Poems for You, While I Catch Up

Kate Flora: I am dug deep into a first review of the manuscript of my next book, Not What You Think, with the final edits on the next Joe Burgess procedural, A World of Deceit, waiting for me. With a head so full of word choices and character names and is there enough momentum, I couldn’t pull together a topic for a blog posts today, so I am sharing some winter poems instead.

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Snow Day

BY BILLY COLLINS

Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,   

its white flag waving over everything,

the landscape vanished,

not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,   

and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,

schools and libraries buried, the post office lost   

under the noiseless drift,

the paths of trains softly blocked,

the world fallen under this falling.

In a while, I will put on some boots

and step out like someone walking in water,   

and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,   

and I will shake a laden branch

sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,   

a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.   

I will make a pot of tea

and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,   

as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,   

the Ding-Dong School, closed.

the All Aboard Children’s School, closed,   

the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,

along with—some will be delighted to hear—

the Toadstool School, the Little School,

Little Sparrows Nursery School,

Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School   

the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,

and—clap your hands—the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,

These are the nests where they letter and draw,   

where they put on their bright miniature jackets,   

all darting and climbing and sliding,

all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard

in the grandiose silence of the snow,

trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,   

what riot is afoot,

which small queen is about to be brought down.

White-Eyes

BY MARY OLIVER

In winter 

    all the singing is in 

         the tops of the trees 

             where the wind-bird 

with its white eyes 

    shoves and pushes 

         among the branches. 

             Like any of us 

he wants to go to sleep, 

    but he’s restless— 

         he has an idea, 

             and slowly it unfolds 

from under his beating wings 

    as long as he stays awake. 

         But his big, round music, after all, 

             is too breathy to last. 

So, it’s over. 

    In the pine-crown 

         he makes his nest, 

             he’s done all he can. 

I don’t know the name of this bird, 

    I only imagine his glittering beak 

         tucked in a white wing 

             while the clouds— 

which he has summoned 

    from the north— 

         which he has taught 

             to be mild, and silent— 

thicken, and begin to fall 

    into the world below 

         like stars, or the feathers 

               of some unimaginable bird 

that loves us, 

    that is asleep now, and silent— 

         that has turned itself 

             into snow.

Winter Trees

BY WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS

All the complicated details 

of the attiring and 

the disattiring are completed! 

A liquid moon 

moves gently among 

the long branches. 

Thus having prepared their buds 

against a sure winter 

the wise trees 

stand sleeping in the cold. 

Dust of Snow

BY ROBERT FROST

The way a crow

Shook down on me

The dust of snow

From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart

A change of mood

And saved some part

Of a day I had rued.

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3 Responses to Poems for You, While I Catch Up

  1. A neat start to a cold Tuesday in January.

  2. Poetry in the morning always makes for a good day. I particularly enjoy these four poets, so thank you, Kate!

  3. Sandra Neily says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…Just what I needed this week…and more. Frost continues to amaze with his child simple words that are deeper than any bottomless well. And Mary Oliver. Well, that was great.

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