Posts Tagged ‘snow’

One Unmappable

in the cemetery
new snow—
why does it bring me joy
to see it,
this thin foot path to you

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Just when I believed
autumn would last forever
it didn’t.
Not that I really thought
the gold leaves would stay.
Not that I really believed
the warm days were endless—
but part of me wanted them to be.

And so this cold morning,
driving on ice
when I feel the slip of the wheels
as they lose traction,
the heart resonates
with the skid.

Oh, this lesson
in losing control.
Oh, this remembering
how quickly it all slides by—
the light, the warmth,
the deepening gold,
even this fleeting understanding
of how quickly
it all slides by.

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inspired by the painting “Winter (The Vicarage Garden Under Snow)” by Vincent Van Gogh and the piano composition “Winter Fields” by Kayleen Asbo

While he painted the world in browns and grays,
Vincent van Gogh did not yet know
of the throbbing vibrance that would someday
emerge from inside him. He did not yet know
how these somber scenes—like a man alone
shoveling the dim weight of winter—
would give way to an ecstasy of gold,
an elation of blue, rapturous green.
God, I am drawn to these grim, gritty paintings
with their muted schemes and tangled branches,
searching for notes of what will happen—
how he will travel to the warmth of Provence,
will come to share through thick stroke and bright hue
“the terrible passions of humanity.”
How he will give everything, everything to his art—
how his talent will grow as the world breaks his heart,
how he will change the way we see beauty,
how he will be wrestled by melancholy.
I imagine him sitting in the bleak Dutch cold,
painting the dreary, dissonant snow,
becoming the painter he’s destined to be,
living into the losses, the gifts he does not yet know.

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Clean Slate

It’s almost always sunny just before
it snows—just before the sky turns grey
then meets the earth in giant swaths
of blue turned clouds turned snow turned drift,
and haven’t you sometimes wanted
to do that, too—to shift in an instant
from warm to cool, from blue to gray,
to know yourself as the opposite
of what you are, just as a day does,
an entirely new syntax unspooling
in swirling verbs and whirling predicates
so complex you forget who the subject is—
haven’t you wanted to flurry, to blizzard,
to white out until there were no tracks
like sentences left for you to follow?

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One in the Woods

crooked staves
aspen shadows on snow—
our attention the song

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On a morning

when the snow

falls and drapes

everything in shine,

it is not that I don’t

feel the wounds—

raw and throbbing—

it’s just that it’s

so beautiful,

this tender world,

that I want

to praise it


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Their hats are cockamamie.

One has lost its carrot nose.

Stone buttons and eyes

have long since succumbed

to gravity. But there is

something yet dignified

about the snow people in the yard,

their knobby stick arms raised

as if, in their declining state,

there’s still so much to praise.

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Clear Instruction

Tonight my daughter

closes her fist

around the first snow

squeezes to make it

into a small cold ball

the shape of her hand,

and then offers it to me.

It tastes like sky,

like electric charge,

like winter, like childhood,

like curiosity.

And once again

I’m a girl who walks

to the neighbor’s yard

for a drink at the well—

I pump the heavy lever

and it draws clean, clear water

from the ground.

There’s a red metal ladle

hanging from a nail

on a nearby tree,

and the water tastes of moss

and rust and freedom.

There is a thirst

that’s been bequeathed us—

a thirst for what is

untreated and pure,

a thirst I somehow

manage to forget.

If it could speak,

the thirst might say,

Remember, remember,


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Second Chance



Next time the boy

throws the snow

at my face,


please let me see

an invitation

to play,


though it’s cold,


his eyes bright requests.

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One Simultaneous




driving white knuckled

in the blizzard, meanwhile

a white camellia blooms

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