Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Another Damned Poem—Mid-November Dawn

Mid-November Dawn

The time has come,
            I know, I know.

The soft frosts that fade
            at the first blush of light
            are over.
            The grass snaps now
            with each step,
            the cold seeps around
            the buttons of my coat,
            up my sleeves,
            down my neck.

Of a sudden the leaves,
            just yesterday the glory
            of the season,
            are shed in heaps and drifts.
            The bare arms that held them
            Shiver in the dawn.

Long clouds of starlings
            swirl and trail across
            the lowering sky,
            crows clamor over
            carrion earth.

The time has come,
            I know, I know.

But just when the wail of grief
            wells in my throat,
            the keening for utter loss
            that crowds my senses
            and my soul—
a simple doe ambles unconcerned
across the scurrying road
into a remnant patch of wood,
somewhere just out of sight
the half-maddened stag
thrashes in the brambles.

The time has come,
            I know, I know.

My blood quickens in the cold,
            death falls away.

--Patrick Murfin

This originally appeared in a slightly different form in my 2004 collection We Build Temples in the Heart published by Beacon Press, Boston.  By the way, I have copies available and will send you or your loved ones a personally inscribed copy for the low, low price of $8.  I’ll even pay the postage!  They make great stocking stuffers for your literate friends.  Or, piss off your children by using it instead of a lump of coal—they will be just as disappointed and angry!
Message me privately or e-mail pmurfin@sbcglobal.net and we can exchange postal addresses so you can send me a check and I can send you a book.  Such a deal!

1 comment:

  1. Patrick, this would fit great in my lectionary for a season that starts with Veterans' Day, swells to All Saints and All Souls, crescendos to Thanksgiving, and then bursts into the individual starbursts of the various things we do in December.