When Winter Comes

Rain at Muchalat, rain at Sooke,

And rain, they say, from Yale to Skeena,

And the skid-roads blind, and never a look

Of the Coast Range blue over Malaspina,

And west winds keener

Than jack-knife blades,

And rocks grown greener

With the long drip-drip from the cedar shades

On the drenched deep soil where the footsteps suck,

And the camp half-closed and the pay-roll leaner, —

Say, little horse, shall we hunt our luck?

 

Yet... I don't know... there’s an hour at night

When the clouds break and the stars are turning

A thousand points of diamond light

Through the old snags of the cedar-burning,

And the west wind’s spurning

A hundred highlands,

And the frost-moon’s learning

The white fog-ways of the outer islands,

And the shallows are dark with the sleeping duck,

And life’s a wonder for our discerning, —

Say, little horse, shall we wait our luck?

Source: The Selected Poems of Marjorie Pickthall (McClelland & Stewart, 1957).