find a blink to sit
and adore with me the magic just beyond our cabin
draped in white cotton god cloths
from these ancient pines

they cherish the secrets the wind is telling them
you can tell
from the way they sway when they're spoken to

last night from our tiny cabin porch
I spoke to you about the white mystery
that had dressed the dark forest
how it glowed while it called to us
even, especially
in the night

and you grew restless
there in your rocking chair
I could tell,
that like these sky-frosted pines,
you were hearing secrets on the wind
because like them on their roots
you swayed on your chair
looking woodsward

like I said, you grew restless
I could tell by your rocking

then your soul ran away from our porch
disappeared into the winter night
braver than us both
as we watched silently it bound beyond our fire in the lawn
gave a laughing cry that
the unknowing might think indicative of madness

but when it came out from your eyes
I knew it was just a runner, coming home
this forest's swallowed scores of prodigals
its place in that cohort is forever

I'd like to call to it,
your soul, I mean
as it burrows in these January drifts
and scampers to the center of frozen lakes
for a moment under the cloudless crystal descent
of the voice which bellows to us loudest

we can hear the gunshots of this forest's cupid from our porch

not so much a mockery of man-machine
the frozen trees' expansion and explosion
is an anthem reminder
of the welling restlessness which consumes even trees
who spend their time turning over winter truths

my hand blushes blue
as it grips the chair's oak arm and I scoot to you
my fingers run your knuckles calmly
and the dips know my prints and recognize a friend
squeezing your chilled fist

the forest lends us this cabin and its porch
and your soul romps about its veins
we store our secrets here
hoping they'll learn something of majesty
from the ones the winds are telling

we are convinced, you and I,
that this is where the Old Knowing grows

from these trunks
planks were taken by the mill man
to be fashioned for my brothers' bones
their seeds the sinew of muscle
their roots the cords of his heart

always the feller whispers to the pines
wishing them his humble best
promising his taking would never be reckless;
in my brothers you can see it
a sense they do not come from infinite Spring
but a winter stand which counts its losses
and in the weight of Old Knowing
celebrates the hope of walking life

we discuss as much in our rocking chairs

the forest's tongue is a thousand leaves
whose quiver and prose do not need your attention to matter
for its speech is a hushing to all the earth
bare this beauty onward,
it instructs
for all our sakes, onward

these blankets smell like us
like we've made our home in them
breathing air so cold it does not fill you
but make you vacant
and ready the space
for the oratory of a winter which lives on the breezes
the few words it cares to invest
in the caverns of these beasts
who too often retreat to easy sun and deaf chests

now is for rejoicing
just look here, friend
on our company
the season has come
which grants the trees a chilly skin

dip in the steam of your mug
and picking up your head
find again and again
the landscape which marks the edge of us

beyond this porch we're lost
and blanketed by the finding
so forever
we'll come North

I will squeeze your hand
this night and the next
amidst the drifts on our porch
and my many heavy breaths
will mean a removal
a pulling to the tree limb tunnels
of your soul's escape

do you hear the wooden giants' shudder,
do you feel the mischief of rascal winter air fill you,
I am daring to think now
that we are not the most alive here

this is not ours
but we are in it,
you see,
we in our porch chairs,
bathed, brushed, and dusted
by the affair of wintered North

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