Alan: Winter hones things to a sharp edge, or dulls them to a blur, sometimes both at once. Adrift in a drifting landscape, we anchor ourselves with words.
Gray – the snow sees to that.
A bay and some woods linger darkly
in a space of sky, fields, blurred with snow
fallen and falling, falling and fallen.
Faint gray warmth under white, as of pale paper
or pale, thinned-out ink.
A figure stands somewhere in a space called “field,”
bootprints a doubled line of shadow filling with white.
Two shapes emerge from trees to one side.
They could be dogs running,
blurs of larger and smaller, darker and lighter gray.
Looking downslope toward water or gray mud:
bands or belts of trees leading the eye out
into indefinite gray space.
Beyond, hints of pale wooded horizons
stacked, one behind another, showing
gray filtered through gray filtered through white.
The figure stands in a space called “field”
while gray shapes detach themselves from gray woods
behind and to one side.
Someone perhaps is waiting for two dogs to join him,
or for the snow to lighten, to erase his tracks,
or is just waiting.
It is unclear when he will move.
He is gray, and small,
and he is standing very still
in a space called “now.”
Nancy: Brash ice rustles on the shores, a lace edging on a bay transformed knife sharp and steel hard.
The Bay Between The Islands
Not wine and not water,
not silver, not glass,
not a mirror of the sky,
no, this morning
the bay is shardy, slivery,
edgy, as sharp as aa,
Hawaiian lava, as disorderly
as earthquake rubble, cold fire
in the sun, splintered obsidian,
and it is processing with
cymbals and drums, brash.
Shhhhh, say the islands, old
shhhhh, say their shawls
and their dark skirts,
shu shu shhhhh.