Thomas Brinson

Ambivalent New Year

Country mountain road.
Homeward bound in late
afternoon waning sun.
Shadows darken within
bare birch trees; vestiges
of first winter storm abound.
Patches of snow-covered rocks
dot dark waters of rushing river.

Silence is winter sylvan
This first week of 2011.

A plump, full-feathered owl
swoops in front of windshield,
careens from streamside
to safety of dark wood
like Navy pilot onto deck
of carrier safe at sea.
Some wriggling creature
dangles from beak.

My heart swoons
Perfectly captured.

a crack in the cloud
      There is a crack, a crack, in everything; that’s how the light gets in
                                        Leonard Cohen

an overcast morning
after another snow storm
gray swirling clouds
hover over trees
globbed with snowpuffs
each twig bending

overlook mountain
sporting a sheath
of new snow
looms above me

blizzardly winds
churn piled-high drifts
into ever-shifting shapes
a profusion of snow showers

driving to visit a dear friend
a fellow Vietnam vet
for deep conversation
most likely shared healing
mellow music surrounds me
from killer 7-speaker system

carefully watch a crack in the cloud
cascade bright sunlight
from widening azure sky
across the whole winterscape
transforming each shadow
into glittering brilliance

my heart soars
bellowing “Halleluiahs”
almost bursts from pure joy

so grateful for the splendid gift
of being able to fully perceive
this wondrous moment now


an angry swath of red snow
surrounding an intense purple of ice
within a cancerous blob of pink and white
ovals 2,000 or so miles all across pristine
green states from Rocky Mountains high
through the Midwest and deep into New England
as shifting commentators throughout the nation
sternly concerned men and pertly vivacious gals
drone emergency broadcasts about THE blizzard
of this barely begun decade

meanwhile in Tahrir Square competing videos
portray the human outcry for a true democracy
for people in opposition to the steadily gathering
national security state fully armed protecting itself
as down under Queensland is plummeted by Yasi

as do all phenomena both dire and delightful
snowpocalyseggedon passes into tiny sounds
of scraping shovels and a tinkling of fallen icicles
while sluggishly time seeps towards a sure turning
of the mythical Kali Yuga and Mayan long calendars

About the Author

Thomas Brinson has written and performed poetry for 45 years. An editor for Dayl Wise’s Post Traumatic Press, he lives in Woodstock with wife Jill and two cats.

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