Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Winter Cabin

by Jenny Leslie
The Winter Cabin

Ghosts on the floor,
crumpled at the fortieth failure,
tousled and tossed down to
decorate dead December.

They're waiting unread
in the winter cabin
where the plague has been
and gone;

only goodbye
left of all their words;
only a snow-flaked feather
remembers the bluebirds

too small to save the world.

~December 2016

posted for  real toads

for my friend Magaly

Thanks to Jenny Leslie for the kind use of her image.


  1. Seems we both saw that cabin as a writer's final destination, the end of the poem, the letter not finished. All the ghostly drafts, aiming for a revision that never quite finds its wing. And as you write, small matter, for what those wings could bear could not bear also the world's unfinished words. Wonderfully wrought, like the snowflake of wonder it bears.

  2. This is the song of every stillborn tale... There are characters in my head (and on pieces of paper) holding a candle high for your poem and chanting the words.

    Love the imagery, especially what I see in the first stanza... it rips at the heart.

  3. There are so many "if only"s whispered in the heart of this poem, and it breaks the heart to think what might have been, if the blue birds were successful.

  4. Stoppittttttttt! Hedge 114, Fireblossom 3 in today's Poetry War. This is so good I can't even do anything but threaten you with the bar, if i could reach it.

  5. You capture the desolation of the human spirit, that empty places so often exhibit. It is a chilling picture.

  6. Glad to see I'm not the only person here that feels that way towards December. Excellent work.

  7. Fortieth failure, days spent with no hope of a refund, the currency paid for a life ruled by a Muse long absent! Such a sad one this time, probably because it is so easily identified with. Well done!

  8. Oh WOW!!!!!!! Those bluebirds, too small to save the world. Brilliant, Hedge.

  9. My goodness the imagery here is so very striking!! Kudos!

  10. what does one do when the plague comes for an extended visit? Start making paper from the paper and let winter pass to the south.

  11. this poem has been sitting as an open tab on my browser for 3 days, and each time i return to read and comment, words seize up. you've reached into the blue ache of winter and found the remains of its heart, now black. ~

  12. So much and unfinished, and impossible to finish. The only thing in surplus this time of year is this accumulation of emptiness. Until tomorrow...


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

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