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Winter Poems

Winter Poems

By Richard George

Shakespir Edition

Copyright 2015 by Richard W. George

 

 

Alphabetic List of Titles

Admonition

Afghanistan Redux

Apostrophe to Death

Astronomical Triolet

Ballad Of Remembrance

Daylight Comes

December Night

December Sonnet

Don’t Wait For Me

Drought Sonnet

Evensong

Folk Fashion Gods

Friends

I Welcome the Sun

Jill’s Call

Ken

Minor Song

November Sonnet

November Villanelle

Promises

Random Triolet

Remember June?

South Park

Thanksgiving Lyric

The Lovers

The Night Comes Soon in November

The Quiet Time

Winter

Winter Ballad

 

Alphabetic Index of First Lines

Bright sun belies the cold

Daylight comes cold and gray

Don’t wait for me under an apple tree.

Don’t weep for the dead, they want no tears

Falling stars last night rained fire

Folk fashion gods from clay

Her call was brief, a simple thanks to me

I bid my dogs come sleep with me tonight.

I do remember,

I fold my book

I sought out friends

I welcome the sun. The gray has gone for now.

Night swallows day in somber shade.

No rain is promised for today.

November winds scatter the withered leaves

Old men dream of virile youth

The day is bright and cold. The noontime sun

The dogs and cat sleep soundly tonight.

The evening sun slides down the sky.

The feast is ready, the table’s set.

The night comes soon in November.

The night has come to rest

The promised rains are falling on the sea.

The weak moon leads the stars

The weather gurus promise us

The winter’s diluted the sunshine.

The young man rode through winter rain;

Then in the mountains of Afghanistan

We do not wait for death,

Where the white Tarryall

 

Ken

The evening sun slides down the sky.

The night chill steals into my room.

The promised rain should soon come by.

 

Out of the night’s accustomed gloom

I will not see the stars aglow.

This fog will hide them, I assume.

 

The cold winds wander to and fro

Carrying leaves along the street.

I idly mark their drifting flow.

 

You went too soon. When will we meet?

Or won’t we be together again?

Is our journey truly complete?

 

Just now I wait for promised rain

As twilight smears the firmament.

As darkness falls I think of Ken

 

And what our years together meant.

My grief is old; I will not cry.

My sorrow-tears for you I’ve spent.

Don’t Wait for Me

Don’t wait for me under an apple tree.

Apples fall from trees the wise folk say.

I will not come to be with you today

Lest a heavy apple fall on me.

We can meet some other place and be

Unworried that fruit might fall. There is no way

To share an hour of talk or try to play

With fruit falling around us. Shall not we

Find shade beneath an elm or stately oak

To host our time together? Perhaps we’ll find

A park, complete with bench for us to use

Where we can talk away from other folk

Or whisper secrets to the passing wind

Or ask some bird to tell the latest news.

November Sonnet

November winds scatter the withered leaves

Across my lawn. The marigolds’ dried pods

Fall to the ground. The rain drips from the eaves.

Somewhere pagans worship stranger gods

With arcane rites beneath the alien sun.

Somewhere, I think, the winds are warm and soft

As a lover’s touch. Here the warmth has gone.

The winter rides astride the chilly draft.

I dream of June with blooms of every kind

Flourishing in riotous color. How bereft

I am of warmth I’ve been robbed by the wind

Of summer’s heat. I huddle in my coat

And watch the world blow by outside my door.

A sudden cough rattles inside my throat

It’s the dust of shattered leaves, no more.

November winds are playing with the trees,

Whipping bare branches in its autumnal breeze.

November Villanelle

Night swallows day in somber shade.

The timid stars have hidden from the moon

And summer meadow flowers fade.

 

The feeble sun is most dismayed

That cold night comes so very soon,

Night swallows day in somber shade

 

The vibrant life the summer displayed

Is dormant. Autumn breezes drone

And summer meadow flowers fade.

 

The green fields where the wild mice played

Are black with damage the frost has done.

Night swallows day in somber shade.

 

The happy hours the summer made

Have shriveled with the shrinking sun

And summer meadow flowers fade.

 

There is no way for one to evade

November’s heartless coming when

Night swallows day in somber shade.

And summer meadow flowers fade.

The Lovers

The young man rode through winter rain;

His horse was old and slow.

The trees pushed off their sodden leaves

To fall to the ground below.

 

Despite the cold he merrily sang

Love ditties as he rode.

The plodding horse paid little mind

To the off-key music he made.

 

One foot before the next the horse

Put down on the narrow trail.

The young man crooned about his love

Riding through hill and dale.

 

The furtive deer fled through the forest

Alarmed by the young man’s songs.

Shy rabbits burrowed in their dens.

The eagles spread their wings

 

And flew sunward in the afternoon.

The young man urged his horse

To hasten to his lover’s abode.

The steed plodded his course

 

Ignoring his rider’s urging him.

The young man’s lover pined

For him to come. Night darkened the east.

Trees bowed before the wind.

 

The rain intensified and drowned the stars

In grey and somber cloud.

The horse stumbled and fell to rise

No more, for it had died.

 

The man fell under the dying horse,

His bones were crushed and broken.

He lay in pain until he died

Clutching the love token

 

He wore to show his love eternal.

The lover he rode to see

Presumed the young man’s ardor cooled

And despaired that this should be.

 

He put a pistol to his head

And pulled the trigger. Down

He fell and died as well. So both

Young lovers untimely gone

 

Were mourned by maidens’ salty tears

For fortunes lost. None missed

The horse. The people talked about

The young men who were lost

 

Never knowing they were lovers

Sworn to hold each other

Beloved above all folk they met,

Held closer than a brother.

 

Do not ride out for love, my friend.

The danger’s great you’ll die;

Before you consummate your love

It’s time to say goodbye.

Random Triolet

Bright sun belies the cold

That holds the day in an iron grip.

In the feeble flare of a year grown old

Bright sun belies the cold.

The sun is weak, the leaves are gold

And winter waits with an un-sprung trap.

Bright sun belies the cold

That holds the day in an iron grip.

South Park

Where the white Tarryall

Tumbles to the valley

Crimson-gowned Alison

Wandered witless nightly.

East and west, north and south

High peaks ring the parkland.

Snows that fell decades since

Glitter in the sunshine.

Alison coiffed in curls

Grey with age and weary

Laid her down in the town

Waiting for the daylight.

Death came then freeing her

From her earthly sorrows.

Solemn prayers townsfolk made

For her soul’s salvation

Where the white Tarryall

Tumbles to the valley.

Crimson-gowned Alison

Sleeps in peace forever.

Winter

The winter’s diluted the sunshine.

As though the November grew thinner

October was brilliant and warmer

The grasses were green then, not brown yet.

The summer’s departed; snow flurries

Are waiting to fall on the mountains.

The fishes swim slower in rivers

Much tamer than summer meltwater

Had made them. December is coming.

The rabbits have refurbished their burrows,

The wolves and the coyotes are denning

For winter. The people light lanterns

To drive back the darkness that threatens

To cover the daylight of winter.

Afghanistan Redux

Then in the mountains of Afghanistan

Blood fertilized the ground where clan fought clan.

‘Til blood-soaked sand cascaded down the slopes;

Perhaps the gods despaired of saving man.

 

Men fight today and make the sacrifice

Soaking the ground with wartime’s bloody mess.

When will they learn, oh gods, that killing fails;

It seldom solves a human made impasse.

 

Grieve anew, widows and orphans, for war

And rumors of it we have heard before;

Blood will soak the mountain sands again

From Kabul, Helmand, Balkh and Kandahar.

Drought Sonnet

The promised rains are falling on the sea.

The dry land suffers winter’s watered sun

With unquenched thirst. Salmon struggle to spawn

In low rivers. The spawning fish set free

Their roe and milt. Some fingerlings will be

Survivors strong enough to find the ocean,

Others will die before their trip is done.

Nature’s stern law allows no remedy

Except by chance. I wait for rain to splash

On my roof and fill the rivers up

With flowing streams of waters fallen fresh

From heaven bringing life in every drop,

Bringing green to renew the brittle grass,

Bringing me renewal and re-born hope.

Alphabetic Index of First Lines

Alphabetic List of Titles

Ballad of Remembrance

Old men dream of virile youth

Winning wars and loves.

Romances then were all they pursued.

Now they flee their graves.

 

Hobbling feebly leaning on canes

Or crutches, the sad old men

Tell tall tales of derring-do

Of wars they’ve never seen

 

And loves they never won except

In wishful memories.

Indulge them, these old men near-dead

And all the vagaries

 

Of time-distorted recollection

They share. The fearless young

Will, too, grow old and tell old tales

Of wine, lovers, and song.

Astronomical Triolet

The weak moon leads the stars

Across the nighttime skies;

Its face is pocked with scars.

The weak moon leads the stars

In the welkin’s futile wars

Perhaps to their demise;

The weak moon leads the stars

Across the nighttime skies.

Evensong

The night has come to rest

My weary eyes.

The moon and stars are hiding

In the shaded skies.

 

They fear to venture out

Lest winter rain

Fall from the clouds that hang

A darkened stain

 

Across the northern welkin.

The western glow

Is red with sunset blood

That soon will go

 

And I shall sleep at last

Untroubled by dreams

Of dying romantic heroes

‘Til morning comes.

Winter Ballad

 

No rain is promised for today.

The skies are bright and blue

Brightened by light left over from days

When summertime was new.

 

A cold wind blows out of the north

Its chilling breath has seared

The tired leaves on the sleeping trees

And left the branches bared

 

To winter winds. The winter ice

Will come and wrap the trees

Against the winds that carry cold

As freight upon their breeze.

Regarding Death

We do not wait for death,

Indeed, we flee its grasp.

With careful ritual ways

We blot its face from our thoughts.

Life occupies our time

With cares and kin and joys

That come and go like clouds

The wind is chasing around

The skies before a storm.

We do not wait for death

To come to take us away.

We will not see the grim

Destiny meant for all.

Do not be proud dear death;

We do not wait for you.

Promises

The weather gurus promise us

The rain will come to make the lawn

Green again instead of brown.

The dormant trees will drink it deeply.

Too long we’ve had no rain. The seas

Have kept us dry. The weather-casters say

This year will offer a wetter winter.

The cracked soils need to swell with rain;

The small seeds need the kiss of rain;

We dried out humans need to feel

The rain against our skins and hair.

The weather gurus promise us

The rain will come to make the lawn

Green again instead of brown.

Jill’s Call

Her call was brief, a simple thanks to me

For verses I’d sent her. I was glad she rang.

My day was dark before she called, you see.

When she hung up I hummed a happy song.

The melody was one the old folks sang

To mark their joyful times. My heart was lighter

Because she called, though she did not talk long

I found when her call was over my day was brighter;

I startled both my dogs with a sudden burst of laughter.

Daylight Comes

Daylight comes cold and gray

Out of the eastern sky.

Summer seems far away.

An autumn rain is coming

 

From the sea’s northern clime

Riding on the cold winds

Breathing frost all the time

To blacken tender plants.

 

Cold winds come at dawn

Robbing the sun of warmth.

Winter rules, summer’s gone

I’ll need a coat today.

I Welcome the Sun

I welcome the sun. The gray has gone for now.

I heard a bird greet the bright break of day

Warbling anthems on a pine-tree bough.

Green sparkles dot the lawn in bright display

Where dewdrops dance. The winter flowers sway

To the wind’s chill song. I greet the winter sun

With new delight. I hope it’s come to stay

A while with me and let me see wind run

Its fingers through the coiffure of the sprouting lawn.

The Quiet Time

I fold my book

And lay it down

To listen to silence.

Ice cubes fall

In my ice maker.

Outside a dog

Protests some wrong

Perpetrated

By unknown hands.

Inside my dogs

Mutter replies

I won’t translate.

The silence returns,

I hear it fall.

I take my book

And open it.

The silence weighs

On my ears. A voice

Would be a joy

To hear in this quiet.

There is no voice

For me to hear

And thus awaken

My social side.

The Night Comes Soon in November

The night comes soon in November.

The dark rushes to hide

The last rays of the sun

That crimsons the western sky.

The night comes soon in November

Commanding stars and moon

To promenade the welkin

In diamond-brilliant splendor

The night comes soon in November;

The too-short days stay cold

The frost fringes the flowers.

I’ll go early to bed—

The night comes soon in November.

December Night

The dogs and cat sleep soundly tonight.

They sleep through the sounds that come and go.

Above the white-faced moon is bright

And cold. The drifting stars ae pale

In the moon’s scattered silver glow.

The icy breeze’s breath is chill

Exhalation across the town

Sleeping beneath the winter sky.

One dog stirs and groans, then sleeps

Unstirred by coyotes courting the moon.

I pull the blankets up to my eyes

One dog growls a dream response

The other stirs as the moonlight creeps

Across the welkin where stars dance.

Thanksgiving Lyric

The feast is ready, the table’s set.

The chairs are set to hold

The feasters while they eat the meal.

The bird and ham are carved,

Served with mashed potatoes and yams

Prepared by loving hands.

The mince and pumpkin pies are lined

Along the side buffet

Waiting the knife to cut the wedges

Of too-rich food to round

The big meal out. The merriment

Of holidays should reign.

Chairs we set for the ones we loved

In years before are stored

In dusty attics. In the chatter

A sudden time of silence;

Someone spoke of she who died

Untimely soon last spring.

Winter Sonnet

I bid my dogs come sleep with me tonight.

The weatherman has promised cold will come

To freeze my garden. Winter takes its bite

When it chooses, and leaves frost on the lawn.

The day is fading. Night swallows the sun; the dark

Descends, and as it falls the cold comes too.

I pity those who pursue an outdoor work

When winter has swallowed northern ice and snow.

The dogs do not demur; they want the warm

To heat them through the night. The cat as well

Requests a place to shield him from the harm

He fears is riding on the winter chill.

The dogs refuse to make room for the cat;

He waits ‘til they sleep to find himself a spot.

Young and Old, a Ballad

The old man pranced about the yard

Celebrating the sun

The young man slept, worn out by love

Under a silver moon.

 

The old man heard a music playing

No others heard at all,

The young man heard no music sounding

No melody to fall

 

With sweet remembrances on his ear.

The old man whirled and danced

A dervish chained by love of rhythm,

By memories entranced,

 

He pirouettes his winter steps.

The young man wakens then,

Recalling passion’s play in the night

He smiles and wonders when

 

He’ll sate his lust another time.

The old man drops to his knees

Head bobbing to the tune he hears

He prays for final release

 

From life grown painfully long to live.

He contemplates his death.

He bows his head in prayerful fashion

And stops his wheezing breath.

Minor Song

Falling stars last night rained fire

From the darkened dome above.

Lovers new to love’s desire

Plot to hide their new-made love

From their disapproving elders

Frowning fiercely at their altars

That truth

For youth

Parents find a thing uncouth.

 

Under falling stars the young

Sate their need for romance now

While I sing my simple song

They part with a languorous sigh

Vowing they will come together

Never knowing any other.

Star-fire

Falls far

Through the chill autumnal air.

December Sonnet

The day is bright and cold. The noontime sun

Spreads light across the sky—a frozen ball

In a sapphire bowl polished with an icy stone

Illuminating winter’s welkin-hall.

No birds, mosquitos or dragonflies are here

To brave the cold. No insects copulate

Among the weeds brittle, dead, and sere

Their kinds have chosen to hibernate.

The winter flowers petition God for rains

To keep them blooming ‘til the spring comes round.

The world rolls on despite the grief that chains

Me to sorrow and death that has no end.

The brilliant sun spreads daylight but no heat

The icy day reflects my chill regret.

Remember June?

I do remember,

Remember June

Was warm with summer

And lively bees

Circling the trees

Riding like knights

On dragonflies

Across the lawn

Going brown

With summer heat.

 

I remember June

When the world teetered

On the cusp between

Summer and spring.

 

I was younger then,

But not by much.

Six months older,

And no wiser

I do remember

When June, new-come,

Promised life

Continued on.

 

I do remember,

I remember June.

Admonition

Don’t weep for the dead, they want no tears

Falling on their graves. The green lawns need

No salty tears the living leave.

They flourish un-watered, unwept, forsaken

By the living who fear to find themselves

Under the grass in the ground that lies

Heavy with sorrow above their bones.

Don’t weep for the dead, your tears are wasted

The dead don’t care if you cry for them.

Friends

I sought out friends

Because my heart

Was squeezed with grief

And I could bear

It no more alone.

We ate a bit,

We drank a bit,

We talked of those

Who died untimely.

We talked of those

Who did not come,

Absence providing

Fodder for gossip.

Grief’s grasp

On my heart was tight.

Nor friends nor food

Nor drink provided

Heart’s ease for me.

I left my friends

And returned, heart-broken,

To my empty house.

Folk Fashion Gods

Folk fashion gods from clay

Some find bright gems for eyes,

Others bring garlands and pray.

 

Despite what preachers say,

Despite the words of the wise,

Folk fashion gods from clay

 

Worshipping them each day

With solemn hymnodies.

Others bring garlands and pray.

 

Folk march in sober array

Tonguing solemn melodies.

Folk fashion gods from clay

 

To guard them on their way

From birth to last demise.

Others bring garlands and pray

 

The gods are silent, they

Stop their mouths with lies.

Folk fashion gods from clay;

Others bring garlands and pray.


Winter Poems

these are the poems of my age, lyrics I have written in the past two months, in many forms. these verses encapsulate my experiences of winter just now settling in.

  • ISBN: 9781311031471
  • Author: Richard George
  • Published: 2015-11-29 04:50:10
  • Words: 3308
Winter Poems Winter Poems