Calling the Season Home

“Despite the best efforts of politicians and corporate officials, we are drawn to the splendour of the authentic, the awe and wonder that – as the naturalist R.W. Sandford has noted – no television screen or other commercial artifice can truly provide. The brutality of war, and the odiousness of policies and products that isolate the individual from the commons and that put private profit above public good, cannot blunt our yearning for real connection with each other and with our astounding planet.
“The Chilean poet Pablo Neruda tells of how at the end of the Second World War, the first shop to open in devastated Warsaw was a bakery, and the second a flower store. Neruda’s account echoes the title of IWW union hymn in honour of a slogan from the 1912 Lawrence, Massachusetts, textile workers’ strike: ‘Bread and Roses.’
“Faced with the shambles those who rule us are making of the world, we look for what might heal us, restore our belief in a better future, provide the courage to continue to oppose until victory the destructive urge that is part of our species…”

Wisps of mist in the grey morning
larches scatter gold
across a green saddle

and a creek bed
along the foot of these peaks
waits for the snow
to cover freshly exposed boulders
and tree trunks stranded on gravel
Atop the stream’s chill banks
cottonwood and birch limbs
are leafless
One alder, though
still radiates a fierce yellow cry
under slopes of balsam and pine
that rise toward cliffs
hundreds of metres above

A heart can absorb
entire October ranges like this
and not be ballasted down

Instead, even a spurt of dusty aspen leaves
lightens the organ

until it tugs free, lifts
over these canyons and forests

to ride the dark wind

like a raven
calling and calling
the season home

~ Tom Wayman

Bio: Dirty Snow is Tom Wayman’s eighteenth collection of poems. He has edited a number of anthologies, including The Dominion of Love (2001). His published fiction includes two books of short stories and the novel Woodstock Rising (2009).

To read more of the poet’s work click here

Leave a Reply