Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bitter Cold

Bitter Cold

Even in the bitterest cold
your body snakes itself
away from mine

to make its own wallow
shivering but uncrowded,
so that in this stranger's chair

in the decembered black,
I have only a thin sheet of paper 
for warmth,

and you 
a rucked bed, too strait
for touching.

The cold is so big
it chills fresh-boiled coffee 
in the cup,

stiffens each bone it meets
with the old ache. Yet here
in its stone room

I am warmer
than tight in a futile quilt
for this paper I burn,

set on fire
with a script of bright flames,

the wink of a true eye
the stroke of a seeing hand

the buried door that leads
 to the summer country
and every song

as you bear winter alone,
deaf in the slack tide
of your darkening sleep.

~Dec 2014, 
revisions April, 2015

Day 2 Challenge: Creativity and Pain
Magaly is generously throwing her blog and her creativity into the ring for this year's April insanity, and providing a prompt a day to help us along. Today she asks us to : "explore creativity as a healing salve, as a shield, as a weapon, or as a negotiation method to use when dealing with physical and/or psychological pain"

Process notes: "The moment that the tidal current ceases is called slack water or slack tide. The tide then reverses direction and is said to be turning.."~wikipedia

Images: Cabin Interior, ©joyannjones 2014
Footer: Summer Bedroom, by Jacob Yanek, Fair use via


  1. You and me both, sister. Jesus Christ.

  2. That was beautiful! Chilled to the bone yet burning with inspiration and longing XXX

  3. Most people don't realize that we are all of us alone, even in company, even in bed beside another. Perhaps that is why we all seek to record ourselves in one form or another, to seem more real to ourselves.

    Jacob Yanek's artwork is fascinating to me, but no more so than your abstract way with words and how they always find the path to my subconscious knowledge of human kind.

  4. Beautiful and sad, well penned.

  5. It is an odd thing, bitter cold. For to be touched by it, is to be burned. I so love your vision.

  6. Ah sad. This feels to me like the death of a grandmother. Lovely but too sad. k.

  7. Coldness can come from others, those who don't understand our pain or worse dismiss it. Those who understand bring warmth in their wake.

  8. That first line hit me hard in the chest. And as I continued, the cold crept into my bones... The paper sheet offers warmth, and there is refuge in finding someone to share the right words... But in the end, we write alone...

  9. I am struck by the strength of this feeling of aloneness in the company of another that sits at the center of this piece --I can so relate!

  10. You did a magnificent job with this. Perfect capture of feeling of coldness and isolation.

  11. "Bitter" is the deep end of cold, and the exploration here of that most wintered hour takes residence in the coldest house of all. What makes it so bitter is that it freezes the pipes of intimacy, so that where there might be small comfort there's even less. Maybe the slack tide is the passage from cold to bitter cold, and the turn is what all desperate animals do, reaching for heat in some place, on some dimension ... heading for the summer house, alone if need be, and in a dimension removed from (this). The tide will turn--it did here. Well done, friend.

  12. I am wrung out and it's only day three, then I return to read this, and feel refreshed. I guess that makes me odd. :) ~

  13. Sadness and Loneliness. You wrote this well. With just the right amount of cold bitter in it.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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