A closed heart can't greet
a winter sky. Even a rain puddle
is filled by it, and a horse trough,
and the slow current of creeks.
Winter trees, sycamore and oak,
reach for the sky to offer praise –
stark, hard praise, born from all
those rooted years of bearing
the sky's weight. Some nights
an open heart is filled with vast
spaces between stars the mind
can't grasp. The thought of heaven
is not so much mammothed by
the sky's grandeur, but mystified
beyond our silly notions. Winter
trees aren't arrogant; they praise
no flags, no denominations,
they owe allegiance to the soil.
My sister, when she was younger,
awoke in winter to hold her arms
up to the sky, shiver in the wholeness
of it, let shadows of winter trees
dance sunlight across her face.
Oak, beech, sycamore, maple, and gum,
reenact creation, drop their seeds
from the sky, make their homes
in star dust, and reach back
toward heaven. Trees suffer
drought and freezing rain, accept
the annual tilt toward shorter days.
Some ancient hope, like winter light,
is allied with the gravity of stars.
*Excerpted from Late Winter by Bill Brown, published by Iris Press. Bill Brown is a part-time lecturer at Vanderbilt University. He has written four poetry collections, three chapbooks and a textbook. The recipient of many awards and fellowships, Brown lives in Robertson County, Tennessee.
I have always found beauty in the starkness of winter. Something about the winter light and proud trees with their entangled branches against a gray winter sky speaks to my heart. The pure white of a fallen snow with its shadows of violet and muted silver, flashes of diamonds in the rays of a winter sun. Asleep. At rest. Peaceful and waiting.
Hoping you're enjoying the beauty of Winter, wherever you may be...