By José Luis Gutiérrez
He lies down and lets the rain
silhouette his form on the moist earth.
This is worship of a different order
bleeding stones to dye a river red.
The calendar is a snake scaled with
leaves flowing the long season.
To kiss the mind of winter throw snowballs
blown into wraiths by the wind.
Black holes staring from cairns and trees
invite the color of flaming rowan leaves.
With naked hands forge ice into stars
to constellate the day’s radiance.
Stone walls herd clouds of sheep
across history’s green acres.
Their wooliness a siege engine
of implacable fury.
By Salvatore Difalco
He’s been around a lot lately, shaking his robes,
making monster faces at the children.
The wife finds him antipathetic.
I don’t mind him as much as everyone else;
I’ve known him a long time.
He used to visit me when I was a child,
dropping in unexpectedly.
His smell always put me off,
a blend of frankincense and rotting meat,
but that was foreseeable.
His voice is surprisingly high
for someone so dark and ominous.
I always wondered what it was
like to be him, in his rough black hood,
feared and despised. Was he ever lonely?
Audio podcast of “Donning the Helm,” narrated by Matt Dedon.