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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
"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.
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
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.