January New Moon

For January 29.

Hail, bright crescent, floating above bare arms
that shade from gray to red at leafless tips.
Though winter still plays with eye-cheering charms,
cold, dry air chastises with gale-force whips.
Ice makes mortal what once seemed undying:
break in boulder where water forced a crack;
raccoon and young doe by roadside lying;
drowned meadow where frost changed snow-melt to black.
Wrens hunker down, unwilling to spread wings
but red hawk finds reasons to soar in flight.
And under green ivy, sparrow still sings
though eastern hills purple and stars grow bright.
Shivering, onrushing night shall impart
compassion — crowning secret of the heart.

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