Slowly, without sun, the day sinks
toward the close of December.
It is minus sixty degrees.
Over the sleeping houses a dense
fog rises—smoke from banked fires,
and the snowy breath of an abyss
through which the cold town
is perceptibly falling.
As if Death were a voice made visible,
with the power of illumination...
Now, in the white shadow
of those streets, ghostly newsboys
make their rounds, delivering
to the homes of those
who have died of the frost
word of the resurrection of Silence.
|Excerpted from The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer: Collected Poems, copyright © 1993 by John Haines. Used with permission of Graywolf Press.|