(Dear Reader or Readers: Be politely unsparing! There's something not-quite-right about this poem, I suspect, but am standing too close to it to know precisely what it is. It was, I should note, written just for practice' sake.)
Bleak leaves cling fast to the wind-battered tree;
This autumn weather thrills the sin-sick soul.
As dim as dreams, cloud-balked, the sun leaks through,
Spilling its feeble light upon the world.
The cackle of the crows pierces the cold
Presaging winter's stoic days (snow; ice;
November's stubborn flowers nipped and killed
By north-wind's stinging blast; skies gray as mice).
And yet some souls there are who watch for grace,
Expecting love's fabled nativity
In a chilly and unfavorable place
Apparently unvisited by Him
Who makes all dying life rejoice anew:
Each human heart a cave in Bethlehem.