Sonnet for the Kalends of October

Solemn croak from a bird not quite raven,
who sits in a beech not quite stripped of leaves.
Winter stars enter compass of heaven.
Stones manifest in fields where winter-heaves
have brought them to light — like surfacing whales.
Skunk scurries underneath an orchard fence
to eat merrily what the whirlwind fells.
Coyote understands what deer merely sense —
that winter advances her pennons.
Gray, ice=streaked clouds maneuver west to east,
and vulture rides hard on updraft’s pinions,
searching for leftovers from some rough beast
slouching to a den where on some spring morn
she’ll wake from winter as her pups are born.

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