winter trees

Winter has settled in
air brisk and deep
I keep numbed fingers warm
by the wood stove
a black, cast-iron comfort
in the drafty quarters
of nightfall
imbibing a tea, kept near-boil
in a stove-top kettle
the cup between my hands
and pressed to my lower lip.

The final logs of the night afire
they expire in a heap of charred embers
aglow in the finest hues of vibrant orange
and red, my gaze transfixed
on a lonely dancing flame
giving pause of gratitude
for the many friends who populate
my waking dreams,
their echoes of laughter dissipate
to a hum of shared solitude
radiant in love.

As the embers fade to cool,
the memories vanish leaving only
a room silent, still, with winter’s chill at my back
and teapot poured dry
languid eyes, I
embrace the night’s
imminent cold tendrils of

I have been here before.

Coals disintegrated, I am beckoned
to the bed, to prepare
once more to die another death
burning the old self
until all that remains are
the ashes of yesterday.
I relish one last breath
and perish into the dark.


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