Sage of the Soil

At this season I find myself climbing back
through years of memories
skiing on silver snowshoes of thought
into corners of past conversation.

You have been a special friend,
savoring the simple life,
baking perfection into loaves of whole wheat bread.
Gardening, canning, cooking
concoctions few would even attempt.

Looking back to that other corner of time
I see the boy inside you still yearning for knowledge and success
in love letters played on strings of your viola.

Now you play your concerts in notes of computer circuitry
as myriads of magnetic words tumble through your mind
in a language you speak with precision

It is wonderful seeing you in the evening
by candlelight
improvising stories in your rich basso profundo
mingled with a chorus of chattering children.

Kent, sage of the soil,
your bearded kiss on a soft child's cheek
holds the beauty of a Wyeth pastoral.

May our lives always be shagged
by the white veneer of friendship,
peppered only by disappointments we can share,
may this new year be as the first tinsel of snow
smooth for us to write on
like starlings scratching the soil in earnest.