New Songs


Old men

sing songs

under a red sun.



a drum beats

deep in the bones of the world.

Their voices drone low.

Slow somber notes

that echo down the mountain valley.

They sing of memories

of days long past.

Long hunts,

hard times,

and the loss of friends.

Out in the forest

the vibration of their words

fills the trees.

An owl

takes a hare

in perfect time.

The hidden drums

quicken like a pulse,

sensing the blood spilled

for cause of life.

Even the small drops

that fall upon the moss

will be consumed.

Voices raise,

in both pitch

and volume.

Their faces

turn to the sky

and the rust color

that brings fire

to the lungs.

Nature is in estrus.

She burns hot.

This is the time

of violent upheavals,

in the stars

and on the Earth.

War, famine, and death.

All these and more

come out in an exaltation

that is as much praise,

as it is a warning.

The song of the old men

is sorrow



and revival.

Death brings life,

just assuredly

as life brings death.

Now, all as one,

they reach

a roaring crescendo,

that falls

down to the tempo

of a slow river’s running.

The sun burns high,

faded behind a veil

of smoke,

and ash,

and fear,

and brittle hope,

dry as a kindling forest.

As their song ends,

the sounds of the valley

eagerly fills the void,

taking up its own song;

its own struggle.

Nature has lashed the world

in the throes of her cycle.

The old men

return home,

prepared for a new reality,

a new tribulation,

and the possibility

of many

new songs.



DJR – 2023

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