The time of wandering
is signaled by the flat gray bases
of the wind-hurled cumulus
that hide the blue
and serve as backdrops
for the wayward flight of crows
in large and loose-flung flocks,
who make their errant way
against the freshened breeze
that fills behind the front
that brought us this untimely cold,
and calling down the wind
are clearly etched out flights of snow geese
out of the north,
in their turn driving toward a south
their forebears would not know
but whose call they no more can resist
than the earth can pause its spinning,
or the salmon choose
other than to spawn and die.

Peter O'Malley

About the poet: Peter O'Malley lives in Oakland, New Jersey, with his wife, Carol. He holds a BA and an MA (Drew University) in English literature, as well as a law degree from Rutgers University (Newark). He is an amateur naturalist whose other interests include travel, sailing, music (including classical guitar), bicycling, and visual arts (drawing and pastel). Recent publications have appeared in Inkwell and The Wayfarer. Peter maintains an online journal at hawkfell.