers and ribbon

they will be used as a curse or a gift

in exchange for springtime

(written 20 march 2018)

in finland, as in other countries worldwide, the pussy willow blooms in concert with the arrival of spring.  here the tradition is for children to decorate them and then dress like witches, going door-to-door, gifting the branches in exchange for treats on palm sunday.

no. 44

of light in the dark, no. 2

it creeps slowly into my window

the wash of morning comes sooner every day

candles are unnecessary; the muted coziness demanded by the winter

will slowly be replaced by bursts of color

whose vibrancy is showcased by sunlight

i open my heart to let winter out

i relinquish my protective coat of silence and introspection

and breathe in the greenness of buds and shoots

the freshness of squelching mud and

the noisiness of nature all around

allowing life to knock my bones out of their long sleep

my arteries and veins surge, brain awash in stimulatory synapses

my body becomes the garden

as tendrils grow from the depths of my being

now the brightness blooms


(written 18 february 2018)