Eleven Below in Vermont
by Cameron Miller

Onyx dome over pastures of snow
trees cast shadows by starlight.
Nothing moves.
No flashlight,
everything we need to see
We stop, dog and me,
by Milky Way
brushed thin on arch of pale glitter
from horizon to horizon.
Even dog stares into illuminated stillness.
Seven sisters over Jupiter
tip Littler Dipper upside down
spilling light into our darkness.
Then we hear it,
cold calling us from four corners.
Half creaks
muted pops
from inside trees.
Frozen moisture trapped inside wood
pushes outward
stretching rigid life
demanding it change, expand.

“Ert” “Crk”
Dog’s ears perk
     head tilts
first left then right
then up then down.

Moments unroll
     sounds, dog, me,
     all one
with snow, dappled light,
piercing cold.
the voice of winter’s night

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The raw and desolate beauty of Vermont winter and stunning night sky, as with anything so exquisite, are beyond the grasp of words. Perhaps only in painting with words, such as poetry, can we even hope to evoke the experience.

IMAGE: “”Snowy Chapel at Night”(Little Stone Chapel built in 1950 by Werner von Trapp, Stowe, Vermont) by Edward Fielding. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cameron Miller is a Hoosier by birth, a preacher by profession, and an author by vocation. He is the writer behind the curtain at www.subversivepreacher.org, and has also written professionally as a columnist and storyteller. Recently he traded fulltime parish ministry for writing fiction, poetry, and spiritual reflections while also relocating to the fabled Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. He has a poem included in the “I Am Waiting” Series on Silver Birch Press, with more poems appearing in upcoming anthologies by Eyewear Press and Inwood Indiana Press.