WINTER POETRY

Shoveling Snow with Buddha by Billy Collins

…But here we are, working our way down the driveway,
one shovel full at a time.
We toss the light powder into the clear air.
We feel the cold mist on our faces.
And with every heave we disappear
and become lost to each other
in these sudden clouds of our own making,
these fountain-bursts of snow.

This is so much better than a sermon in church,
I say out loud, but Buddha keeps on shoveling.
This is the true religion, the religion of snow,
and sunlight and winter geese barking in the sky,
I say, but he is too busy to hear me.
He has thrown himself into shoveling snow
as if it were the purpose of existence
as if the sign of a perfect life were a clear driveway
you could back the car down easily
and drive off into the vanities of the world
with a broken heater fan and a song on the radio.
All morning long we work side by side,
me with my commentary
and he inside the generous pocket of his silence,
until the hour is nearly noon
and the snow is piled high all around us;
then, I hear him speak.
After this, he asks,
can we go inside and play cards?
Certainly, I reply, and I will heat some milk
and bring cups of hot chocolate to the table
while you shuffle the deck,
and our boots stand dripping by the door.
Aaah, says the Buddha, lifting his eyes
and leaning for a moment on his shovel
before he drives the thin blade again
deep into the glittering white snow.

Billy Collins is our US poet laureate


FROZEN DREAM Shel Silverstein

I'll take the dream I had last night And put it in the freezer,
So someday long and far away When I'm an old grey geezer,
I'll take it out and thaw it out, This lovely dream I've frozen,
And boil it up and sit me down And dip my old cold toes in.


Not Only the Eskimos by Liesel Mueller
from Alive Together


We have only one noun
but as many different kinds:

the grainy snow of the Puritans
and snow of soft, fat flakes,

guerrilla snow, which comes in the night
and changes the world by morning,

rabbinical snow, a permanent skullcap
on the highest mountains,

snow that blows in like the Lone Ranger,
riding hard from out of the West,

surreal snow in the Dakotas,
when you can't find your house, your street,
though you are not in a dream
or a science-fiction movie,

snow that tastes good to the sun
when it licks black tree limbs,
leaving us only one white stripe,
a replica of a skunk,

unbelievable snows:
the blizzard that strikes on the tenth of April,
the false snow before Indian summer,
the Big Snow on Mozart's birthday,
when Chicago became the Elysian Fields
and strangers spoke to each other,

paper snow, cut and taped,
to the inside of grade-school windows,

in an old tale, the snow
that covers a nest of strawberries,
small hearts, ripe and sweet,
the special snow that goes with Christmas,
whether it falls or not,

the Russian snow we remember
along with the warmth and smell of furs,
though we have never traveled
to Russia or worn furs,

Villon's snows of yesteryear,
lost with ladies gone out like matches,
the snow in Joyce's "The Dead,"
the silent, secret snow
in a story by Conrad Aiken,
which is the snow of first love,

the snowfall between the child
and the spacewoman on TV,

snow as idea of whiteness,
as in snowdrop, snow goose, snowball bush,

the snow that puts stars in your hair,
and your hair, which has turned to snow,

the snow Elinor Wylie walked in
in velvet shoes,

the snow before her footprints
and the snow after,

the snow in the back of our heads,
whiter than white, which has to do
with childhood again each year.

By Liesel Mueller

"Jamie and I nearly got blown off Baldie last eve on our way to the ashram rocks, huge whirling clouds of wind driven snow, little twisters. Pink snowpacked spruce reflecting in the setting sun, ahh, this beautiful place we all live in. Wonderful to have Ulle in the house."
Some of the closest to poetry I see on your ski website. You picture the big snow, no adjectives at all, Alone, the thing itself, in oh so glorious a light. Escape nigh Valhalla via ski flight.
Ulle waxed DC, though 'twas only flakes to your piles. So we see, we dream, we love, we mostly smile.
Andrew

 


White Grass *Rt 1 Box 299 * Davis, WV * 26260 *304-866-4114 chip@whitegrass.com

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