Month: December 2015

The Snow Man


One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Forest Prayer

for JR


at the grove’s edge

you meet them all, each one

dripping with hurt, steel eyed

dusted and luminous


moss trod and lichen lipped

you go on, forgiving and seeking forgiveness.

looking back, you see that

abandoned, none follow and

alone you go,

liminal in the margin


at the dipping point

each river-pool clears of its whispering ghosts

your trinkets, tokens, icons of memory

are placed in offering as expiation


each gesture a steady movement

each step up the mountain, lighter still

you are deep prayer moving steadily

toward foresight,  toward reclamation, toward flight



you are golden haired


loved by the gods

you are sweet-breathed


as friend, father, brother, as joy-bringer

you are seminal and unbound



MChallis © 2015

At Richmond

For the need to watch the breeze in trees

And eye the vineyard climbing hills

As green farrows line such steep escarpments

We sit this while in shaded birch – the grove; this peaceful heart.



for Dennis Lee

By the river
at night

burned stubble
of sugar cane
feathers the air with a lick of caramel

a quiet earth underscores
crocus and chorusing cricket
as curlew weep their distant sonorous calls

fingering the stillness
we pluck a string of starlight

to pull a gentle breeze closer
we tug on orbiting moons

in the darkness of deep
we become motionless
intent to watch worlds
and enter the symphony

MChallis @ 2015