James Clinton Howell

Morning Slides over South Tennessee and Makes God Again

The stone, shed within ice, a burr
in the mountainside, until noon draws
winter light and melts that pearl
slowly down to granite.
Winter light is the sun's thinnest breath,
that whisper no great exhale of heat but two words,
Gloss and Now.
Death is the bush
that dreams a fox dayless.
Here in final drape over leaves
wet with frost, soured into water
from shutting body heat, she is ward
of bough and stone. Her teeth
will be seeds to blossom
off a new stock, a rail of rock
and leaf rot.
This holy accident encompasses stone,
each failing sheathe, and what saplings
fang forth:
                   a mastery
like God's known only
by sudden encounter.

Artwork on this page:
Detail of Supper for the spotted skunk
24 x 24" oil on clayboard, 2014
Irene Hardwicke Olivieri

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