Rough and bone deep damp:
Cold enough to kill the Devil,
dark enough to fright he angels.
the coward dial of young-year clock
Cannot console and
Walnut framed mirror
Turns an unfriend face,
Showing me bones, buzzards
And a going-down sun.

The road from ignorance
to complacence
Is lit with poor-tallow candles
And wet-wood fires.



I am heron,

Last of the lonely fisherfolk clan,

Wrestling breath and existence

At December-Edge Lake.

Needs must when

Winter-king rules;

So I will take

Frogs from frozen mud,

Cold-killed cadaver from bog ditch graves,

Maggots from fieldside muck-heap

And warmth from memory cells –

And shun your hypocrite charity.

My hopes and words I store

Between stare-down-the-Devil eyes,

Behind decision sharp weapon bill

Beneath my fog-toned feather cape.

They are mine, not yours,

Seek them not.

I seek no camouflage for

Past, ruthless savagery –

That stranded me here –

Fossil in all but fact –

Pale target for avaricious

Cowardly mobs of

Bright-urchin gulls.

Denying the truth

Destroys the soul

As sure as sin

And damages any future

I may hope to have.