In the snowless winter
an ambiguous horizon retreats tentatively,
as if unsure of its defining edge.
Nearby we view the sight
of brown hills striated with hundreds
of gray-black tree trunks, and thousands
of fine-line branches and twigs,
interspersed with jagged dark evergreen slashes.
Further away ridges roll out dull blue,
or purple at rosy dawn and dusk,
their details blurred and varying
with changing weather and light.
Still more distant hills arise
in pale blue permanence
uneasily nudged by temporary gray-blue impostors
whose faintly ragged edges
betray their true identity as clouds,
sky-soldiers advancing and retreating,
maneuvering through their missions
in an endless ground-sky fight
for horizon territory.