“The Winter Hours”
The winter hours are safest for
The plow; they so easily provide excuse to keep
On moving in the despair here to hopes of there with deep
Devotion to the task. No bus, no métro car,
No walk through cobalt icebound parks
Allows the luxury of lingering admiration.
Exposure of the limbs, the hands, the feet,
He’ll not remain in temperatures that have no heat
With trusts that have no memory. Transportation
Only occupies his thoughts, no time for sparks,
Nor importune the arc of sirens to the eye,
No genuflection to the fleeting moment, distractions on the fly.
Of course, the beauties of certain summer’s wealth
Will welcome him in time, but in the hour he relies on stealth.
Turn left at fountains, then, on the south side
Of the park and memories of the casual thought
On which he’s wont to sit and think, the onslaught
Of mental detritus, the afterglow of present monthly tides
Reminding him of Dover Beach, the spark, the entrance
To an evening caught now between a season’s wealth
And dangers toward the eleventh month, the twelvth
The watchman’s rigour’s last, perhaps, the sure advance
Of scrutiny’s decay in yet another year. Successes, they who take;
Hidden splendour, those whose losses born of need and pleasure
Will again at angles to a certain bend beyond the simple measure
Of the lanes. All within the year’s end clearly underestimate
The magnitude and weight of regret for all that’s passed: remorseless, the birth and death of stars evolving conflicts of never-ending light,
The brilliant azure oneness will bless the heart by day,
while nocturnal powers argue blatant blindness in the night.