Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Through sleet, then slush,
through blizzard and ice,
I drove mountain passes
and listened to a love story—
and as my hands gripped
and my shoulders tensed,
my heart cheered for forgiveness.
And as snow fell
and SUVS flipped
and semis slid,
love put its hand
on my hand on the wheel
and though it did not promise me
my own happy ending,
it did crook its finger as if to say
just one more mile, sweetheart,
in the dark current
of the world,
now one more,
now one more,
now one more.

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News of the War

The newscaster speaks
and beneath you
the floor becomes ice
and the world
is speeding
on balding tires
and the moment
is the highway
and all is fishtail
and the brakes
are useless now—
and the cliff so close
and you brace
against nothing
and the only way
to correct a slide
is to turn
into the slide—

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Meeting Some Truths

The truth was an avalanche—
an avalanche midsummer,
which is to say
it didn’t seem possible,
but it happened.
And I was buried
beneath the cold
immense weight of it.
Crushed but still breathing—
another impossible truth.
I know some would like to see
the uprooted world
already green and lush again,
but anyone who
has wandered through
old avalanche paths
knows it takes many seasons
before the fallen old growth trees
have moldered into soil,
many seasons before the new saplings
have grown into forest again.
One truth is, the healing begins quickly,
but takes a long time.
Even then, the forest is never the same.
One truth is, so much of transformation
happens beneath perception.
One truth is, we all live
in the avalanche path.

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The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now.
—Thich Nhat Hanh

Today the miracle is to sit
in the sunlit room and be
in the sunlit room,
to be here and only here,
here in the bountiful silence,
here in the shifting shadows,
here in the hands of midwinter,
not in this same room five years ago,
but now as the tulips
drop the soft curls of their petals
like lingering pink praise.
So seldom in these grief ridden days
do I feel a feeling so pure
as this peace that arrives
on the low-angled light
when I am quiet and still
and the world invites me
to show up for whatever
slim warmth there is, and
know it is enough.

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This Season

It is true, every day
brings a sadness—
sometimes like a blizzard,
sometimes like sleet,
sometimes like a clear morning
of fifteen below,
but I do not wish any of it away.
On the coldest mornings here,
the birds that choose to stay
fluff up their feathers
to trap in the chill air,
warming it with their own bodies
until it becomes their insulation.
This is, perhaps, how it is with grief—
by holding it close,
it transforms from something
that would hurt me
to something I infuse
with my own being,
thus becoming something
that allows me to survive.
It would be wrong
to say I like it. But I hear
how, with every day,
it is teaching me
a new way to sing.

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Inspired by dark and naked aspen,
she’s been practicing emptiness—
perhaps you, too, have seen the way
that barren arms can better hold
the changing colors of the sky.
The less she holds, the more love
seems to fill her, pours into her
like the winter sunset, vast and brilliant.
All these years she thought the point
was to be full. Now she marvels
at how resonant she is without
so much clutter—how resounding,
the honest beating of her heart.

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One in the Woods

crooked staves
aspen shadows on snow—
our attention the song

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walking in chill air
beside the frozen creek
warm words

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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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It is the child of cold and warmth.

It is right it should show up

both cloudy and clear,

this union of opposites,

shaped like a spear, piercing

the silence with dripping, dripping.

It forms itself

the same way it disappears.

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