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the poetry of winter…

January 14, 2016

_DSC5331The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree
Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Robert Frost

And the town is frozen solid in a vice,_DSC5465
Trees, walls, snow, beneath a glass.
Over crystal, on slippery tracks of ice,
the painted sleighs and I, together, pass.
And over St Peter’s there are poplars, crows
there’s a pale green dome there that glows,
dim in the sun-shrouded dust.
The field of heroes lingers in my thought,
Kulikovo’s barbarian battleground.
The frozen poplars, like glasses for a toast,IMG_3600
clash now, more noisily, overhead.
As though it was our wedding, and the crowd
were drinking to our health and happiness.
But Fear and the Muse take turns to guard
the room where the exiled poet is banished,
and the night, marching at full pace,
of the coming dawn, has no knowledge.

Anna Akhmatova

IMG_3638Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
IMG_3691To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Robert Louis Stevenson

IMG_3677Summer kisses Winter’s Hands
thereby warming them
as she takes her hair
and wraps him
in the midst of the blowing gale;
her arms reach out
to his icy branches
giving a spark to each sleeping bud
awaking each from its frozen winter encasement.

But Winter’s Heart
IMG_3683is cold indeed
whispering to her in her ministrations
‘I am Winter and Winter is my fate;
from my icy cradle
Spring is born
and I must not miss her birth.’

Summer was angry.
‘Am I not more fair than she?

_DSC5392Have I not given you solace
in your icy retreat?

Have I not offered you much more than she?

If I withdraw my succorings
where would you be? ‘

‘I would’ Winter said ‘Winter be.’

IMG_3589With that Summer took her Golden Hair
threw it back upon her beautiful shoulders
asking herself ‘Where is the gratitude? ‘

Winter reached with his thin cold fingers
uttering,
‘Summer is too warm for me because without
my wild blizzard face I lose my Winter Grace and Winter’s dignity-
becoming only melting ice;
discarded slush
snow-flake crushed
and I would wander
my melting realm
and seep into muddy ground,

gone.’

‘I understand’ Summer said
‘Spring, when you put it that way
seems a better bride for you since

_DSC5454she kisses your icy buds
slowly bringing them to blossoming
and I would perhaps apply too much heat
too soon;
they would be born flower wilted

‘I understand, ‘ she said
flying away
‘yet I am still sad.’

Below
Winter held his arms high
to welcome
the smell of
Springs breezes

not knowing
Summer in coming to him
had sacrificed her own season
and lay dead
beneath Winter’s snow
unknown to him;
because indeed her love was so great
she had given up
her own Summer season.

Lonnie Hicks

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