Pieter Bruegel, 1565
Wind in the crags
makes mountain music hum
behind the brow: a winter symptom herders know.
pace the pensive road, a trail
of curdled mud, revealing vistas: five hungry heights,
the gusting valley-fields
a-smoulder, river-stillness hardening
to glass. The elements are catching breath
as the soft-eyed
cattle move among the men,
the peasant woods are stripped. On a lean
top-bough, a bird-
shaped shadow squats –
the painted crow that watches, as darkness fills the sky.