September tries to convince herself,
Making pretend that she is really, truly,
A Summer month, albeit one of dying fire,
Holding at bay the chill of Autumn winds.
October plays temptress with her Duality;
Sun to warm the back of your flannel shirt,
With punkin' frosting nights, crisp and cold.
Air so clear it sears the throat like a glass of cider.
November comes dark, wet and gloomy.
An ancient harridan forced to bridal bed.
Chanting "fools, there's time before winter comes,
Still time enough for love."
December mutters in her sleep........
Winter be but two weeks old and already they lament.
No passion seems as strong as their loudest prayer for spring.
Spring will come when it will and wake the grasses and willow.
Let Natures brief time of slumber last long enough to rest her.
The winter be time for beauty to be found on ice etched panes,
And bayonets of glass, hanging from every eave to be seen.
Winter be found in crystalline air so pure only heroes inhale it.
And footsteps crunch like breaking luttuce upon the snowy ground.
Beyond winter times will speed and rush their way forward.
Spring then Summer and Autumn sprinting to their ultimate ends.
Let winter luff her way on tiny frozen feet while fire warms yours.
Add another log and settle in for a long nap and a dream.
I watched the penguins woddle along,
On cold-hard ice; where they belong.
From water to land, they scurried around,
Flapping their feet on frozen ground.
Herds of them were standing still,
Settling down to a long cold chill.
Mother passes her egg to father carefully;
Knowing he'll care for it, so, naturally.
He'll protect it from the harsh-cold nights,
In a warm snug pouch away from sight.
For mother must find many fish to catch,
While father stays until it is hatched.
Long-dark days of Winter will change to Fall,
Returning mother, with, her familiar call.
Such a sweet sound for father's ear,
Ending another, long-cold Winter year.
Giving father penguin a much needed break,
For their chick is born and fully awake.
With such a huge urge to quickly eat,
Yes, many tasty meals of fresh, fish-meat.
Gone are the fields of winter white
soon to be replaced by hues of greens and yellows,
in the interim, fields of barren brown and dirty gold
turned, to breathe warm air from departed winter chill
Plumes of black and gray from mans machine
kneading the back of Mother Earths desire,
before impregnating her with the many seeds
that will produce offspring to quench mans many needs
oh, how lonesome she looks, so alone
holding yet to some remnants of children past,
left only to cradle her dead, left by man
yearning to suckle new life, as only a Mother can
Above, from the heavens, Father prepares
to germinate those so many seeds,
with life sustaining necessities only he is allowed
sunlight and life giving rain, loosened from the clouds
within days Mother is impregnated
she can feel the multitudes of organic life,
moving within her womb, yearning,growing, needing
the escape, to be warmed and nourished by the Sun
Minutes turn to hours, hours to days
suddenly weeks pass,and yet another life,
giving rain, descends from guilded clouds
arms and fingers, of her children, open, sustained
nearing the end of a warm and wonderful summer
it is time for Fathers other children,
to reap what he has sewn
time for Mother Earth to let her children go
My, how they have grown, tall,lush and full
of the fruit they were meant to bear,
to provide nourishment for the masses of seeds
grown to maturity, in need from the father
Again, the gray black plumes of mans machine
come to life, they move through her fields,
her children, like a predator among prey
until, she is left again, with remnants of children past
Soon she will be blanketed again in winter white
gone will be the warm breath of life,
her children taken from her, she is again barren
only to be betrothed to a promise of new life.
I wrote this on a day trip to Illinois from Iowa across wide open farm land.
Our fig in January, entirely denuded now
like my heart in your absence, is but
more beautiful, if possible, in its seasonal
solemnity than in summer's exacting extravagance.
The trunk, grown massive in manhood, is a citadel
of strength supporting the curving bowl of its
branches as they bend back into themselves, becoming
the bare black sculpture of winter trees Hemingway
described in Paris in the Jardin of Luxembourg
where we used to walk, following in his footsteps.
These prayerful branches, grown as large as
the beanstalk giant of storybook lore, cup
the sky, making a sieve through which rain filters,
better for unobstructed passage to its
earthbound blessing, clearer for the distillation.
Above ground two massive roots, more visible
in winter definition--veins from the beating heart
of the tree--though siblings still, sprawl out
in different directions, then disappear wherever
they are traveling, who knows where? Not
climbing skyward like Jack on his leafy ladder,
but earthward out of sight toward a Southern
provenance, toward Provence, perhaps,
as if impassioned for home.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FELLOW SOUPERS!
As evenings dark began to close in
a little girl wipes her nose on her sleeve.
Listless and hungry she walks in the snow
a poor and lost soul, one cold New Year’s Eve.
Her dead mothers slippers were much to large,
they were flip flopping while crossing the street,
two wild carriages coming full speed
made her lose them, now she walks in bare feet.
She glances in windows as she walks by,
families eating and making good cheer,
her pains from hunger she tries to ignore,
she’s starving and freezing, poor little dear.
The north winds cold breeze keeps blowing her face
catches her breath as it blows back her hair.
She spots a dark alley where she can lay,
Tired and windblown she can no longer care.
She curls in a ball tucking frozen feet
carefully under her old blanket cloak,
she leans on the building, closing her eyes
now given up and her spirits are broke.
A shaggy old dog, nudges her gently
she hugs him and draws him close to her heart,
smiling she whispers, we’ll go together
when Jesus finds us, we’ll never more part
Then both of their eyes close, she bathes in dreams,
sitting at a fire, with food on the hearth.
When she awakes, a lady stands smiling,
pats the old dog saying, good boy old Barth.
The Little Match Girl by H.C. Anderson
Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.
Written by Brenda Meier-Hans
Contest: A Christmas Tale
Sponsor Debbie Guzzi
I'm badly in need of a holiday
It happens every year at this time
Need to go where the palm trees grow
And the sun shines most of the time
A total break from everyday stuff
And this frigid Canadian winter
Somewhere where the moon above
Causes the waves to shimmer
An island paradise away from it all
The every daily trials at home
To lose myself on a fantasy island
No email, no internet, no phone
A place where time doesn't exist
Where nothing is done in a rush
The pace is slow and oh so easy
With surroundings green and lush
The vision I see is heaven on earth
Hope one day it will all come true
Till then I'll shiver and curse out loud
As my lips turn a shade of blue!
© Jack Ellison 2015
Winter is about to hit full force
It is inevitable but each year, us Canadian dudes
Wish for it to be milder and less snowy than usual
Can't stop us from begging the Ice Fairy Princess
In her infinite wisdom and grace and beauty
For just this one time to spare us poor citizens
Of the True North Strong and Free
A phrase that's part of our National Anthem
They say we're a hardy bunch but as we age
It gets tougher and tougher and tougher
Okay... why don't I try this
Dear Ice Fairy Princess, if I promise
To be a good and honurable citizen
For the whole of 2015
Could you please, please, send us an extra mild winter
With just the occasional light snowfall
In return, I promise to never call you that bad name again
Yours truly, Jack xxx
© Jack Ellison 2015
He stood still in the chilling winter breeze, with a carrot
for a nose, two sticks for hands, two buttons for eyes, and six tiny
buttons for a mouth. During the day, children liked playing around him,
skating and dancing as they danced, sung, and screamed; the smell
of happiness was in the air. The snowman was the only one who wasn't
enjoying these playful moments, for he was only a pile of snow
that was put together, to look like a human.
One night, two days before Christmas,
the nasty-looking gingerbread man crept into the children's playing field; he was carrying a torch."I will melt you, and make you part of the icy floor!" he whispered. He was once a jolly man, who was cursed by a witch, because of stealing her gingerbread. All his friends and family abandoned him, for he looked strange. Since then, he hated anyone or anything that resembled happiness or smile. “Tomorrow the children will have a different look on their faces….” he thought to himself. An evil smile formed on his face.
As he stared to melt the snowman, Santa appeared out of nowhere, riding his flying reindeer that carried many gifts.
“What are you doing my friend?” he asked gingerbread man. “I have brought you a gift. It is a wishing coin!” The gingerbread man was so touched, that he wished that that the snowman was alive, so that he could know how it felt to be alive. He then tossed the coin into the air. The snowman then gradually started to move, and utter words. Surprisingly, the gingerbread man turned into a human once more. The witch’s curse was broken by love.
The Christmas tree lighting was reflecting on a lake; children were sharing gifts, as they sang Carols; the elves were sprinkling magical stardust in the air – it was Christmas after all! It was beautiful to see a man, once a gingerbread man, dancing with the snowman!
This sub zero stuff may finally be over
How do we survive every year
It ain't civilized, it's downright barbaric
This year got a frozen rear
Sat down on the coals in my barbecue pit
Took twenty-four hours to thaw
Till finally I smelled a very strange odour
Realized it was time to withdraw
A Canadian dude but this is insane
Even I can't handle this stuff
Told Cathie, better hide all the knives
Enough is bloody well enough
Likely flying south with the birdies next fall
Can't take another winter like this
Too old and decrepit, way past my prime
As I leave, I'll throw you all a big kiss
This sub zero stuff may finally be over
How do we survive each year!!!
© Jack Ellison 2015
"Well Captain how we working this one."" umm; so Billy is this your first Winter Rescue?"
"Yep" "All right you're with me" "I thought I was going to be with Tom" " Hey kid your
better off with Harry. Rick and I have been partners many times before." " Ok guys keep
your spikes on until we hit the top of the avalanch floe. that's a good 5 or 600 feet down
Stay away from uprooted trees, it takes less than 5 pounds to send the whole tree down the mountain, possibly causing the floe to become the base.Rick, Tom there's a goat trail 60 meters to the west follow that and we will meet at Nesting Rocks. Every 2 minutes flick your Amber lamp 3 times each in our direction. Keep your radios on but I'll be the only one talking; unless YOU find a Save. Flash us in 5 minutes when your in position" "See You at the snowline boss."" Harry. Why do they call you captain and boss
"Senority, I been on the Squad for 18 years. Let me know if you get any numbness in or
tingling feelings in your hands,arms,or legs." What about my ears?" In a couple of hours
your ears will be burning, which is good, they'll help keep your face warm." How, Why?"
"I don't know, I didn't event ears, I just know that they do. There's the signal, Let's get started. Be sure to tug the tether with each movement you make. I signaled them in two minutes I want you to signal them in amber." " Why amber?" Yellow light can be seen farther away than white light."
To be cont.
People call it a winter wonderland
I call it a lack of green
Not that green's my favourite colour
But it beats keeping driveways clean
As soon as we think our shovelling is over
Another storm hits with a blast
The grass was showing only two days ago
My hopes once more have been dashed
Silly of me to wish for such kindness
I live above the 49th parallel
To entertain such wishful thinking is folly
Keeps turning, this world carousel
Realize the gods have their own agenda
They decide on the weather we'll get
Winter is punishment for all the damn wars
Mother Nature doesn't forget
Don't think this is how it's supposed to be
It should all be sunshine and flowers
We're being punished so let's smarten up
Not worry bout who's got the power!
© Jack Ellison 2015
I still remembered that night
the snow was heavy and unusually white.
We gathered around the fireplace,
Momma was sharing her Christmas grace.
Daddy went home and brought us presents
Momma stopped her story and away she went
out into the snowy streets
buying us winter treats.
It has passed dinner and she’s not home.
Our stomach started to ache and roam.
Daddy began to worry,
and away he went in a hurry.
Me and Anna were still inside
looking through the window with eyes opened wide.
Then Anna started to cry,
I was still wondering why
until I saw a shadow in the foggy snow.
Anna squeezed my hand and wouldn’t let go.
A squeak, a squeal -
a spinning wheel
down the hill
that’d thrill and kill.
It came clashing and crashing
through the glaciers it went bashing
through our door it was breaking,
left us all shaking and quaking.
We did not restrain
the shrieks and tears weren’t feigned.
Next morning the neighbors came
and told us that momma and daddy weren’t the same.
I followed them and what I saw
with only a glance made me drop my jaws.
There, two coffins neatly laid
“Uncertain causes” was clearly sprayed.
I laughed and thought I just got played
but grief suddenly fell when the priest prayed.
Nobody helped when I fell limp on the floor
as they carried my parent’s bodies through the shattered door.
From that day on there wasn’t winter anymore.
Snow were redder than red – the color of gore.
Their tombstones were always cold solid steel
and if you came close you’d feel:
A squeak, a squeal -
a spinning wheel
down the hill
that’d thrill and kill.
Worked hard all his life
When I was
I remember him
Sitting in the dark
By the kitchen stove
On cold winter nights
Rubbing his calloused hands
Over and over again
Not saying a word
Listening to the voices on the outside
Whistling in the winter wind.
Once I walked
In by mistake
Breaking the silence
I asked what he was thinking about
Nothing he said
The his voice changed
Listen to me son
Everyone has a lesson
To learn in life
You’re young now
But later on
You’ll need to know
When to grab life
In your own two hands
And shake it
Until you get
What you want.
The sudden anger
In his voice
Startled me like a
Short fuse in the night
And I ran from him.
Grandfather didn’t work during winter
It was too cold he said
To work more
To buy more
Never suited him.
What he needed was nearby
A pair of old work boots
A jacket carelessly slung
Over a chair
A pair of cotton twill pants from better days
And a bottle of brandy.
For him, winter was
Meeting old friends
After Sunday Church
Congregating in the park
In small groups
Standing their ground
Against all outsiders
On days when the snows receded
And winter’s end seemed close.
Some rested on canes
Others stood tall
Survivors of another winter
Talking about this and that
And how well their grown up children were doing.
Life can go on without us
They seemed to say
To the empty park
And the gray skies
We will meet again one day
But for now
We’ll stay here until the sun goes down
And winter returns.
Those winter blahs, they're with us again
They can drag us down without doubt
It makes us feel like cursing bloody murder
Can't take it, I just want to shout
After all these years I still can't stand winter
Indoors for at least six months
As the years fly by, it gets harder to endure
As a kid I enjoyed winter once
Not a complainer, enjoy life to the fullest
But I wish they could cancel winter
Might even try coercing those weather gods
As I let out an audible whimper
I'll continue to try to lead an exemplary life
If winter could just be canceled
Never to complain about the wind and the rain
As long as our winter is annulled
This obviously sounds a bit selfish of me
There's many enjoying the cold
Skiing and tobogganing and having a great time
I'm not cut from that outdoorsy mould
© Jack Ellison 2015
If I hadn’t seen the speckled splash
hadn’t heard the cry -
a forlorn sound
reaching out to distance -
I wouldn’t have this shivered-thought
Yet? The joke’s on me
A bird for all seasons
Loves to trigger imagination
He’ll shriek at wedding or wake alike
He’s just hungry
But I wish to hell
on this gray late December day
with ball descending
He’d drop his load on someone else
He had some time to spare and pray.
He worked his farm for years, all his boys have now grown up,
then moved away.
He raised them good he raised them right.
He run cattle so they can earn college degrees and,
then start living their own lives. being free.
Now it’s hard after his wife has died.
It broke his heart but he promised that he would,
keep their farm alive..
Now here he sits taking a break.
Asking god for a weather break.
all because, his cows needs winter hay.
You're sitting alone at the bar of the coffee shop and you've got the usual.
black decaf latte, today's newspaper, and that pen that smears blue ink.
It’s the same every night, that's why you come back. Monotony is relief.
The only move you've made in what seems like hours was to refill your drink.
You stare at the latte like you’re about to open a gift.
Lifting the cup high, your lips sip the heavy cream.
Tired eyes watch the frosted window and the drift
that carries the uninvited snow effortlessly past you.
The room behind you is burning loud with conversation;
The same arguments, theories, solutions
It's a sickness stuck in the same old rotation.
Like hopeless addicts, they fiend for absolution
There’s talk of Plato’s cave that shrouds enlightenment.
Others discuss Gandhi’s hidden path to the same effect.
They repeat wise men’s words in circles they invent,
leaving what’s more than a hint of ignorance to detect
The sun sets and you're blinded by a glare as you look to the skyline,
the light glows as it sits atop the trees; you look down with a sigh.
Through the window you catch the eyes of a battered man, the look of isolation and despair intertwined.
The man’s face, streaming with tears, tells a story of one too many goodbyes.
What difference does this man make, which he is or what he needs?
You’ve seen it all before; a different movie, the same old theme.
Plus, the tilt of his head and pain in his eyes speak for him of his own misdeeds
Your stare stays locked as you say out loud, “things are always what they seem.”
You have a heavy feeling bring a question that stays planted in your mind
You wonder now if you walk the very path that hollowed this man's eyes.
The thought turns into voices, the words they say are all entwined.
Getting louder now, the more you try to block them out, the more they intensify.
The roaring sound of a freight train wind,
Blows northern snows across the prairie again.
horizontal snow that ices over eye-lashes,
Quickly brings a halt to any kind of progresses.
Shivering bones and chattering teeth,
Just a mile or so to the end that keeps,
the warmth of a fire in a pot-belly stove,
one more mile till my Wyoming home.
I can smell the fire burning on a 60 mile per hour gust,
Faint; but I can smell it just enough,
to keep my feet moving in an unmerciful land,
Please dear Lord, don't let this be my last stand.
Growing tired and weary, snow up to my hips,
I remember your kisses on my half frozen lips.
We danced in that field of purple and white,
Now, it seems I've lost my way, and I've lost my life.
I think I'll sit and rest just a bit.
I was standing in my dining room, drinking a cup of coffee, staring out the window the other day. Across the street is the school bus stop, so for a brief time, each morning there stands a collection of young students, mindlessly milling around until the bus arrives. Of note is that this is winter time in Maine. Temperatures in the teens and twenties are the norm. Yet, there stood at least two boys, wearing parkas and, to my surprise and chagrin, shorts. What is the matter with kids today.
Then I thought about when I was a kid and how my mother would always be concerned that, when in my teens, I never buttoned or zipped up my coat. Didn't bother me near as much as it did her.
Where I grew up, there were no yellow buses. We all walked to school. In the summer, it was fun to jostle with your friends, sharing lies and tall tales with each other. But in the winter, it was quite something else again. Mom would dress us in the kitchen. Padded snow pants over which she would pull on and snap up a pair of rubber boots. They were called galoshes then. Next came a scarf over which a frayed but warm coat was buttoned, all the way up to the neck. Lastly, my prized leather aviator cap with shear-ling lined ear flaps, and of course, the requisite mittens, which when very young, were pinned to our sleeves.
Our books were carried in an old green book bag, cinched at the top and thrown over our shoulder, or more often then not, swung around or dragged during our school ward journey. Funny how I remember all this , but I don't remember ever being cold, even when my face was apple red. It was just something you did. If you weren't going to school, you would be playing outside anyway. Winter was subjective.
So when you hear the stories from your grandpa about how he used to walk to school in waist high snow and how the trip was uphill, both ways, you may want to think back on the fun you had, and how much those kids across the street are missing.
Never heard this expression, 'polar vortex' before this year
Wish it had never entered my vocabulary
This is a winter like none we have experienced in many many years
Bone chilling, beyond human endurance
Not civilized, whether you were born in the north or not
This is beyond that which we humans can tolerate
It's off the charts, record breaking
Spring has never been more anticipated than this year
Let's hope it's not a sign of things to come
Let's hope it's once in a a very long cycle
To be remembered as THAT year
Never to experience it again in our lifetime
Never heard the expression, 'polar vortex' before
Hope never to hear those two words again!
© Jack Ellison 2014
She curled her tail around her toes,
Covering whiskers, chin and nose.
An ear twitch here, another there;
She claimed as hers the easy chair.
Tormentor of both mole and mouse,
She spent the summer out of house.
Plundered, pillaged, night and day,
No mercy for dim witted prey.
Summer passed and then the fall,
As bitter cold left wintery pall.
The feline wanted none of that;
Once more she posed as family cat.
She lay about each day and night:
Purred when stroked and feigned delight.
Her bowl, her chair and toilet place,
Were all she claimed as sovereign space.
The season wore on long and cold.
Outside most life seemed put on hold.
The feline lay there still as dead,
Entombed within her winter bed.
Come now the spring with days of fair;
The old cat stretched within her chair.
A well placed nose near open sill;
She felt the much diminished chill.
Then rushed to door that still was closed.
Cries from her pleading throat arose.
Weaving through her mistress legs;
"Let me out," brash feline begged.
As chipmunk fed in hemlock crotch,
Unfettered cat dashed off the porch.
With one quick scramble up the tree;
A winter cat she ceased to be.
Do we not marvel at her grace,
Ere all those months confined in place?
The cat resumes with guileless ease,
Her summer reign of fields and trees.
His smile was as warm as the summer sun.
But his cold-cold heart chilled the soul.
Debonair, golden hair, he often had to run!
Those notches scratched in his paltry pelt,
Lay evidence of his lusty embrace.
He was a hit and run, son-of-a-gun.
Many young women,
Slapped without a trace.
A new fair maiden fell for his heat.
He ripped virtue out, with a lusty hold.
Surprised at the end, not even a friend.
Her heart suffered.
The serpent’s sting –
All alone in the winters freeze,
Seething, in woman’s scorn.
- Loved and left without concern -
She had esteemed him, true.
What to do?
The answer soon was clear.
Death paid the toll in the winter cold.
Her sorrow would forebear.
Debonair, golden hair,
He no longer had to run!
Her smile was as frigid as the winter’s freeze.
And his cold-cold heart lay icy, still.
Death caught this man who left with fast feet
No more notches would he carve in his strap!
She grinned as she patted his manly pelt.
That winter of his frozen golden hair –
© February 13, 2011
Winter didn't arrive till February 1st
It came on with a vengeance since then
Something's screwed up I do believe
Such extremes, really can't recall when
I know, I know, I live up in Canada
The land of ice and much snow
But give us a break, enough is enough
Can't take this bad stuff no mo'
Hardy yes but certainly not foolhardy
Been living here for 79 years
Don't go out unless it's absolutely necessary
In my La-Z-Boy I park my rear
So don't ring my bell or dial my number
Haven't you heard of hibernation
I'm incognito, I can no longer be reached
Bugging me is a privacy violation
A true violation of my rights as a human
An intrusion I'd very much dislike
Unreachable by any possible means at all
Till damn winter finally takes flight!
© Jack Ellison 2015
Temps were 46F yesterday...
winter's back methinks has be broken!
The priestess had seen it all well; she had seen it coming.
The Snow Goddess had spoken to her in a dream.
“How could this be?!” the priestess asked herself.
The human nature in her could not make sense of what her visions entailed.
The reality came to life in the night without the moon, but a night full of stars! The malevolent tribe of the wolves had broken the gates, and killed thousands of knights. They sought the blood of the Queen; the priestess herself! Her divine soul was too much for the vile and dark wolf warriors to bear.
The invaders were ten feet tall, with muscles as strong as steel, and teeth as mammoth as elephant tasks! Warriors of the Snow Kingdom were no match for such an army.
“I leave my Kingdom’s fate to you my Goddess…” the priestess whispered in despair. As the wolf warriors reached the foot of a big mountain, the auroras began to appear. They were of different colors like rainbow! Their visibility invited a tremor that created avalanches, that buried the entire giant army to their deaths. The Queen’s vision had come true!
Winter is on the tips of her fingers.
Winter is silver on her breath as she exhales,
oxygen stamped with her name, forgotten
as either one,
stiffening into smoke like her hair
against the twilight.
Her tears are winter on her face -
winter ice like her eyes when she can
force them open.
Winter is in her poinsettia smile,
while she remembers this scarf,
the first time she wore it,
that Christmas when he was there
to kiss her nose and give
her champaine-promise, stomach-flutter
feelings again and again
and see her eyelashes when they filled up
like pearls on a string.
Winter is turning,
a music-box key
in her throat as she feels her head
bowing of it's own accord from the sky
to the dirty grey slush of the sidewalk.
Winter stops her ears to people passing,
wondering at a very old woman in
a ratty old coat
very red, frayed scrap of knitted cloth
bunched up in her claw fingers
like the blood in her veins,
Winter hums christmas carols in her
heartbeat while she shudders
and sobs against the cold -
and silent night, the virgin birth
slowing into a winter evening
lit only by streetlamps.
She grasps blindly at the whisper
of pipe-smoke and familiar old
love when his ghost hits her
with a mistle-toe touch on her cheek.
She listens to the ice splinter,
She wipes her face, trickling down
like the night to the street, hearing
the clock tick, all those
longing little chimes like winter
on her senses.
It's twelve-o-clock now.
She shuffles on.
The feeders were empty, dejected, forlorn.
The lady who filled them had suddenly gone.
Her time here now ended, she wakened no more:
Gone from her gardens, departed her door.
This little much mattered to birds on the wing,
With winter now over, well into the spring.
All busy with nesting, caught up in new life.
No hunger in summer, no cold, bitter strife.
New homes to be built: sturdy and staid.
Songs to be sung and eggs to be laid.
Sheltered and nurtured; the young ones appear.
A sure rite of passage in the spring of each year.
Fledglings near grown will be taught how to fly
And soar past the tree tops up into the sky.
They will learn of the hawk and its hunger for flesh:
Of wicked, sly felines that hide in the brush.
Then late summer grows weary and tired of play.
It goes to bed earlier and earlier each day.
The fall time all golden and valued the more;
Birds sense coming peril past winter’s cold door.
Those who remain for new season’s sharp sting,
Grow restless, uneasy, not choosing to sing.
Old feeders hang empty, no seed to be found . .
Below only barren, forbidding, cold ground.
Blue jays and the doves, all the species of finch,
Chickadees, titmice, now feel winter's pinch.
Woodpeckers, nuthatches, cardinals and crows,
Will all group together to face winter woes.
Then a morning arrives with white flakes in the air.
Frigid and stark; the day reeks of despair.
First jay to arrive at the earliest light,
Gives out a sharp cry to all others in flight.
There's someone out tending the feeders below,
Tamping the snow where the cracked corn will go.
And filling the hollow in that old rotten stump:
Sunflower, suet, dried fruit and some nuts.
Bleak landscape has kidnapped the scene down below,
But all’s right in the hemlock, as well as the snow.
New feeders abound, where old feeders once hung
And with someone to fill them, let the new winter come.
Peering from my window
Through a thin veil of frost,
It seems that an unseen force
Had resolved to obscure my vision,
As if it were saying,
“There’s nothing out there but darkness
And frightful frigid discomfort
That is best left to creatures
Who are suited for such environs.”
Hastily I wipe the frosted pane
For a glimpse of something rare,
When the Earth
Seemingly bickers with the Sun,
Demanding a moment more of its
Radiant solar comfort
Only to be abruptly silenced by:
Old Man winter,
Who masterfully placates this
Sibling wrangle and
With authority unquestioned;
With Winter’s command.
Early winter sun; low in the sky
Warm light burnishing the yellow leaves that stubbornly cling to the birches
Silver trunks contrast with their own dark shadows
Russet browns of the larches beyond add a touch of fire
And the lattice of twigs and branches from the oaks and ashes
In harmonious concert, complete the sylvan scene
Texture is added by the gritstone crags here and there
And by the heather and grasses of the moorland foreground
A babbling brook tumbles over rocks and falls
Separating the open bleakness of the moor
From the closed impenetrability of the woodland beyond
The trees cloak the hillside, giving rise
To an amazing palette of colour
As layer upon layer of species and pattern
Weave an intricate canvas painted in unbelievable hues
Of ochre, burnt sienna, and umber
An ancient stone path
Worn deep by two centuries of feet and their untold histories
Winds its way down to the packhorse bridge
And into the woods, airy now in winter, but dense in summer
A dipper walks impossibly under the water before hopping out onto a rock
The pungent smell of mushrooms, making me hungry
Affords the excuse to dally a little longer
I rest against a dry stone wall with my lunch and flask
And bask in the human solitude
As I commune with the abundance of life that surrounds me
Shortly I will have to leave this place
For I have a few miles yet to go
The days are short now and the light will fade fast
But, although I will have to leave this place
This place will never leave me
As I sit here waiting for the last bus run of the night
Memories of what just happened play in my brain filled with fright
I can barely feel my little toes
There was no time for socks I had to just go
The sirens still echo in my frostbitten ears
Frozen drops attempt to become my tragic tears
Last I recall we were doing just fine
A Pillow fight and a glass of red wine
His mother called us down for dessert
Suddenly my throat began to hurt
He squeezed until I could no longer scream
This night of joy became a horrible dream
His brown eyes transformed to a devilish deep red
I’ll never forget the words he quietly said
“I could kill you and no one would know”
In my mind I begged for him to let go
What possessed him I will always wonder
Thank God his mother came up and banged on the door like thunder
I had no idea he had moved his dresser in front of the exit of the room
I was convinced I had met my eternal doom
While he was yelling for his mother to go the hell away
I jumped up fast and she heard me say
"Help he’s mad get me out of here"
She broke down the door and I ran out in fear
Last I heard him throw her down the stairs
I was long gone and extremely unprepared
I heard him behind me screaming my name
I kept on running in utter shame
He ran so fast and knocked me down
I fell flat on the icy ground
“Your mine forever don’t you leave”
I slipped out of my jacket sleeve
Down the hill I went rolling
As if my body was being used for bowling
The cops went racing up the mound
I heard him scream, so I know he was found
I have no phone no car or coat
Just three dollars and a crumpled up note
In my jeans from earlier that day
I should have listened to what it had to say
“Stay away from my son; you have no idea what he has done”
“Charming you may think but just like all the others you too will sink”
Now it all makes sense
He told me his mother was mentally ill and dense
He is the one who is severely deranged
I must get home this night has been exceedingly strange
As I rehearse this the bus finally pulls up to me
My stomach is in knots and I can barely see
Blood is streaming down my face
I just want to get out of this crazy place
Why is the man driving wearing a big black hood
I am so cold and devastated; thinking is doing me absolutely no good
The doors slam shut as I quickly sit down
I am the only one that seems to be around
I look in the rear view mirror and what do I see
Those chilling red eyes once again devouring me.
BY: Sabina Nicole