These are markers on the dial of the seasons:
Armloads of winter wood & hours
beside the kumquat coals
of the parlour stove;
buckets of ash that leach sweetness –
noxious to potato, blueberry & rhododendron –
into this valley, this sink into swamp;
an apple tree pulled by a rose to earth
in a quagmire of leaf-mould, rose wand & re-rooted thorn;
effervescent pink & violet in blackberry, rose, birch & alder;
& the freak of a squirrel in the barn at the dog’s entry.
Stream, chickadee, sparrow & crow improvise a chord –
a gradation of joy in overlapping sound – noted
on the screen that is this cloister’s window.