Before the Winter Comes

before the Winter comes
I will remember my name
remember my self
but only for a minute

before the Winter comes
I will clean my workbench
and prepare a new block of wood
but only until it reveals the future

before the Winter comes
I will write this poem
and remember a life
where the snow was deeper
than my thoughts
and the photos on the walls
were living men and women

Snow on the Mountains

when I was younger
the snow on the mountain
meant skis, pack, and rifle
bread and salami in the pockets
of a parka
and hours of cold meditaion
pretending to hunt

when the others complained
about coming home empty handed
I smiled
and remembered eternity
angels, saints, and beautiful women
when the others complained
about frozen hands and feet
I smiled
and kept my thoughts frozen
to be thawed and consumed
on a day when snow was too harsh
to travel
and coffee and solitude
were not enough
Warmth and Women

being warm
not alway the result
of fire
being warm
not always the result
of heavy clothing
being warm
not always the result

Late November, 2011, shortly before the end of the world, if you believe in that sort of thing.

The Bear: in the collection of Klaus Ebmeyer.
Linden (Basswood) beeswax and tung oil finish.
Carved by the author, 2011
Herford, Germany

The Bear

They are usually asleep
this time of year
fat and warm
in a cave or crevice

winter is a time for dreams
dreams of warmer days
and the memories of younger women
younger men

The bears I saw on the mountain that day
were neither hungy
nor disturbed by my presence
unlike the women that I loved
that winter
they were just getting ready
to sleep
the learning laboratory at the end of the universe