Sunset on the Hill
Slowly, slowly, the sunset, still,
Casts long, long shadows, deep blue, silent,
Casts moving shadows behind the hill
Where we sit, still, and watch.
Cool Clouds, streaked with hot red rays,
Slide in the silent autumn sky.
Cool clouds are cast as shadows of our days.
They slide together, red and gray.
Slowly, slowly, the sunset, quiet,
Lingers as we lock our hands and watch
The day silent close
Ending with a breath of autumn breeze.
The shadows long and blue,
Creep up towards us on the hill and lengthen
Out behind as nighttime comes on
And our times pass.
The changeling waves of autumn grass
Cast up the hill and whisper as they crest
Around our feet and pass,
Merging with the dark behind our backs.
The sun sets slowly, slowly. Gone
Are the grays as the clouds fade to darkness.
The pointed autumn wind begins to pierce.
The day has gone, and night has come.
—John H. Richards
A cold wind, a dry wind, the breath of winter
Wrests frozen dust from the desert plateaus
And cleanly sweeps the salmon sunrise peaks
Long trails drag off the mountain tops
Ice, fine and sand-like, sifts and swirls,
Abrades my cheeks and glitters in your hair.
The wind that blows cold winter
To our urban valley, that distant wind now close,
Tosses, like a tissue of fallen brittle leaves,
The distance from between our souls,
The cowl of night, the separation at the end of day
Blows northward in a steady whirl of wind
And leaves us now.
The morning is a birthing, and we are born as one.
The wind, the separate wind, than in its course
Reviews the roundness of the world
Bring from all its course the teaching, drawing close,
And takes away our loneliness and leaves us
As without callous,
Touching fresh and loving in the late fall dawn.
—John H. Richards