The Turning of the Year

Alas, the woodland muse does not record
The turning of the year
But allows the old to slip away,
Silently, on that shadowy trip
Beyond knowing, into the past.

  And, locked in the fastness of winter’s grip,
We must abide the journey of the globe
To those warming days when the buds
Shall break, and the maples
Enliven the lowlands with new color.

Safe by the hearthside, we ready our maps
And tapes, and dream of long walks
Into sweet-smelling groves of pine,
Where sunlight comes in narrow beams
From a limb’d realm high above.

Or, in moist coves, amidst the ferns
And fragrant soil, where moss’d roots
Anchor the great columns that rise
Through lesser trees, green upon green,
And birdsong rings in the dark-shadowed fastness.

The new year shall come, with new
Ills and woes, but these are but part
Of time linear, which shall pass away
The good and the bad, in the unyielding
Passage of time into distant nothingness.

  Better it is that we follow the path of the seasons,
Which is time cyclic, always renewing, enduring,
Where the new and the past are continuously joined,
Like the wood of an old tree, enriching that which
Is experienced, and days pleasant, yet to be.


Colby Rucker