Archives for posts with tag: winter

by Diane Eagle Kataoka

Snow retreats up mountain walls
pulled on a timed tether
Grasses and brush spring back
to vertical
avalanching winter’s skin
Along a rivulet, pale shoots test the air
while catkins of aspens
shiver in silver light
I smell spring long before color
flushes tree and ground
Tentative breaths still redolent
with winter’s waning chill
ride over my skin
Whispering a promise of warmth
Inhale gently
gaining green. 

“Exhaling Winter” by Diane Eagle Kataoka appears in the Silver Birch Press Silver Anthology — a 240-page collection of poetry, short stories, novel excerpts, stage play scenes, and essays from 62 accomplished and up-and-coming authors in the U.S. and U.K. — available at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diane Eagle Kataoka lives at eight thousand feet in the Eastern Sierra, where she skis and hikes. A researcher for the late Leon Uris (Trinity and The Haj), she was director of marketing and communications for the Music Academy of the West, as well as editor-in-chief of the Mammoth Times and Mammoth Sierra Magazine. She is currently a freelance writer and editor, poet and blogger. (Visit her blog at Diane’s chapbook Snow Globe,published by Two Birds Press, is a poetic history of five seasons in a mountain ski town.


by Annie Finch

Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
now you are uncurled and cover our eyes
with the edge of winter sky
leaning over us in icy stars.
Vines, leaves, roots of darkness, growing,
come with your seasons, your fullness, your end.

“Winter Solstice Chant” appears in Annie Finch’s collection Calendars (Tupelo Press, 2013), available at

Photo: “Frosty Winter Landscape…” by Matthew Gibson. Prints available at

By Denis Dunn

sleet against the windowpane
or maybe a mouse in the wall…
I listen…
but silence knows no direction
heavy pine boughs,
deep in the woods
so quiet, so still
a deer steps
inside, warm, 
the sound of a cat’s paw
disturbs very little
as it hunts in a dream
silent as sleet

PHOTO: Wednzday01

by Madoka Mayuzumi

Wishing and wanting

to see you

I step on thin ice. 

Photo: Marga van Hulzen


A cold wind was blowing from the north, and it made the trees rustle like living things.”  

GEORGE R.R. MARTIN, A Game of Thrones

Photo: Jamie Hooper, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

by W.S. Di Piero

Trying to find my roost   
one lidded, late afternoon,   
the consolation of color   
worked up like neediness,   
like craving chocolate,   
I’m at Art Institute favorites:   
Velasquez’s “Servant,”   
her bashful attention fixed   
to place things just right,   
Beckmann’s “Self-Portrait,”   
whose fishy fingers seem   
never to do a day’s work,   
the great stone lions outside   
monumentally pissed   
by jumbo wreaths and ribbons   
municipal good cheer   
yoked around their heads.   
Mealy mist. Furred air.   
I walk north across   
the river, Christmas lights   
crushed on skyscraper glass,   
bling stringing Michigan Ave.,   
sunlight’s last-gasp sighing   
through the artless fog.   
Vague fatigued promise hangs   
in the low darkened sky   
when bunched scrawny starlings
rattle up from trees,   
switchback and snag
like tossed rags dressing   
the bare wintering branches,   
black-on-black shining,   
and I’m in a moment   
more like a fore-moment:   
from the sidewalk, watching them   
poised without purpose,   
I feel lifted inside the common   
hazards and orders of things   
when from their stillness,   
the formal, aimless, not-waiting birds   
erupt again, clap, elated weather-
making wing-clouds changing,   
smithereened back and forth,   
now already gone to follow   
the river’s running course.
Photo: Matt Maidre (shot 12/16/08)

by May Sarton

Before going to bed

After a fall of snow

I look out on the field

Shining there in the moonlight

So calm, untouched and white

Snow silence fills my head

After I leave the window.

Hours later near dawn

When I look down again

The whole landscape has changed

The perfect surface gone

Criss-crossed and written on

Where the wild creatures ranged

While the moon rose and shone.

Why did my dog not bark?

Why did I hear no sound

There on the snow-locked ground
In the tumultuous dark?

How much can come, how much can go

When the December moon is bright,

What worlds of play we’ll never know

Sleeping away the cold white night

After a fall of snow.

Painting: Phoenix Arts Group, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

by Ernest Hemingway

  …Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers.
     The buses rumble like green juggernauts through the snow that sifts down in the dusk. White house walls rise through the dusky snow. Snow is never more beautiful than in the city. It is wonderful in Paris to stand on a bridge across the Seine looking up through the softly curtaining snow past the grey bulk of the Louvre, up the river spanned by many bridges and bordered by the grey houses of old Paris to where Notre Dame squats in the dusk.
     It is very beautiful in Paris…at Christmas time.


Note: Ernest Hemingway wrote “Christmas at the Roof of the World” in 1923, when he was living in Paris and working as a correspondent for the Toronto Star. Find the story in BY-LINE ERNEST HEMINGWAY: Selected Articles and Dispatches of Four Decades, available at

by Ted Kooser

Just as a dancer, turning and turning,
may fill the dusty light with the soft swirl
of her flying skirts, our weeping willow –
now old and broken, creaking in the breeze –
turns slowly, slowly in the winter sun,
sweeping the rusty roof of the barn
with the pale blue lacework of her shadow.


by R.T. Smith

It was in the Moon When the Cherries Turn Black.
We cut birch saplings,
packed our tipis on travois
and followed the Bison Wind to the banks of the Rosebud.
But that was not a good year.
The Arapahoes we called Blue Clouds
attacked our hunting parties under the Bitten Moon,
and the leaves fled early.
In that hungry winter some say the snow reached
the ponies’ withers. The elk were hard
to find, and many of our people forgot
to slit bone masks and went snowblind.
Some of the bands got lost for a while. Some died.
I think it was that winter when a medicine man
named Creeping came among us, curing
the snowblinds. He packed snow across their eyes
and sang the song from his dream.
Then he would blow on the backs of their heads
and sing hey hey hey hey, and they would see.
It was about the dragonfly
whose wings wear eyes that he sang,
for that was where he claimed his power lay.
We also spoke to the snow of dragonflies,
and soon the deep patches melted
and the hunters brought us fresh meat.
Creeping left one night on a pony drag.
Some say he was a man of much craziness,
and I thought so too, but the next summer
I had my vision of giants slanting down like arrows
from clouds. They sang the song of the elk
speaking with the sacred voice.
The next year was the good year.
A song was singing me. 


“What Black Elk Said” is found in SPLIT THE LARK: Selected Poemsby R. T. Smith, available on

 Image: “Dragonflies Moon” by Borealnz, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED