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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

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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Concurrent

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

forever.

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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,

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,

surprising,

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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When we were nine, we’d build

elaborate cities of snow

in the fifteen minutes before

the wail of the recess bell.

 

The boys would outwait us,

and as soon as we’d run

toward the school, they’d

knock our snow realm to the ground.

 

What is it in us that loves

to create? To build worlds?

To imagine a life taking shape?

And what is it, equally human, that

 

thrills in seeing it all fall down?

This morning, without me

lifting a finger, the world

remade itself in snow—

 

everything softer now,

smoothed and linked,

a unified kingdom of sparkle,

crystal and shine.

 

And once again, I am nine,

the winter grand. And once again, I long

to protect it, this beautiful world,

want to give it my imagination, my hands.

 

 

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Hi friends, I was off camping in the desert for a few days, then travelled to the glorious little town of Salida for a reading, and finally back home … here are a few small poems from the last few days … 

 

 

hell’s backbone grill—

the mouth begins to thrill

from two-hundred ten miles away

 

*

 

in the slot canyon—

knowing myself as water

moving through these walls

 

*

 

wind storm in the desert—

even my thoughts

fill with sand

 

*

 

this revolving door—

certainty, uncertainty, certainty

uncertainty

 

*

 

she sweeps the leaves

from the walk—

red carpet in reverse

 

*

 

waking in a blizzard

while in my ears, my scalp

still red sand

 

 

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