snow poem

Jan. 7th, 2010 09:05 pm
ewein2412: (Default)
It has not actually snowed in PERTH since 27 December (not more than an inch or so, anyway). It is just incredible how the snow misses us. However, there is still about 8 inches of snow out there because the temp has not got much above -5 C / 23 F for three weeks (and is set to go down to -11 C / 12 F again tonight).

I wrote this poem in 1996, but it's really about the winter of 1994. It comes to mind now as all our neighbors' pipes freeze and we haven't seen the ground since before Christmas. I went sledding with Sara and a friend of hers this morning and realized afterward that for the first time in ten years we had to quit because we were exhausted--but not wet. It is too cold for anything to melt.



Ballade des Neiges

This a spectacular foe:
Winter profounder than memory,
snow stalling imagination.
Memory lied. In a temperate climate
I listened to wind through ill-fitting windows
in a thin room shared with my sister
and whistled a call for cold Christmas
in a frenzy of midwinter longing,
lost school nights conjuring snow
which never appeared.
Where was the waste we remembered,
the twelve days and twelve nights of blizzard,
the birches borne low by December,
the ice-banded end of the year?
Memory lied. It was warm
in our winter of icicled imagination.
This is the ice-spell complete:
The road ending in a blind canyon,
the copper pipes frozen,
the dreaded next slaughtering storm.
Memory hums the old schoolgirl question:
Where are the snows of yesteryear?
The groan of dammed river and eaves,
the splinters that fall in the forest,
pilled sleet through dry oak
and the plow's distant thunder repeat:
We are here,
we are here.
ewein2412: (Alderley Edge by Manon)
It is my father's 70th birthday today. He was 48 when he died.

I wrote this for him 25 years ago.

Guy Fawkes Night

My father used to play with fire
and would burn anything at hand:
candles, coal, kindling wood, Catherine wheels,
incense in strange brass lamps,
bitter dry nettles and uprooted sedges.
His splendid proud bonfires danced
taller than me and as high as the hedges.

In the fog, in the rain, in the thick Cheshire dark,
my father used to play with fire:
with silver and crimson and indigo sparks
he lit all our faces with glittering light
that burnt and flared and spilt apart
confounding the wet, black night.

In a brown city of shadowed streets
my father lives now in dimlit rooms
surrounded by old lamps and candle ends
and mirrors the color of the moon:
pale shades of the brilliance that he believes gone.
But still through the deep, wet Cheshire gloom
the flames that he kindled blaze on.
ewein2412: (osprey hair)
[ profile] zalena commented a few days ago that November is sorely lacking in positive poems, and I thought that I would post a few. (I know plenty of miserable ones, too, but I'll leave them out this time, ok?)


who are you, little i

(five or six years old)
peering from some high

window; at the gold

of november sunset

(and feeling: that if day
has to become night
this is a beautiful way)

--e.e. cummings


I like the fall,
The mist and all.
I like the night owl's
lonely call--
And wailing sound
of wind around.

I like the gray
November day,
And bare dead boughs
that coldly sway
against my pane.
I like the rain.

I like to sit
and laugh at it--
And tend
My cozy fire a bit.
I like the fall--
The mist and all.

--dixie wilson


o miss november
do you remember
you promised us
candy in heaps

halloween's done
we had lots of fun
but we ain't seen
those pumpkin peeps

it's true royal mail
struck a big fat Fail
and delivered our cards
very late

but that halloween goo
we expected from you
i think you
went and ate.


ewein2412: (Default)

When I and the world
Were greener and fitter,
Many a bitter
Stone I hurled.
Many a curse
I used to pitch
At the universe,
Being so rich
I had goods to spare;
Could afford to notice
The blight on the lotus,
The worm in the pear.

But needier grown
(If little wiser)
Now, like a miser,
All that I own
I celebrate
The pear on my plate,
The fruit on my tree,
Though sour and small;
Give, willy-nilly,
Thanks for the lily,
Spot and all.


ewein2412: (Default)

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