Late November Light
Now in the late November light, with trees
Grown solemn in the wood, the final hour
When orchards drift upon a haze, bees
Stumble and the flared sunlight fades,
She comes, the old woman of the wood,
Who roofs the valley with her patchquilt wings.
Silently with the dark she glides, her hood
Hooped silver over stump and rock.
Now, in the late November glow of light,
When beetles crouch upon their nests of cold,
From earth's hard shadow, drifting on her bright
Wind-soft wings, the old woman sails.
Time, when the carefree path leaped up with birds,
When throaty rivers wrangled with their lights,
Is underground, moves where the blind mole girds
Himself, the last of things, for change.
Now in that light and mindful of the year
When spiders spin out of the damp and cling
To stone, when that old woman's eyes are clear
As iceland glowing to the north,
Then I, heaviest of animals, walk out to praise
What is: the old, cold elemental wave
Descending; the long stride of winter days
On forests, lost and evergreen.