reveries of snow and ice

Page One hundred fourteen

tuesday 28 december 2010…    turners flails

This new winter is eight days old today, and on this very early day of the new winter we have our first snow, having begun on Sunday and continued into yesterday.  Words and pictures and sounds come into the memory today, things from that life that was my own. And among these things, part of a winter poem written in my late teens, and part of a song written in my forties.


When in winter I no longer reach the ground;
when the snow lies dense and heavy,
muffling all the harshness out of sound,
I pad about on silent winter feet,
depositing my prints in crooked chains
along the street.
In the day’s light that shines short                                                                                               
and then is gone,
I recall the heats of summer,
stifling in the games I never won.
Analogies of winter soothe, I know.
The wounds of seasons past are
drained and dry dead brambles

under dense and heavy snow.


I will be winter’s queen.
I’ll remember snows I’ve seen.
Etchings on the wind-blown white.
Frosted ice-face after night.


On snow the moon’s light glides and grows,
birds stand bright, and bravely.
Sun rejoices into blindness:
winter wants to save me.


I will be winter’s queen:
snowdrift singing deep and clean;
wade the waves of crystal rain;
wander wonder once again.

I practice ice, I reach for chill,
the cold, blank face of power;
waiting for the sun to face me
in an honest hour.


Well, in my teenage years, there was still the future spreading out in front like unseeable acres of possibility, and it was easy, then, to believe the wounds could be bandaged in white gauze and never raise their voices again. But later, in the thirties and forties and onward, when the future was growing steadily smaller and wounds were piling on top of wounds like snowstorms, resiliency dwindled and post-traumatic stress disorder swelled. And as to the song… today, and many times before today, I’ve had grim occasion to realize that then, in the 1990’s, I didn’t practice ice nearly enough, I didn’t reach nearly enough for chill; I didn’t succeed in freezing out human beings from my life. Not then, not ever. And in my case, with my particular make-up and my particular self, freezing them out was the only thing, lacking money, that would have protected me from much of their venom.


read…   All my stars…    Mugsy’s book

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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2009-2012 byanne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.


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