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...Now is the time of contrast and incision.
Sleet hardens, and the smooth crust tolerates
No imprint. Underfoot the fresh snow grates,
Each flake wrought in sharp-faceted precision.
The falls hang frozen in eternity,
Sound sharpens; bright, the winter starscape rises,
And all that summer mingled, crystallizes
Into its unalloyed identity.

The tracery of woven light on dark
Each night more keen; like, gossamer, my breath
Emerging from the air, I hear a voice:
"The paths of hope and terror, life and death,
Divide now. --And, humanity, your choice?"
…The whispered words like splintered ice are stark.

Cross-posted from http://adventcanticle.blogspot.ca. For background on my Advent Canticle project, see Introduction.

Previous Advent Canticle entries:

Prelude (An Advent Canticle)
"He came without clamor" (December 1, An Advent Canticle)
"O in the fields the blossoms blow" (December 2, An Advent Canticle)
"It started in November" (December 3, An Advent Canticle)
"It was the usual tedious family gathering" (December 4, An Advent Canticle)
"It started with the news that Caspar brought." (December 5, An Advent Canticle)
"Varus, old boy, it's been a dreadful year." (December 6, An Advent Canticle)
"Lully, lullay, lullaby" (December 7, An Advent Canticle)
"And so at last diplomacy had failed..." (December 8, An Advent Canticle)
"Come, open your eyes..." (Prelude II, December 9, An Advent Canticle)
"And every year the weather gets more squirrely" (Dec. 10, An Advent Canticle)
"Fear Not!" (December 11, An Advent Canticle)
"I quit!" (December 12, An Advent Canticle)

Originally posted to Green Canticle on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:59 AM PST.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks and Street Prophets .

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