The Omen

It is morning.  To the north

dark clouds shroud the mountain.

Its pine-covered lower reaches

are also dark. Nearer at hand

the sun slants in, lighting

oaks and aspens on a western hill.

It is fall. They shine

burnt orange and yellow

like costumed characters on a stage.


From the wings a solitary bird,

white and shining, flies

through invisible sunlight,

luminescent against clouds

and dark trees, like a comet

only alive. Surely

it is an omen, but of what

I neither know nor care,

satisfied with any light

against the dark.


published in “Galley Sail Review”, Spring 1990

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