Friday, 13 January 2012

Snow Pilgrim by Arthur Durkee

Snow drives in around the porch edges. Puffs of whitegrained breath, fallen on uninsulated floors, to drift. The local definition of a blizzard asks how horizontal the snow falls. Green and white the red cardinal's shelter. Gray squirrel, puff-cheeked, clutches the topmost spruce bough, bouncing in the wind, to reach the tree's last cones. Rabbit tracks dash lines between trees.

a quiet rest
in between mountain hikes,
the trailman's lodge

Seeking a festival more quiet, more contemplative, the old poet ties up his knapsack, goes out into the snow, boots laced high over wool, hat and mittens braced upwind. Any direction as good, in this whiteout. Where the road shelfs over the cutbank of river's loop, he stops to watch heavy flakes streak through whipping blackoak branches across the oxbow slope. Memorizing calligraphy of lines of trees clouded behind snow, because too cold for inkstone and brush. Flakes tick on already frozen drifts, winds hiss the boughs, somewhere off upstream a bluejay shrieks. All other silences converge. Walking stick and knapsack, uproad, vanishing. Fade to white.

line of footfalls lost
under fresh fallen snow,
no one left to see

Arthur Durkee, USA


Anonymous said...

I like this very much.

Carol Steel said...

This is evocative of walking the winter woods in a storm; you capture it and the mood perfectly. Thank you.