Tonight, in these pine scented woods, what silence,
As still as freshly fallen snow, as soft
As fur on a bent branch, as sweet as incense
In a dark church, invites my mind to drift,
To roll along this worn deer path, to shift
Through broken twigs and deep, hoof trodden snow,
Into a purple landscape whose shade is cleft
And pierced by starlight and scalloped moon glow?
Silence: not even the smooth waltz of slow,
Whispering conifers intrudes. The air
Is motionless, the trail is a crisp flow
Of hours old spoor, of droppings and coarse hair.
My eyes, now grown used to the violet night,
Scroll through blue shadows and feathery starlight.
Under the Horns of Artemis
Tonight, as Venus shines near Winter’s end,
I watch soft shadows on the broken rocks
And the gray, sprawling bushes. Furrowed sand,
Inlaid with marbled scat and shallow tracks,
Spreads out in front of us, and the dark cracks,
Stone banks, broken by thirsty roots and runs
Of churning torrents, squint at white deer racks
Carried downstream by bronze floods and steel rains.
Jackrabbits, motionless among pale stones
And silver chamisa, wait for us to pass
Them by. My dog picks up their little signs,
But under the slivered moon, forgoes the chase.
Together, in the pure night, like gods, we walk,
And leave them for another beast to stalk.
Bob Zisk is retired and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife, Chamchun. His academic training was in Classical and Medieval Langauges and Literature, and Philosophy. He was Director of Technical Services for NYC's Division of Homeless Housing Development and sat on the agency's Design Review Committee. He has written grants for community based housing organizations, and has taught planning and zoning issues, building stabilization, and construction contract management. He has also taught World Religions and Classical Languages and Literature. He has been published in Lucid Rhythms, Quarterly Journal of Undiscovered Poets, Better than Starbucks, Asses of Parnassus, Vates, Snakeskin, The Hypertexts, and The Lyric.