Saturday, December 28, 2013

singing sad and beautiful

Mountain Pines


In scornful upright loneliness they stand, 
Counting themselves no kin of anything 
Whether of earth or sky. Their gnarled roots cling 
Like wasted fingers of a clutching hand 
In the grim rock. A silent spectral band 
They watch the old sky, but hold no communing 
With aught. Only, when some lone eagle's wing 
Flaps past above their grey and desolate land, 
Or when the wind pants up a rough-hewn glen, 
Bending them down as with an age of thought, 
Or when, 'mid flying clouds that can not dull 
Her constant light, the moon shines silver, then 
They find a soul, and their dim moan is wrought 
Into a singing sad and beautiful.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Winter Wool

Sheep in the Winter Night

by Tom Hennen

Inside the barn the sheep were standing, pushed close to one
another. Some were dozing, some had eyes wide open listening
in the dark. Some had no doubt heard of wolves. They looked
weary with all the burdens they had to carry, like being thought
of as stupid and cowardly, disliked by cowboys for the way they
eat grass about an inch into the dirt, the silly look they have
just after shearing, of being one of the symbols of the Christian
religion. In the darkness of the barn their woolly backs were
full of light gathered on summer pastures. Above them their
white breath was suspended, while far off in the pine woods,
night was deep in silence. The owl and rabbit were wondering,
along with the trees, if the air would soon fill with snowflakes,
but the power that moves through the world and makes our
hair stand on end was keeping the answer to itself.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Secret Sleigh Ride

It had been long dark, though still an hour before supper-time
It had been long dark, though still an hour before supper-time.
The boy stood at the window behind the curtain.
The street under the black sky was bluish white with snow.
Across the street, where the lot sloped to the pavement,
boys and girls were going down on sleds.
The boys were after him because he was a Jew.

At last his father and mother slept. He got up and dressed.
In the hall he took out his sled and went out on tiptoe.
No one was in the street. The slide was worn smooth and 
slippery--just right.
He laid himself down on his sled and shot away. He went down 
only twice.
He stood knee-deep in snow:
no one was in the street, the windows were darkened;
those near the street-lamps were ashine, but the rooms inside 
were dark;
on the street were long shadows of clods of snow.
He took his sled and went back into the house.