The birds hunch on the frozen seeds.
The cats gaze through the frosting glass.
The steady sift of silence strums,
“All things but I shall pass,
And be resolved into the wind,
And be recast as fire,
And leave no more than gems of ice,
In the dust of heart’s desire.”
Old masters of this painted place
Sketched lines within this frame,
Ground colors in the hollowed stones
Of skulls, and saw that fame,
Like breath, was only smoke
That rises from such speech;
That snow on steel breeds only rust,
And from our lives will leach
Such moments when our flesh, infirm,
Sees all incarnate time as joy,
As lessons our bright bodies learn,
And –learned– such learning then employ,
To start the seed that forms the shell,
That the egg reveals bright wings
Which rising from where once we fell
Will paint such snow with Spring.