The harbinger

Archive Photo of the Day: Antoni Zaborek Wildlife Photography‎

Archive Photo of the Day: Antoni Zaborek Wildlife Photography

In May of 2015, I wrote these words in the Listening Post:

“Whenever I see a trillium, I want to stop and breathe, to do nothing but be in the presence. And then I want to write a poem; I want to consider perfection, purity, evanescence. A trillium is a thing seen that points to things unseen. I haven’t written that poem yet…”

This morning it was time to write that poem.

The harbinger

Winter wrecked the woods again.
Broken beeches lean on the pines.
Snapped limbs loom over underbrush
and little bones litter leaves
below the bole where waits the owl.

Having longed so long for snow to go
the heart now hurts to count the cost
of what’s revealed and what was lost.

And yet, there’s ease in sultry air
when stripes of sun strike everywhere
to free the reek of rain-soft duff.

There, down the bank, a harbinger–
a gleam beside this cold rill roiled
with runoff, thick with snags–
a thing seen points to things unseen:
the pure, fleeting flag of trillium.

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9 Comments on “The harbinger”

  1. Meg Bernstein says:

    What a lovely tribute to the wonder of Soring!

  2. Pat Glover says:

    Thanks. I need to get to the SUNY Canton trail where there is a very large display of trillium.

  3. Ronnie says:

    Thank you. I love this…

  4. Mary Shubert says:

    Love your Saturday musings! This is lovely. Keep them coming!

  5. Fran Kahn says:

    It wakes my heart! Thank you

  6. Karen Easter says:

    Beautiful, Dale!

  7. Dale Burnett says:

    I always enjoy your poetry, and this is no exception! I can relate so well to your images. We grew up in the woods, and my brother and I used to seek out the first wild flowers of the forest – trilliums, dogtooth violets (also known as adder’s tongues or trout lillies), and spring beauties. We knew right where each grew every year. There were two kinds of trillium in our woods, and they grew in separate places. We had the deep red ones, and the smaller white ones with delicate red veins. The big, clear white ones grew at our cousin’s place, but not ours.

  8. Robin Brown says:

    Thank you Dale. You speak with such sensitive feeling and awareness of the difficulties and beauties of nature and time. I see and feel through your expression.

  9. Paul Hetzler says:

    Wonderful, Dale–thank you.

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