Die to the Old Year

Whatever I bring to the darkness—
old pain, unquiet dreams,
ambitions clutched against
my jealous heart
and its deeper mysteries—
fog finds a home for it.

And above the dissolving world gone
thick to eye and field and tongue
if Orion lacks compassion
at least he is up there
singing, my one
seen companion.

I could lose the path
to this dark 
this glorious gladness.

I could follow this: subtle tap
of maple trees loosing withered cradles.
And toad, canting
the grey-grass liturgy

I can be quiet,
constant—and I will wander


out of the fog
wrung clean

of my too much self.

This poem was originally published, in a slightly different form, in Leaping Clear.

You can also find it on the walls right now at Creative Spirits Gallery in West Linn, Oregon, part of the “Thin Places” October/November photography and poetry exhibition.

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