Saturday, November 12, 2016

White Bird In Snow



White Bird In Snow






This unsleeping night
remembers winter for me
as it remembers the January hour
I was born, seeing past the still
green curl of April's exhausted leaf
the chill glassful of north wind,
so delicately sipped now
before the drowning.

It knows my name, it calls me
winter girl, drifted witch, 
snow-woman globed from rolled
frozen fog, compressed cloud wrack,
sentinel-eyed and carrot-beaked,
ice fingers melted then
rigid again around
a hollow pen;

bent wrist, bent back, ages
old, so old not even an ash-furred coal
glows from the parsed fire in my pale
flattened face.
The sleepless night
rustles with husks and remains;
a coyote stutters his hunger 
to the planked stars

and here where all things pass,
long sleep comes down the grass
where I wait
invisible and surprised
as a white bird
in October snow.




~October/November 2016







for Brendan at real toads 
from a still, white place






 






Images: House in Snow, 1890-94, by John Henry Twatcham
White Birds in Snow, by Ohara Koson
Public domain.









15 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, this is beautiful, words and images are sublime.

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  2. These are such lovely, vivid images:
    'snow-woman globed from rolled
    frozen fog, compressed cloud wrack,
    sentinel-eyed and carrot-beaked,'

    'a coyote stutters his hunger
    to the planked stars'

    I love this poem, and the artwork as well.

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  3. The central image is so well placed at the end of the poem rather than the beginning.. one feels the soul hungering for dormancy in these lines.

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  4. The sense of stillness and calm is palpable and exudes brilliance all on its own❤️ Kudos!!

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  5. Absolutely beautiful, from the title to the end of the poem.
    I especially love the
    '...seeing past the still
    green curl of April's exhausted leaf
    the chill glassful of north wind,
    so delicately sipped now
    before the drowning.'
    and
    'It knows my name, it calls me
    winter girl, drifted witch,
    snow-woman globed from rolled
    frozen fog...'
    and
    'The sleepless night
    rustles with husks and remains;
    a coyote stutters his hunger
    to the planked stars'.

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  6. The glassy wintry icy translucence of this still bears the surprise of freezing, not yet riven with the ice-man's certainty: close, as the next winter's transit begins, but no cigar for the snow-woman. Not yet. Which is a gift, I think, because the singing in the cold wind -- high, distant -- is sweeter somehow, still carving stillness. Still holdling a pen. As gestures go, what better one for us? Thanks for making America snow again.

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  7. This is stunning... how much that winter stillness can be. The image where you have blended in the snow-man by the carrot beak is perfect (and made me smile despite the serious tone). I'm born in January as well, so I find the winter with it's contrast of stillness and movement especially close to my heart, even if it's sometimes like the shard of the ice-queen's mirror.

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  8. This piece sang like crystal. I read and re-read your second stanza, the words carving themselves into my heart. Wonderous piece!

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  9. Incredible, it is simply beautiful.

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  10. I reread this just to digest the end of each stanza again and again. It reads like a drumming--Boom! Boom! Boom...! There is a softness and a sway and then a gentle, but still powerful, surprise. I like!

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  11. You always close so strong. I just a few minutes ago finished watching "North Face" and then came and read about Leon Russell passing and then this. I think I need to sit by the fire for a while. :-o

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  12. What a remarkable poem. The ending takes one away

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  13. ...drifted witch.... A perfect phrase amongst so many wonderful images.

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  14. I so love your second verse. I am a winter child also. I was born in February when winter taunts March it can't deliver spring.

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  15. as above.

    it's the third to last line that really gets me, though - the turn, the twist, the surprise.

    there's a well of deep melancholy here. everywhere, really - how we dip our pens into it, what light can be cracked out from it - that's the question, now.

    you've unveiled a beauty. ~

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg