In a far country, dreams grow like ivy up the sides of the valley;
all they touch is trimmed in gaudy green
with streaks of brilliant red.
The earth turns. Emerald leaves wither and die.
An avalanche of brown precedes the snowline
as it falls from the hilltops.
A cat, death brooding in its eyes, stalked a sparrow.
The bird neither sowed nor reaped, nor took measures
for its own defense.
Cats may levitate if need be, rising slowly
above brown earth for a mouthful of bloody down;
mine did. I mourned silently for the bird, but cried out
in awe of the spectacle: Life from death.
My cat only chewed hollow bones
and left a scarlet-black stain on the earth.
Hell is bright days in winter
when the sun has no power to warm.
I cannot open my eyes, partly for the cold
and partly for the light jabbing icicles
through my eyelids. Ice-crystal rainbows
obscure frost-rimmed trees ringing like bells
in the breeze, or cracking like a firing squad at sunrise.
Too grand for me, this miracle-laden landscape
must remain external, and behind my eyelids
I stand face to face with my pettiness.
Aggressive freshets of meltwater steer
downhill; they seek a river. Before reaching its banks
they are a flood to give even Noah pause.
Death swims these raging waters.
As days go by, the deluge recedes;
I see muddy fields, barren and fertile as my own soul,
awaiting the sower.