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The Days Before Naw-Ruz


Even the lean days
come layered in beauty,
when trees stand tall and spare
at winter's edge
unencumbered yet with spring,
their serried lines
softening the hills like fur;

when snow has melted back
to a few crisp eddies of ice
swirled among the milkweed –
their rich brown pods already spent –
swaddling thickets of rushes that stand like wheat,
wrapping ochre and umber grasses
in parchment white;

when the sun's great tongues
spill degree by degree into day,
burnishing the Earth,
steeping the dark trees in light,
laying down and lifting up shadows
hour by hour
in broad and delicate brushstrokes

that draw the heart to read
deep between the lines of their calligraphy
a foreshadowing of the season to come –
the moving language of a new Spirit –
while the red-tailed hawk,
alert and searching,
spirals slowly eastward.

- Druzelle Cederquist
World Order Magazine,
Vol.35, No.2, 2003-2004

*Naw-Ruz -- March 21.  Traditional Persian New Year and,
within the last two centuries, New Year preceded by a 19-day
fasting period for members of the Baha'i Faith.

Poetry Notes for this poem at Luminous Realities blog