En Route

The train has stopped for no apparent reason

In the wilds;

A frozen lake is level and fretted over

With rippled wind lines;

The sun is burning in the South; the season

Is winter trembling at a touch of spring.

A little hill with birches and a ring

Of cedars — all so still, so pure with snow —

It seems a tiny landscape in the moon.

Long wisps of shadow from the naked birches

Lie on the white in lines of cobweb-grey;

From the cedar roots the snow has shrunk away,

One almost hears it tinkle as it thaws.

Traces there are of wild things in the snow —

Partridge at play, tracks of the foxes’ paws

That broke a path to sun them in the trees.

They’re going fast where all impressions go

On a frail substance — images like these,

Vagaries the unconscious mind receives

From nowhere, and lets go to nothingness

With the lost flush of last year’s autumn leaves.

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