Sunday, November 9, 2008



The first fire of day
catches in the corner
of a gray November sky,
as winter trees bristle
on the spine of the mountain,
like hair on the back of
an angry dog.

I turn my face
to the ancient wind
and listen.
I hear the young ones singing.
I hear the old ones wailing.
I hear their voices telling me


trooping with crows said...

Let me be the first to say, what a gorgeous poem...a painting done with words. Very visual, colorful, and meaningful.

"..winter trees bristle
on the spine of the mountain,
like hair on the back of
an angry dog."
You really know how to say things!

You are so in touch with earth and all that she has to offer, from the seasons to the spirits of those who still dwell here. Beautiful.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Trooping with Crows - your gracious remarks are so thoughtful and appreciated. I love that you said it is a painting done with words!! I try! LOL!

I have always had an affinity with mother earth - and "all she has to offer," as you so aptly put it.

I am fortunate that all my family, from generations back, right up to my own husband and children, feel closely related to the natural world. ;)

Rick said...

Hello, K. Lawsen. My brother is a talented artist who loves poetry. I showed him this tonight and he was quite taken with it, as am I. As he commented, "Her voice is pasteled with beauty."

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Holy Cow, Rick! I am speechless.
Please tell your brother, for me, that I thank him for so flattering a compliment!

My thanks to you too, Rick, for promoting my writing. You are very generous. ;)

Sarah Hina said...

There is a sense of the world flinching and spinning away, and yet things converging, too.

I like her straining in the second stanza, K. Acknowledging the fading year, yet still wanting to hear its dying message. Just the act of listening says a lot. Mystery is melancholy, but still worth visiting.

And all coupled to a beautiful photograph, too. Loved it. :)

Scott said...

Brilliant capture of the bristling landscape. The earth is hunkering down for a fight.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Sarah, thanks for your astute, and beautifully written interpretation of ETERNAL. I always appreciate your thoughts.

In fall, more than in any other season, I tend to reflect upon the vicissitudes of life; and in doing so, receive sense impressions from the Native American experience. We have so much to learn from both their modern and ancient voices.

Scott - I appreciate your visit.

That is a great way of putting it! I guess up here in the North East (you are even farther up the pike than I am) - we will be hunkering down, right along with all the rest of God's creatures! I can't say that I am ever ready for that! ;)

Vesper said...

the ancient wind

To me your poem speaks of the passing of lives and the coming of new ones... almost unbearably sad, yet still hopeful... like spring always coming back after winter...

A beautiful poem, K...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Vesper - It is all connected, isn't it? Life to life, season to season, writer to reader, reader to writer, love to love, I like the commonality of it all.

I appreciate your visit and insightful remarks, as always. ;)

Anonymous said...

That is so potent. Knowing there's a message, but not being able to touch it.

Sometimes I think I understand it, but no sooner do I try to act on the words, when the certainty slips away.

Minister of the Masochistic Truth said...

I like this, except for the line "like the hair on the back of an angry dog". I would try to put a bit more of unique in the phrasing such as "like the ______ hackles of a ____ dog"... just a thought.

I love the image of the sun rise ignighting and spreading - very nice. The overall organic/earthy tone works well for me.

rosetta said...

why does the wintering sky seen so gray and lifeless? the sun even appears less brilliant. your words plant so many images that your readers open their minds back to you. your poetry is wonderful, your interaction with them(readers) is quite enjoyable.I believe Jim Morrison was always in search of those same voices.

Aine said...

I can really relate to this. The forest in November always turns my thoughts to Native Americans,too. As I walk the paths around our cabin retreat I can almost hear them across the centuries.

Must be real since we both hear them...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Jason - I know exactly what you mean. I am happy just hearing the voices. I am sure that you, like I, will keep listening intently.

Minister of the Masochistic Truth -
Thank you for the suggestion. I will certainly take it under advisement. Glad you liked the fire image.

Rosetta - I know what you mean about the sky. It seems to be especially gray in NEPA in the fall. We should get ourselves a sun lamp or something, you and I. Are you in NEPA?

Ah, yes, Jim was one who could hear the voices...what a poet HE was!

Aine - You wrote: "I can almost hear them across the centuries."
That is so beautifully put. So poetic, Aine.

I wonder why fall IS such a conduit for the essense of Native Americans? I have my theories...

Thanks, as always for your great input!

Aine said...

Without pondering it at length, my first thought is that it's the color scheme that turns my thoughts to Native Americans. I can't explain why, but there it is....

blue possum said...

K, this is so beautiful! Don't ask me why, but the first thing I thought of when I read this was Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman! LOL!! Seriously though, I really love this! What a beautiful picture I have in my mind. Thank you for your wonderful work!

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

BP - Ohmygosh, that is funny. I haven't thought about that show in eons. Maybe it reminds you of the era in which that show was set, or something. Or - maybe the picture puts you in mind of the show.

Thanks, as always, for your fab comments! I always look forward to them. :D

Dean J. Baker said...

very good to see this

Julie said...

I'm gone for a couple of days, and now I miss all this beautiful work. Hello again! Thank you for your thoughtful comments at my site, and I am so happy to be back at yours. I will definitely return!

Your voice really rings a familiar note in my heart, but I would love it even if it were not familiar. You paint the scene so well for everyone to enter, regardless of where we live.

"ETERNAL" is a beautiful poem, excellent in poetic theme and vision. "In the corner of the gray November sky" is spectacular. And the winter trees bristling on the spine of the mountain...oh yes! A perfect painting here.

The voices that speak of "something" take my breath away. I can hear them. What a powerful ending. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

Julie, You honor me with your words of praise. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your work really strikes a chord with me, as well.

As in ETERNAL, I know we hear the same voices speaking to us - and I am sure our replies to them are pretty much the same. It is that mountaineer spirit in us.

With your permission, I will add you to - Blogs I Visit.

You are one of the most talented writers in Blogsville. ;)