(internet photo: no name or credit provided)
Groomed trails gracefully
spiral toward frozen lake
old man carries skis
Freshly fallen snow
pure white smoke screen awaiting
grandfather’s dark cane
A chilly, desolate wind whistles into a wintertime city.
Snow covered rooftops and bare, unadorned skyscrapers shiver.
Loose shutters knock and rattle on rusty hinges.
Goose bumps rise on flesh touched by raw air.
Dark wool collars are raised high.
Bright, puffy down filled jackets tighten.
Crumpled paper swirls; a colorful tempest of red wrappers, yellow cellophane
and discarded coffee cups whirl, twist, funnel up and down
until a sudden stop
when encountering a dead end alley.
Pedestrians bury themselves deep into winter furs.
Scarves of exotic hues and intricate design
protect frosty cheeks.
Stiff boots enclose cold feet tapping anxiously toward indoor warmth.
Little eddies of snow drift across sidewalks,
approaching people sitting around a fire.
Pink, orange, blue and yellow flames light a darkened sky.
Puffs of air rise from mouths and noses.
Puffs of steam rise from hot cocoa mugs cradled by mittens.
Wind dances and sways in delighted bursts.
Puffs of ash spark.
The fire hesitates, then roars as the wind snakes around
trying to get closer to the people.
Wind wants to sing a joyful song, participate with the group.
Blankets and mugs are quickly gathered.
Snow tossed onto the flames.
Burning logs sizzle angrily, sputter and become charcoal.
Hasty kisses peck rosy cheeks.
Discordant good-byes are called out through blowing snow,
All are gone.
Winter chill flutters
leaf curling alone on tree
rigid branches bare
Coldest, shortest day
bright log fire conquers darkness
festive sun rebirths
Dark night stars asleep
world tilting on sun circuit
Celt druids gather
The geese have flown south for winter.
V-formation steadily directs away from me
until only a speck in the sky.
Echoes of their honks linger long after
birds are out of sight.
I am left alone in a frozen landscape,
surrounded by mounds of dirty ice
untouched by a teasing Chinook passing through town,
its gift of warmth followed by cerulean skies and cold nights.
I awaken to a pink, glowing sunrise,
eastern clouds painted brilliant shades of golden orange,
bittersweet apricot and tints of tangerine.
I am startled from my daybreak reverie by enclosing silence.
Absence of my feathered friends
creates an absence of purpose.
Instead of scattering harvested grain to supplement
diets of my feral flying fowl,
I collect my ricocheting thoughts,
settle into an overstuffed chair, warm cup of tea in hand,
and a book I have been wanting to read.
Black print on a white page cannot distract my longing
to hear from my friends.
Sadness puts an arm around my shoulders,
shadows me throughout my days.
Sometimes I sprinkle kernels of grain atop newly fallen snow
for shy ptarmigan that look surreptitiously at me from afar.
I am happy to provide a treat in this harsh climate
but my heart remains true to the geese.
I yearn for the first honk that will reach my covered ears,
a raspy, grating sound demanding attention,
unlike the gentle coo of a dove,
a honk to announce:
Spring and renewal are just around the corner
Falling flakes filter
down hints of magical mythos
Greek tempest lurking