Glacier Marathon.

Pine-bearded winter
Takes holly branch baton
From autumn’s failing
Deadleaf fingers with
Doeskin-fringed gauntlets.
This ultimate circuit
Will be glacier marathon,
Not spritely sap-rush
Spring sprint;
But this white-snow-leg’s
Reindeer runner is
Seriously experienced:
Has mistletoe’s thick
Green blood-and
Bone-berry wisdom,
Ivy’s creeping-pattern perseverance.
He will, inevitably, be slowed –
Northwind’s full-frontal,
Wolf-pack ferocity will
Oppose every step,
Treachery of ice stealing
Will and energy – be
Distracted by magnetic
Mysterious magickery,
Frost’s subtle, cold seductions.
But, though he will falter,
Desperately suck heavy,
Berg-born air through
Lips, blue and sere
he will pass solstice and meet
religion’s joyous birth,
Witness bejewelled,
home-straight meltwaters;
Surviving just long enough to
pass the important wand on
To spring:
Poised warm and coiled,
In the blocks,
before expiring.



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