Winter Child

"Wonder" -- Sabrina Farley

“Wonder” — Sabrina Farley

She had daydreams in her hair
That had spilled out and stuck there,
And she didn’t care
Because her eyes were fixated on
Two young oaks
Stretching their bare limbs,
Hoping to catch snowdrops in the air
Before they landed.
So she played along,
Throwing her arms to the wind.
And so unlike a child,
And so like a tree,
She stood.


That the snow thought she was a young oak
And settled among the daydreams.

The Old Oak Tree

Azure skies turn to rolling waves of ash without warning
As the sole majestic oak,
crown drenched in drink,
begins to weep.
Hordes of black stallions, eyes of striking light, leap over the cliffs,
Stampeding into the valley,
Turning earth to bruised mud,
Galloping one on top of the next
Towards the trembling boughs,
Whipping winds wounding its bole,
Empyreal tears infiltrating bark to stagnate in its most ancient rings,
Sorrow seeping into its very pith,
Each passing ring a tale of speeding stallions past.
So from the depth of this historical time capsule of constancy,
This memory of persistence and perseverance,
The majestic oak finds strength to bear its crown once more
And face the galloping hordes.


3:49 am and I can feel my weighted heartbeat in the calm, cool hours of the morning.
I work as dew drops do.
As grass sleeps, sways, grows, and dreams, it does not know of me.
It works to expel me.
I cleanse and feed it. I am part of it, yet I brave the elements. I protect the surface.
And in the morning, with the sunrise,
before the grass wakes for the day,
I am gone, and all I have done leaves no trace.
And no grass aches to be this drop of dew.

Cogito Ergo Sum

Once, as a child, out in a field of sheep,
Thomas Hardy pretended to be dead
And lay down flat among their dainty shins.

In that sniffed-at, bleated-into, grassy space
He experimented with infinity.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and that stir he caused
In the fleece-hustle was the original

Of a ripple that would travel eighty years
Outward from there, to be the same ripple
Inside him at its last circumference.

—Seamus Heaney, “from Squarings: Lightenings”

Thomas Gray must not have been happy
Because he was right: “ignorance is bliss.”
The ability to look out at your backyard,
Hear the birds chirping,
See the green grass,
Smile to yourself,
And move on to another blissful encounter
Is simple, coveted joy.
Not thinking about the soaring extinction rates of birds,
Not delving below the green grass to the chemicals sinking into our life source below.
Cogito ergo sum.
Descartes was an ass
And a liar.
The ignorant are still alive, smiling.
He has only made it indubitably difficult for sleep to come,
Contemplating the ripples left behind by Thomas Hardy
Lying on his back as a boy among sheep,
Passing through Heaney as they hit me not so softly.
Why can’t a bird ever be just a bird?