Winter Storm: Two Poems

More Snow

Overcast January morning
Flurries at dawn
Anticipated forecast
One to two inches

Driveway, sidewalk covered
Shoveled off porch and steps
Footprints quickly vanished
Three to four inches

Snowfall intensified
Like a down feather pillow fight
Limited visibility
Five to six inches

Laden branches bent
Under the weight
Tree limbs moaned
Seven to eight inches

Fallen tree limbs
Power outages
Temperatures plummeted
Nine to ten inches

Snow accumulated
Exceeded expectations
Sculpted landscape,
Frozen beauty

By Suzanne Cottrell

 

Wintry S’mores

Ice flecks sparkle in snow covered yard
Decorated by animal tracks,
Protruding wild grasses, shifting shadows

Half hidden nuts resemble chocolate chips
Marshmallow, snow-capped fence posts
Protrude from graham cracker soil
Savor winter’s dessert

By Suzanne Cottrell

snowcovered trees and fence


Suzanne Cottrell, an Ohio buckeye by birth, lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in rural Piedmont North Carolina. An outdoor enthusiast and retired teacher, she enjoys hiking, biking, gardening, and Pilates. She loves nature and its sensory stimuli and particularly enjoys writing and experimenting with poetry and flash fiction. Her poetry has appeared in numerous online and print journals including North Carolina’s Best Emerging Poets: An Anthology, The Avocet, The Remembered Arts Journal, Plum Tree Tavern, Haiku Journal, Cagibi Literary, and Poetry Quarterly.

Photo by the author

Winter’s Blessings

A pair of crows call to me as I walk. They wear their black boldly, contrasting against the snow and, with no leafy canopies to hide within, I have no trouble following them as they rise from ground to tree. “I hear you!” I shout back and continue on my way. I have been warned that the crows’ call is a sad one but I sense no sorrow in this cawing from on high. There is only the joy of flight from treetop to treetop as I make my way below on this cold winter afternoon.

The blue gray of the trees’ long shadows are stretching across the snow blanketing the yards. The sun plays with the sculpted edges of the snowflakes, causing a glittering, sparkling dance of light. A shadow jumps… I look upward toward the tree that casts the shadow just as an ash gray squirrel leaps from solid branch to precarious twig. He hangs for a suspenseful moment, swinging as if about to fall, before scrambling up to a more secure perch. I can’t tell if he is looking down at near death or up at the next highest branch. He shakes his tail in dismissal of the risk. No time to linger over self doubt, he throws himself into the seemingly empty air again and repeats the acrobatics.

I notice the green of the holly tree ahead shaking. Closer, I hear the chirping of the robins that the glossy leafed greenery hides. Dozens of the fluttering birds are sheltered within the tree as they feast on the berries there. They fly out and back again as I approach, red breasts against the green of holly. Robins have always been a harbinger of spring arriving but, here, in my Kentucky neighborhood, they gather and wait patiently for the dogwoods to blossom, passing the time eating holly berries.

I continue along with snow crunching beneath my boots, noticing a house with icicles hanging from the gutters like icy fingers pointing toward the door in welcome, catching the sun in their knuckles and nails. Is the cozy home filled with the smell of baking bread and is a huge pot of soup being stirred on the stove for tonight’s dinner? Are chocolate chip cookies cooling on the rack, just in time for the children’s homecoming?

 snow trail along the woods Although I am bundled in my warmest winter clothing, my breath indicates how cold the air is as I exhale warmth into the frigid surroundings. If these vapors could hold my thoughts, words suspended in the air, I would gladly watch them rise and disappear into the sky. I only want to celebrate the cold earth beneath me, knowing that each step lands me exactly where I am meant to be and that every breath I take is enough for the moment.

Winter is a time of shade and light playing off each other. The light is so bright and clear that it can hurt the eyes but look you must! When I consider some of the most wondrous scenes I have witnessed, many were against a backdrop of snow: the delicate etchings of a sparrow’s bird prints, a red fox walking silently across a field buried in snow, the contours of ice frozen little by little at a pond’s edge, the miracle of Canada geese walking on a thin, invisible layer of black ice, the bleached white bark of a sycamore tree against a pale blue sky the color of my father’s eyes, the proud intensity of a cardinal’s red feathers, individual pine needles dipped in ice like candles dipped in wax. It is unlikely that summer would allow the space to walk between the raindrops but you may be able to dance between falling snowflakes in the cold season! How much more welcome the sun’s embrace on a cold, winter day!

Approaching home again, I pause to watch the smoke rising from a chimney. It, also, casts a shadow on the snow, curling and uncurling. There are secrets in those configurations that can only be deciphered from the skies. Perhaps the crows are reading them. I am not able although I believe that it is a prayer of thanks for a cold winter day and all her chilly blessings!


It matters not whether walking along a city sidewalk or following a mountainside trail — I remind myself to look for the many gifts that nature offers.

Photo by hwannaa

A Woodland In Winter

It’s stillness in the field,
Apart from the bird that searches
For his food.
And the grass becomes crisp
With every tread.
And soft snow flakes
That tickle your face,
Yet leave little trace.

It’s the absence of leaves,
An eerie picture card envisaged bare.
And from branches fair.
The sky above like sepia,
With transcending light.
See buzzards soar
As they swoop to see
A vole there for tea.

And mammals sleep deep,
Down in nests away from the cold,
Only to dance in spring.
But the squirrels will hunt
To bury acorns,
As berries drop
For finches fine,
And there hope will shine.
A woodland in winter
Is a step into spring.

By Tanya Fillbrook

bird sitting on a branch of rowan in the snow.


author photo Tanya Fillbrook writes nature poetry and articles because she is passionate about the environment.

Photo by alekiss

Dandelion

Darkness lingers yet
as gusty winds blow wintry
cold beneath greyish skies

On brighter days in
pallid sun, dandelion
opens tender florets of gold

By Pauline Ann Walsh

 dandelion in snow


Ann Walsh is an educator, presently living in Dublin, who loves to write and to share with other writers. Contact her at fevwalsh@gmail.com

Photo of dandelion in snow by Leo Pichler Jr

Getting used to something

I’ve gotten used to the sounds
deep in a winter night,
the loud crack of ice from the brook,
a sharp ping of the wood stove
reaching some new temperature,
muffled tumbles of a smoldering log,
the creak of floorboards
as if someone walked quietly.

Downstairs the refrigerator motor hums,
the water heater readjusts.
What is shifting inside this house with me,
I wonder, content, then roll back to sleep.
The snow loosens its grip on the roof
slides with a grand woosh,
louder than any wild animal out there.

By Elaine Reardon

ice in creek


Book coverElaine is a poet, herbalist, educator, and a member of the Society of Children’s BookAuthor Photo Writers & Illustrators. Her chapbook,The Heart is a Nursery For Hope, published September 2016, recently won first honors from Flutter Press as the top seller of 2016. Most recently Elaine’s poetry has been published by Three Drops from a Cauldron Journal, MASS Poet of the Moment, and poetrysuperhighway.com. Elaine lives tucked into the forest in Central Massachusetts and maintains a blog at elainereardon.wordpress.com Photo by the author.