Vincent Tripi

The Fire

Here is the start of Winter—stone of Her empty field; eagle’s-cloud, eyes for all we know, awake as wind. When was the moment when no more snow came? His life from which a track appeared?

Climbing toward midnight, the old man crossed the creek bed, turning uphill on a fading ridge…long drifts, a plough against the wall.

And the red deer followed. Their breathing like amice, or lantern—the trail of a saffron robe.

The grey rocks through the pokeweed are sharpened by shadow. Somewhere in the distance, his silence now part of the storm.

Fire, come when you should! Bent-oak on footsteps listen—with long spun echoes melting song.

What are we near to? Winter is all that he has been.

            The fire—
Two branches
            Bent by an eagle.

Reprinted from the book Haiku Pond by Vincent Tripi (San Francisco, CA: Vide Press, 1987) with permission Diane Herrlett for the literary estate of Vincent Tripi; ISBN: 978-0-9619134-0-3.