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Of all the beautiful words
and people in the world,
I most wished to learn them all.
Each foreign language
became so intimate once
on my tongue,
like a lover
I was just starting to get to know.
The mountains powdered
with termination dust
hark the end of summer.
Soon the clusters of evergreens
will be coated in snow,
just as they were last winter.
The snow falls flake by flake.
It's in no rush to hit the ground;
it will melt once it does.
The fireweed has bloomed -
only towering stalks and wilted
magenta flowers remain.

The same type of peace
befalls my quiet life.
Slowly, I return to old ways.
Like footprints in the snow,
the tread of future days
looks much like those of the past.
Jo Barber Sep 7
I try to retrace my steps,
but the snow's already
covered the footprints.

I think of you in silence,
so I try to keep life loud.
I lack the will to listen
for that which was
only ever a whisper.

How do you miss a thing
that is long gone?
How do you miss a thing
that never was?
Jo Barber Dec 2020
A quiet field of snow
untouched,
unburdened -
I leap through it,
leaving large footprints
and nullifying the stillness
which had graced the field before me.
Luckily,
there is always more grace
to be found in nature;
and so I plod onwards,
my stride slow and heavy,
but joyful as it finds
and matches the tracks
of the moose and ptarmigan
who frolic through this valley.

There is, after all,
an answer to the meaning of life
and love and joy.
And it lies in the valley of snow before me
for all the world to bear witness to.
Jo Barber Dec 2020
God
Those sunrises which came so slowly in the winter
made me want to believe in God again.
The pink tinge of the sky and
the once green grass now covered
in silky snow, which would soon melt away,
made me want to believe in God again.

The whole beauty and synchrony
of the world coming together in nature
finally made me believe in God again.

I found prayer, not in a church,
but among the trees
and teeming rivers
and hidden lakes.
They gave me faith in the
natural way of things,
in something greater,
stronger, more pure
than anything I'd ever known.
Jo Barber Aug 2020
Wind throws itself through my clothes,
tossing my hair and cooling the sweat of the climb
from my burning, beating body.
I am here. I am where I need to be -
high above the crowds and the clouds,
alone and utterly free.
There is much to see
but little to do,
and earthly troubles melt away
amidst these towering peaks.

It is mine, I declare.
But no, only in the mountains
do you finally realize
that nothing belongs to you.
Jo Barber Apr 2020
a single stream of light
filters through the muddy sky,
illuminating the dead and dying trees,
stripped of their leaves and color
by a harsh winter.

In every lonely winter, there's a brightness
that seems to stretch on into eternity,
and it is in this spot that beauty
infiltrates my mind and turns ageless.
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