Marianne and Suzanne and Ursula send you wishes
for a fantastic year to come. Here's the first poem of the year
we are so grateful to the contributors for their take on this most
unusual winter. The poets are listed below.
I'm not myself.
I should have been a white hexagon
with mist swishing on and off each edge.
When the weather refuses to dip below zero, head to
the white mountains
of the hockey arena to hurl cold powder into the air, attempt to block
out the too hot sun.
Where it is unexpected: a quickening in the sky
or the parcel misplaced, muffled in cold static.
Filled with a confetti of lost poems
today's wind blows so cold.
This morning, the world white as paper.
Silent scribble of your tracks to my door.
And while the clouds billowed white, lurking
like forgotten angels, we raised our faces and waited.
The house feels hollow when it begins like this
scattered small flakes covering hard ground, a thin sleeve.
Like tiny words of doom
deceptively white, our deluge.
By morning it's a different world: a whiteout.
Howling winds, power off, and little firewood (booze though).
Turkey's on. Power's out. Turkey's off.
Sweaters on. Shovels out. Christmas off.
Atop the birdbath, eighteen inches of cotton rises;
Time enough for me to sew another down quilt.
Storm in the toes, thought frozen in a ditch
mountains of blankets shovelled on my chest.
The water lines freeze as the price
the mountain view takes out on my dishes, my skin, my stink.
O Ancestors, sleeping deep beneath
still white hills, how cold you were, you are!
On the first day, we help dig out our neighbours' cars
trapped by winter's parking boots.
There is a clear agenda, here - to escape our driveway existence and coast
along on salty roads.
Outside my window, a facsimile of ticker-tape tumbling
ragged ripped lines in drafts torn from a grey paper sky.
The wind sighs heavily and sun is caught in blue-ray
They wisp high, then tumble and ping against window panes.
I peel myself out of home's warmth to go jogging after
My breath turns to clouds in a frozen forest full of hidden birds.
Someone has spread 7-minute frosting on the arms of
the apple tree.
Meringue beards a trellis, the bird bath wears a marshmallow fez.
Hydrangea wears a lacy cap
Leaves glistening as the blossoms freeze.
She knocks two feet of perfect meringue
from her hedge.
Alabaster boas adorn naked limbs.
They appear as lace reflecting in moonlight.
Goose feather flakes cover everything
as if we were never here.
The North wind, poor robin, and we shall have: new-fallen,
and up to the rooftops,
up to the eaves of the barn. Take your head from under your wing, poor
robin, and shovel!
Flurries and flakes troop, finagling their way up;
sacroiliac cracks at the door stoop-one scoop too many.
Sodden shoveler, eyelashes iced.
Put your gloves on the heater, drink with me.
It's happened again!
The driveway's rutted tracks are erased.
white dust builds, baffles, badgers,
beds buses, buries bustle-a blessing.
A violent blitz brought this gentle cover.
Still tears frozen and tumbling.
A crystalline woman swimming, or a lean-haunched sphinx
emerged from the night blizzard in the pale light of morning.
Out there the day is half full, half finished and still
Nothing stopping this creature that comes out of the sky.
Groaning deeper than the wind, the maple leans in to
the brittle shed.
The dog plows back to the shovelled path, ears cocked for the coming crack.
Hard slow rain squelches the freezing drifts
of rubble embanked in a backstreet alley.
White, curved and softened as skin, voluptuous,
Ah, the wind, mounting, bares needle sharp teeth.
Last night you stole another life
Smothered a homeless soul in your blanket.
A black bear dreams inside her den,
zen-like patience waiting for the thaw.
Raven's cry. His black song dots the sky, as doe and
buck make tracks,
half moons all over the yard.
We have gazed at the night's sudden flakes and sunlight
over the field's whiteness
being so glad now to sink into our hearts' unstrung countenances.
Pigeons fly black in the powdered morning.
Silver wings settle on the trees.
Ducks fly into blizzards.
under withering moonlight.
Our garbage has been hidden
beneath a frozen shroud.
Fence posts in lop-sided top hats
attend my garbage can's burial.
No power at the cottage, we sit
warm by the fire, watch disappearing trees.
I call out to the blank softened wilderness,
voice stolen in flight; blanketed in layers of winter.
Lying post-flu on the window-seat
how soft the bushes seem in their whiteness.
Frost feathers on a window pane.
Hint of diamond spindrift beyond.
Walk out with the pack empty, raising my boots high
to carve a path
for the dark return through icy forest, pack heavy with eggs, milk, news.
By morn fresh deer tracks crisscross through my yard.
They've feasted on my plants the whole night through.
White blanketed stretching, twisted garry oak
dancing in the indigo blue night sky.
Silhouette of white against bare branch
against blue sky, and everywhere, a muffled singing.
Wading through drifts, soft crunch beneath my mukluks,
inhale the night's streams of flickering dark and glow.
Oh how you do fall changing green to white,
and leaving me with rosy lips and cheeks and nose.
Our blue spruce sags with added weight that bends
its whiteclad needled reach, aching for spring.
Winter's icy fingers caress my face, I shudder and turn
Icicles fall from my eyes, oh how I long for the sun's warm kiss.
Mid December cold from the north descends
sits on my shoulder like guilt quite as immovable.
Can I shake off this white blanket, heavy as winter?
Can I summon springs' green dress, hear again the birds?
Cold paints silvery soft silhouettes.
Elsewhere they cavort on volcanic beaches.
Windshield clogged and out of fluid
Car wheels spinning, stuck in traffic.
Gift from Nature this white highway where for the first
time in my 80 years I gear down to 4wheel drive.
Shovel and plow, forgotten heft; now toboggan and toque--
tires spinning, hearts driving blind to the shortest day, longest hill.
When white rain gathers to address expanses
of hollyhock, hyssop and heather, skiers cheer.
It's not the blue glint off a white field,
but the slope and sled down the miraculous.
Slide riding the ice bobbled backstreets
excitement is barely contained.
Powder, waist-deep in glades, a dream;
heady forest solitude skied through.
A plague of moth wings swirled the breathless night.
A sound whose name was bitter on the tongue
Like moments, flake after singular flake
falls out of now into vast drifts of then.
My daughter pulls stars from the sky,
melts them them in her warm mouth.
Paper white crystals fly, then fall.
A geometric wonderland.
Sparrow lands on dead phone line.
Soft pebbles skittering on the drift's crest fly off.
Sifting down, whispering on the angel-maker's face.
"Uppy-uppy", the little girl cries, her new
red boots vanished from view,
as fields like crisp bond paper pause before the furrow. "Yucky stuff."
Children, leaving angels to watch over the school yard,
Come in with dusted white hats, mitts and boots.
The crow devours her face.
A carrot nose, donut eyes, and jaunty red hat.
No waterfall today. I hear it singing
but all I see are icicles.
Ice window creaks on april-coming ponds,
wintered horses face downwind, dream clover.
The goblet of lake ice chopped and stacked
like crystal jello against the wind.
Miniature marshmallows white-topped milk filled with
melted chocolate Hanukkah medallions
A sweet beverage of choice daily for sweaty "home for the holidays"
generation Y diggers.
On the front steps: dance tracks
of thrushes, winter wrens: a cold tango.
Feathertrails snake to your hearth.
I should be so true.
Bleached sheets. This duvet. Our storm mimics the drifts
Bentley discovered beauty at their core; what would he reveal in ours?
Beneath the bird feeder, a maze of tracks from visiting
Darkness comes early, begs golden light from candles on the deck.
Evening star blinks faint
the town cocooned in white.
Frail wisps melt
like supple ghosts.
White on white, unseen,
a rabbit runs.
my dogs unleashed into winter's dust, huge circles of
wild bite, growl,
yip, half-wolf breaking orbit, they run fast, straight into dark forever.
This is the animal season, we are now ptarmigan and
Or we disappear some other way
Such is the winter of humankind submerged in an ocean
within it the One standing at the point of ice.
Alan Girling, Richmond, Canada
Alex Pierce, East Sable River, Canada
Amanda Earl, Ottawa, Canada
Amy Ainbinder, Victoria, Canada
Andrea Mackenzie, Victoria, Canada
Ania Szado, Toronto, Canada
Anita Santarossa, Kitchener, Canada
Arleen Pare, Victoria, Canada
Barbara Florio Graham, Gatineau, Canada
Barbara Pelman, Victoria, Canada
Cynthia French, Newburne, Canada
Cynthia Woodman Kerkham, Victoria, Canada
David Erickson, Gatineau, Canada
David Fraser, Nanoose Bay, Canada
David Pimm, Vancouver, Canada
Davide Trame, Venice, Italy
Donald Simmers, Delta, Canada
Dorothee Lang, Stuttgart, Germany
Dorothy Mahoney, Spring Bay, Canada
Dorothy Stott, Gibsons, Canada
Elizabeth Ewert, Coldstream, Canada
Emily van Lidth de Jeude, Bowen Island, Canada
Frances Hern, Golden, Canada
Franci Louann, New Westminster, Canada
Gillian Sze, Toronto, Canada
Glen Sorestad, Saskatoon, Canada
Gordon May, Lantzville, Canada
Grace Cockburn, Saanichton, Canada
Gwynneth Heaton, Toronto, Canada
Heather Cameron, Coldstream, Canada
Heather Cardin, Fort St. John, Canada
Heidi Greco, Surrey, Canada
Janet Barkhouse, Mahone Bay, Canada
Jessica Gabriel, Sunshine Coast, Canada
Jill Stanley, Victoria, Canada
Joan MacIntosh, St. John's, Canada
Joe Blades, Fredericton, Canada
Joyce Parkes, Ballajura, Western Australia
Juleta Severson-Baker, Calgary, Canada
Kamal, Nanaimo, Canada
Katy McCuish, Nanaimo, Canada
Kelsy Hejjas, Victoria, Canada
Kelvin Bueckert, Manitoba, Canada
Laurie Smith, Windsor, Canada
Leanne McIntosh, Nanaimo, Canada
Leith Nance, Dolphin Drive, Canada
Lenore Rowntree, Vancouver, Canada
Leslie McBain, left for Kenya
Linda Lee Crosfield, Castlegar, Canada
Margaret Behr, Powell River, Canada
Marion Beck, Regina, Canada
Marita Dachsel, Edmonton, Canada
Mark Tworow, Smithers, Canada
Marvyne Jenoff, Toronto, Canada
Mary Duffy, Vancouver
Mary Ellen Sullivan, Halifax, Canada
Maureen Bendick, Saltspring, Canada
Maureen Egan, New Westminster, Canada
Mildred Tremblay, Nanaimo, Canada
Naomi Beth Wakan, Gabriola, Canada
Pamela Porter, Victoria, Canada
Pat Smekal, Nanoose Bay, Canada
Patricia A. McGoldrick, Kitchener, Canada
Patrick M. Pilarski, Edmonton, Canada
Ray McGinnis, Vancouver, Canada
Rhonda Ganz, Victoria, Canada
Rhonda Lillard, Victoria, Canada
Rob Taylor and Daniela Elza, Vancouver, Canada
Robert Banks Foster, Kaslo, Canada
Rosemary Griebel, Calgary, Canada
Rutchik, Toronto, Canada
Sandra Lynxleg, Vernon, Canada
Sheilagh Best, Vernon, Canada
Sheryl Loeffler, Waterloo, Canada
Shirley Limbert, DeSable, Canada
Sidney Bending, Victoria, Canada
Sterling Haynes, Westbank, Canada
Smsteele, Victoria, Canada
Susan J. Katz, Vancouver Canada
Susan McCaslin, Fort Langley, Canada
Tina Biello, Nanoose Bay, Canada
Wendy Donawa, Victoria, Canada
Wendy Morton, Sooke, Canada
Yi-Mei Tsiang, Kingston, Canada