a cold breeze through dwarfed spruce,
          or is it hemlock filmy curtains?
some surprise left by virgin endurance
          acting to restrain drifting waves
on which a junco’s soft arrival leaves
          a wrong done by another bird,
as trusting permissive dusky-eyed light
          rays point to glowing seeds undoing.

a tongueless bird mute-combing secrets
          of frozen breadcrumbs the mighty
devour, translating how earth looked then:
          praising internally dreamy moments
far-clearing, sweet-hushed air, lifting above
          overawed lilies of the valley buried a
kindly disposition that our winter nurtures
          a cold fire into spring-woken splendor.

tired thunder always hears clouds-at-play
          as vernal worms cry for more petrichor,
once leaflights beat hymns scaffolding laurel
          who bushtilt snowy drifts onto icy spines,
drove the hamadryad to seek shelter in a pine
          the raving generations of youth sparked
with fire-fields’ alms of air: alms, I word this
          down in memory as more snow drifts on

the steady churrs from an unseen jet moving,
          a crepuscular organ shivering in swamps
shows a bird barely-awakened leap out of
          a cold-dark lulled passion interest
onto a disheveled wall of rock, keenly heard:
          a problem solver, a capable bird, one
praising passengers with floral arrangements
          who circle thousands of cattail perennial
spreading acres, ooh, tightly holding seedfruit
          blackbirds come to nest if spring comes.


P. J. Szemanczky is the author of “The Hurtgen Forest Vampires” (2023), “The Apocalyx Angels of Earth Evolution” (2022), and “Synthelytic Spacetime Motion” (2020). He was a state school certified ABE/GED teacher and gouache artist in DOC-CT. His poems & essays are published in Soundings East and Long River Run, among others.