For The Wind Passeth Over It

For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone,
and the place thereof shall know it no more.

(Ps 103:16)


Swallows fly away from the hill’s face on forked wings

to circle these empty windowframes brooding over fields of grass.

The sun’s last flash lights up a gossip of birds

settling on roofs that offer no shelter from twilight, nor warmth,

and a solitary chimney cold with unstirred soot.

Once, these yards celebrated the turning of seasons:

August willows with wet roots tangled in the shallow streams,

late rain, and meadows of barley blowing tassels into the October wind,

and afterward, snow sifting past sills to melt in the firelight.

And then, suddenly, the running songs of springtime:

that child-learned miracle of leaves and grain erupting from swollen stems,

melodious accompaniment of bees and pollen,

unsullied honey of breath drawn in the still hours of dawn.

But in the end the children flew from the fields like blackbirds:

sparks that blew down the wind like embers fading beyond a drafty fire,

and now, in hollow sleep the silos wait once more for winter.

Yet a mute self still dwells behind these broken windowframes.

Outside the duality of seer and seen, in a time beyond knower and known,

the flown birds have carried off their summers in cupped bills.

Blown grasses still ripple behind their eyes,

and they trail the infinitesimal silken strings that tug them always back again

toward the open land:

toward home.


© Russ Lewis January 27, 1995

Revised March 12, 2018