Morning walks in winter take you
through the ossuary of the year
where inclement weather turns inward
and seems endless among tule stalks
jumbled in a ditch like bones
white with a thousand frosts.
But at sunrise, you’re reassured
by warmth you can’t feel yet
but trust in, seeing breath
rise from such lifeless things
and mingle with your own.
Sample: Li Po (Ezra Pound trans.),
“Lament of the Frontier Guard”
Don Thompson has been writing about the San Joaquin Valley for over fifty years, including a dozen or so books and chapbooks. For more information and links to publishers, visit his website.