Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I used to shelter from the storm
without even knowing it
while evergreen rooftops
fluttered to weighty white
and bent to needle-dry ground

And if I thought the storm were miles wide
those miles would rumble laughter now
at whole hemispheres churning behind

Maybe we fight the cutlass wind
parry the razor cold
slice every snowflake until we tire
until there is one too many to strike
then biding time until we fall

I curl my shoulders against the unconquerable
having earned the right to feel it
just let me kindle my cardinal red
for those who would shelter with me


Anonymous said...

How beautiful and visual.

Shadow said...

'fight the cutlass wind' wow. i can actually feel the chill wind blowing though me...

Bernita said...

A cardinal in winter is a beatitude.

the walking man said...

fight on though the shoulders be frigid and sore from swinging at the falling snow. Fight on for the horde must have an end some where in time.

Besides all that fighting will keep you warm. Best of the holidays to you Jason.

Nevine said...

How uncertain we can sometimes feel in the face of force. The moments of greatest uncertainty seem to fall in the two stanzas in italics. A quiet delivery, thought a separate storm rumbles under the surface. Deeply chilling.

Nevine said...

I meant to say, "though" a separate storm rumbles... Hate typos!!!

Four Dinners said...

Very nice old bean and yes...'cutlass wind' actually made me shiver.

Either that or I've too much ice in me voddy...;-)

Have a good Christmas mate.

SzélsőFa said...

we all need a shelter for our inner child - that's what this poem says to me.
i love the photograph - it has a definite painting-like touch to it. nice job :)

Charles Gramlich said...

A delightful piece. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Katcampbell, thanks!

Shadow, a coat won't keep it out.

Bernita, the picture was snapped on the spur of the moment. I also got a blue jay. Love that Photoshop!

Walking Man, I'm starting to think that the main casualty of my fighting is me. Merry Christmas, Mark!

Nevine, yes, I think you're right. There are two storms. One mirrors the other. (No worries about the typo. I'm a master at them.)

Four Dinners, if you still have ice in your glass, then obviously you need to pour another. ;) Merry Christmas!

Szelsofa, I did apply a painting effect to the photo to give it that simpler, more dramatic quality. For me, the poem is about a kind of uneasy, reluctant surrender.

Charles, Merry Christmas!

catvibe said...

You know I love poems about inward journeys, and this one is sublime. I love the two storms mirroring each other, the voice within and the voice without. The blood red of the cardinal a hot beating heart inside a world of ice. The poem is beautiful, one of my favorites, in fact I think I can say right now that it is my favorite of yours. The photo is exquisite by the way, good work on silent camera stalking. Merry Christmas to you Jason.

Anonymous said...

Catvibe, I like the way you describe the cardinal and soul of the poem. I can feel the clash of heat and cold. Merry Christmas, Cat!