While waves of wind rattle leaves like sheets,
four crows fly from trees to the parking lot.
With wings flared out, they peck and squawk
but one hops from grass to curb to street
bewitched by some ancient avian drumbeat
that's lost on me. At six fifteen, a fiery dot
appears above this valley with its rays wrought
in fog. It morphs into a Celtic cross and beats
across the lawn to bloom into an orange light,
reflecting lines off the car trunks. The sun
is now over the mountain, burning into a white
which the sky absorbs and leaves my pen to run
a shadow over its page. The birds flee in vocal flight
in a flare of commas and points in motion.
The birds flare into commas and points in motion
when the late sleeping sun shows as a kind of stalk
that grows and sprays its rays. Contrails chalk
the blackboard sky in easterly directions
as silver flecks off the jets' bellies — an indication
of the sun until it lifts as one from its mountain dock
into the sky's palm with flat fluffy grayish dark
fingers. The flaming oval shape fills my vision
with spots as belfries in the valley greet the new year.
A magpie hops from bare branch to conifer tree
and clouds burn gold. Yellow blotches fall everywhere
I look and from floor to robe for they are now all I see,
even in shadows there are burning patches. It is clear —
that nothing but a heavy darkness can save me.
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