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One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound
except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember
whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve
nights when I was six.

All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky
that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in
the snow and bring out whatever I can find. In goes my hand into that wool-white bell-tongued ball of holidays
resting at the rim of the carol-singing sea, and out come Mrs. Prothero and the firemen.

It was on the afternoon of the Christmas Eve, and I was in Mrs. Prothero's garden, waiting for cats, with her
son Jim. It was snowing. It was always snowing at Christmas. December, in my memory, is white as Lapland,
though there were no reindeers. But there were cats. Patient, cold and callous, our hands wrapped in socks, we
waited to snowball the cats. Sleek and long as jaguars and horrible-whiskered, spitting and snarling, they
would slink and sidle over the white back-garden walls, and the lynx-eyed hunters, Jim and I, fur-capped and
moccasined trappers from Hudson Bay, off Mumbles Road, would hurl our deadly snowballs at the green of their
eyes. The wise cats never appeared.

We were so still, Eskimo-footed arctic marksmen in the muffling silence of the eternal snows - eternal, ever
since Wednesday - that we never heard Mrs. Prothero's first cry from her igloo at the bottom of the garden. Or,
if we heard it at all, it was, to us, like the far-off challenge of our enemy and prey, the neighbor's polar
cat. But soon the voice grew louder.
"Fire!" cried Mrs. Prothero, and she beat the dinner-gong.

And we ran down the garden, with the snowballs in our arms, toward the house; and smoke, indeed, was pouring
out of the dining-room, and the gong was bombilating, and Mrs. Prothero was announcing ruin like a town crier
in Pompeii. This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row. We bounded into the
house, laden with snowballs, and stopped at the open door of the smoke-filled room.

Something was burning all right; perhaps it was Mr. Prothero, who always slept there after midday dinner with a
newspaper over his face. But he was standing in the middle of the room, saying, "A fine Christmas!" and
smacking at the smoke with a slipper.

"Call the fire brigade," cried Mrs. Prothero as she beat the gong.
"There won't be there," said Mr. Prothero, "it's Christmas."
There was no fire to be seen, only clouds of smoke and Mr. Prothero standing in the middle of them, waving his
slipper as though he were conducting.
"Do something," he said. And we threw all our snowballs into the smoke - I think we missed Mr. Prothero - and
ran out of the house to the telephone box.
"Let's call the police as well," Jim said. "And the ambulance." "And Ernie Jenkins, he likes fires."

But we only called the fire brigade, and soon the fire engine came and three tall men in helmets brought a hose
into the house and Mr. Prothero got out just in time before they turned it on. Nobody could have had a noisier
Christmas Eve. And when the firemen turned off the hose and were standing in the wet, smoky room, Jim's Aunt,
Miss. Prothero, came downstairs and peered in at them. Jim and I waited, very quietly, to hear what she would
say to them. She said the right thing, always. She looked at the three tall firemen in their shining helmets,
standing among the smoke and cinders and dissolving snowballs, and she said, "Would you like anything to read?"

Years and years ago, when I was a boy, when there were wolves in Wales, and birds the color of red-flannel
petticoats whisked past the harp-shaped hills, when we sang and wallowed all night and day in caves that smelt
like Sunday afternoons in damp front farmhouse parlors, and we chased, with the jawbones of deacons, the
English and the bears, before the motor car, before the wheel, before the duchess-faced horse, when we rode the
daft and happy hills *******, it snowed and it snowed. But here a small boy says: "It snowed last year, too. I
made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea."

"But that was not the same snow," I say. "Our snow was not only shaken from white wash buckets down the sky, it
came shawling out of the ground and swam and drifted out of the arms and hands and bodies of the trees; snow
grew overnight on the roofs of the houses like a pure and grandfather moss, minutely -ivied the walls and
settled on the postman, opening the gate, like a dumb, numb thunder-storm of white, torn Christmas cards."

"Were there postmen then, too?"
"With sprinkling eyes and wind-cherried noses, on spread, frozen feet they crunched up to the doors and
mittened on them manfully. But all that the children could hear was a ringing of bells."
"You mean that the postman went rat-a-tat-tat and the doors rang?"
"I mean that the bells the children could hear were inside them."
"I only hear thunder sometimes, never bells."
"There were church bells, too."
"Inside them?"
"No, no, no, in the bat-black, snow-white belfries, tugged by bishops and storks. And they rang their tidings
over the bandaged town, over the frozen foam of the powder and ice-cream hills, over the crackling sea. It
seemed that all the churches boomed for joy under my window; and the weathercocks crew for Christmas, on our
fence."

"Get back to the postmen"
"They were just ordinary postmen, found of walking and dogs and Christmas and the snow. They knocked on the
doors with blue knuckles ...."
"Ours has got a black knocker...."
"And then they stood on the white Welcome mat in the little, drifted porches and huffed and puffed, making
ghosts with their breath, and jogged from foot to foot like small boys wanting to go out."
"And then the presents?"
"And then the Presents, after the Christmas box. And the cold postman, with a rose on his button-nose, tingled
down the tea-tray-slithered run of the chilly glinting hill. He went in his ice-bound boots like a man on
fishmonger's slabs.
"He wagged his bag like a frozen camel's ****, dizzily turned the corner on one foot, and, by God, he was
gone."

"Get back to the Presents."
"There were the Useful Presents: engulfing mufflers of the old coach days, and mittens made for giant sloths;
zebra scarfs of a substance like silky gum that could be tug-o'-warred down to the galoshes; blinding tam-o'-
shanters like patchwork tea cozies and bunny-suited busbies and balaclavas for victims of head-shrinking
tribes; from aunts who always wore wool next to the skin there were mustached and rasping vests that made you
wonder why the aunts had any skin left at all; and once I had a little crocheted nose bag from an aunt now,
alas, no longer whinnying with us. And pictureless books in which small boys, though warned with quotations not
to, would skate on Farmer Giles' pond and did and drowned; and books that told me everything about the wasp,
except why."

"Go on the Useless Presents."
"Bags of moist and many-colored jelly babies and a folded flag and a false nose and a tram-conductor's cap and
a machine that punched tickets and rang a bell; never a catapult; once, by mistake that no one could explain, a
little hatchet; and a celluloid duck that made, when you pressed it, a most unducklike sound, a mewing moo that
an ambitious cat might make who wished to be a cow; and a painting book in which I could make the grass, the
trees, the sea and the animals any colour I pleased, and still the dazzling sky-blue sheep are grazing in the
red field under the rainbow-billed and pea-green birds. Hardboileds, toffee, fudge and allsorts, crunches,
cracknels, humbugs, glaciers, marzipan, and butterwelsh for the Welsh. And troops of bright tin soldiers who,
if they could not fight, could always run. And Snakes-and-Families and Happy Ladders. And Easy Hobbi-Games for
Little Engineers, complete with instructions. Oh, easy for Leonardo! And a whistle to make the dogs bark to
wake up the old man next door to make him beat on the wall with his stick to shake our picture off the wall.
And a packet of cigarettes: you put one in your mouth and you stood at the corner of the street and you waited
for hours, in vain, for an old lady to scold you for smoking a cigarette, and then with a smirk you ate it. And
then it was breakfast under the balloons."

"Were there Uncles like in our house?"
"There are always Uncles at Christmas. The same Uncles. And on Christmas morning, with dog-disturbing whistle
and sugar ****, I would scour the swatched town for the news of the little world, and find always a dead bird
by the Post Office or by the white deserted swings; perhaps a robin, all but one of his fires out. Men and
women wading or scooping back from chapel, with taproom noses and wind-bussed cheeks, all albinos, huddles
their stiff black jarring feathers against the irreligious snow. Mistletoe hung from the gas brackets in all
the front parlors; there was sherry and walnuts and bottled beer and crackers by the dessertspoons; and cats in
their fur-abouts watched the fires; and the high-heaped fire spat, all ready for the chestnuts and the mulling
pokers. Some few large men sat in the front parlors, without their collars, Uncles almost certainly, trying
their new cigars, holding them out judiciously at arms' length, returning them to their mouths, coughing, then
holding them out again as though waiting for the explosion; and some few small aunts, not wanted in the
kitchen, nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edge of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to
break, like faded cups and saucers."

Not many those mornings trod the piling streets: an old man always, fawn-bowlered, yellow-gloved and, at this
time of year, with spats of snow, would take his constitutional to the white bowling green and back, as he
would take it wet or fire on Christmas Day or Doomsday; sometimes two hale young men, with big pipes blazing,
no overcoats and wind blown scarfs, would trudge, unspeaking, down to the forlorn sea, to work up an appetite,
to blow away the fumes, who knows, to walk into the waves until nothing of them was left but the two furling
smoke clouds of their inextinguishable briars. Then I would be slap-dashing home, the gravy smell of the
dinners of others, the bird smell, the brandy, the pudding and mince, coiling up to my nostrils, when out of a
snow-clogged side lane would come a boy the spit of myself, with a pink-tipped cigarette and the violet past of
a black eye, cocky as a bullfinch, leering all to himself.

I hated him on sight and sound, and would be about to put my dog whistle to my lips and blow him off the face
of Christmas when suddenly he, with a violet wink, put his whistle to his lips and blew so stridently, so high,
so exquisitely loud, that gobbling faces, their cheeks bulged with goose, would press against their tinsled
windows, the whole length of the white echoing street. For dinner we had turkey and blazing pudding, and after
dinner the Uncles sat in front of the fire, loosened all buttons, put their large moist hands over their watch
chains, groaned a little and slept. Mothers, aunts and sisters scuttled to and fro, bearing tureens. Auntie
Bessie, who had already been frightened, twice, by a clock-work mouse, whimpered at the sideboard and had some
elderberry wine. The dog was sick. Auntie Dosie had to have three aspirins, but Auntie Hannah, who liked port,
stood in the middle of the snowbound back yard, singing like a big-bosomed thrush. I would blow up balloons to
see how big they would blow up to; and, when they burst, which they all did, the Uncles jumped and rumbled. In
the rich and heavy afternoon, the Uncles breathing like dolphins and the snow descending, I would sit among
festoons and Chinese lanterns and nibble dates and try to make a model man-o'-war, following the Instructions
for Little Engineers, and produce what might be mistaken for a sea-going tramcar.

Or I would go out, my bright new boots squeaking, into the white world, on to the seaward hill, to call on Jim
and Dan and Jack and to pad through the still streets, leaving huge footprints on the hidden pavements.
"I bet people will think there's been hippos."
"What would you do if you saw a hippo coming down our street?"
"I'd go like this, bang! I'd throw him over the railings and roll him down the hill and then I'd tickle him
under the ear and he'd wag his tail."
"What would you do if you saw two hippos?"

Iron-flanked and bellowing he-hippos clanked and battered through the scudding snow toward us as we passed Mr.
Daniel's house.
"Let's post Mr. Daniel a snow-ball through his letter box."
"Let's write things in the snow."
"Let's write, 'Mr. Daniel looks like a spaniel' all over his lawn."
Or we walked on the white shore. "Can the fishes see it's snowing?"

The silent one-clouded heavens drifted on to the sea. Now we were snow-blind travelers lost on the north hills,
and vast dewlapped dogs, with flasks round their necks, ambled and shambled up to us, baying "Excelsior." We
returned home through the poor streets where only a few children fumbled with bare red fingers in the wheel-
rutted snow and cat-called after us, their voices fading away, as we trudged uphill, into the cries of the dock
birds and the hooting of ships out in the whirling bay. And then, at tea the recovered Uncles would be jolly;
and the ice cake loomed in the center of the table like a marble grave. Auntie Hannah laced her tea with ***,
because it was only once a year.

Bring out the tall tales now that we told by the fire as the gaslight bubbled like a diver. Ghosts whooed like
owls in the long nights when I dared not look over my shoulder; animals lurked in the cubbyhole under the
stairs and the gas meter ticked. And I remember that we went singing carols once, when there wasn't the shaving
of a moon to light the flying streets. At the end of a long road was a drive that led to a large house, and we
stumbled up the darkness of the drive that night, each one of us afraid, each one holding a stone in his hand
in case, and all of us too brave to say a word. The wind through the trees made noises as of old and unpleasant
and maybe webfooted men wheezing in caves. We reached the black bulk of the house. "What shall we give them?
Hark the Herald?"
"No," Jack said, "Good King Wencelas. I'll count three." One, two three, and we began to sing, our voices high
and seemingly distant in the snow-felted darkness round the house that was occupied by nobody we knew. We stood
close together, near the dark door. Good King Wencelas looked out On the Feast of Stephen ... And then a small,
dry voice, like the voice of someone who has not spoken for a long time, joined our singing: a small, dry,
eggshell voice from the other side of the door: a small dry voice through the keyhole. And when we stopped
running we were outside our house; the front room was lovely; balloons floated under the hot-water-bottle-
gulping gas; everything was good again and shone over the town.
"Perhaps it was a ghost," Jim said.
"Perhaps it was trolls," Dan said, who was always reading.
"Let's go in and see if there's any jelly left," Jack said. And we did that.

Always on Christmas night there was music. An uncle played the fiddle, a cousin sang "Cherry Ripe," and another
uncle sang "Drake's Drum." It was very warm in the little house. Auntie Hannah, who had got on to the parsnip
wine, sang a song about Bleeding Hearts and Death, and then another in which she said her heart was like a
Bird's Nest; and then everybody laughed again; and then I went to bed. Looking through my bedroom window, out
into the moonlight and the unending smoke-colored snow, I could see the lights in the windows of all the other
houses on our hill and hear the music rising from them up the long, steady falling night. I turned the gas
down, I got into bed. I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.
RAJ NANDY Jun 2015
AN EXOTIC JOURNEY TO THE
               KHYBER PASS!
              By Raj Nandy

“When spring-time flushes the desert grass,
Our caravan wind through the Khyber Pass.
Lean are the camels but fat the frails,
Lighter the purses but heavy the bales!
As the snowbound trade of the North comes down,
To the market square of Peshawar town.”
- Rudyard Kipling (Dec1865- Jan 1936).

Those immortal lines of Kipling had enticed me,
To delve into famous Khyber’s exotic History ;
And today I narrate its wondrous story!

THE KHYBER PASS:
Steeped in adventure, bloodshed and mystery,
The Khyber remains the doorway of History!
Winston Churchill, then a young newspaper
correspondent in 18 97 had said, -
‘Each rock and hill along the pass had a story
to tell! ’
Cutting across the limestone cliffs more than
thousand feet high,
This narrow winding path of 45 km’s stretch,
Cuts through the Hindu Kush mountain range!
Forming a part of the ancient Silk Route between
Central and South Asia;
Linking Kabul with Peshawar town during those
early days of Pre-Independent India!
The area is inhabited by fierce Pashtun tribesmen,
who live by their ancient Honor Code;
They value their land and liberty, and their winding
mountain roads !
They can be the greatest of friends and deadliest
of foes;
And as the saying goes, for a friend a Pashtun
can even give up his life;
But he never forgets a wrong or when rubbed on
the wrong side !
He always avenges a wrong deed done, -
Even after decades, through his sons!
The indigenous tribes living along the pass,
Regard this area as their sole preserve!
They have levied a toll on all travelers from
the earliest days,
For their safe conduct and passage through the
Khyber, - as Historians say!

HISTORIC INVASIONS THROUGH KHYBER:
At its highest point the Khyber is 3500 ft in height,
But its strategic importance can never be denied!
Around 2000 BC came the Indo-Aryan tribes
from Central Asia,
Migrating to the rich fertile plains of Ancient India!
In 326 BC, the great Alexander came through,
By bribing the local tribes to gain their favour,
To defeat King Porus on the banks of Jhelum River;
And set up his short-lived Bactrian Empire!
In 1192 AD Afghan warlord Mohammad Ghori, -
Invaded India to set up The Sultanate at Delhi!
In 1220 Genghis Khan with his Mongol hordes
came through the Khyber;
With the help of local tribesmen to plunder the
ruling Arab Empire!
In 1380 through this pass came Timur Lane,
To wreck and destroy the Delhi Sultanate!
And finally from Kabul through the Khyber path,
Came Babur to establish the Mogul Empire with
his victory at Panipath!
From 1839 till 1919, here the British had fought,
- three ****** Anglo-Afghan Wars!
And before retreating, drew the famous Durand
Line to ally fears;
But this Line is now the cause of bickering and
tribal tears!

THE BRITISH KHYBER RAILWAY:
At Jamrud Cantonment town 17 km west of
Peshawar,
Lies the doorway to the historic Khyber!
The track passes through a breath-taking rugged
mountainous terrain, -
Through 34 tunnels, over 92 bridges, a 42 kilometer’s
of winding stretch!
A five hour’s journey at Laudi Kotal gets complete;
The line stands as a tribute to British Engineering
feat!
The legendary Khyber Rifles had guarded the
western flanks of the British Empire,
With garrisoned troops guarding this route entire! @
Since 1990 this train is run by a private enterprise, #
With local tribesmen always taking a free joy ride!
Recent Taliban attacks made Pakistan to close
the Khyber Pass,
An uneasy truce prevails, only God knows how
long it will last ?!
But with that Durand Line of 1893 demarcated,
Forty million Pashtuns today stand divided, -
Between Pakistan and Afghanistan!
With hopes, aspirations and dreams of becoming
United!
- Raj Nandy
New Delhi .

NOTES:-
Battle Of Panipath, April 1526, where Babur defeated numerically
superior forces of Ibrahim Lodhi; thereby establishing the Moghul
Empire in India!
On 04Nov1925, the British inaugurated the Khyber Railway to carry
troops up to Laudi Kotal on the other end, short of the Afghan border
to guard the western flanks of the British Empire!
@KHYBER RIFLES: - Raised in early1880s with HQs at Laudi Kotal,
& garrison troops manning the Forts at Ali Masjid near the
mid-way point of the Pass, and also at Fort Maud to the east of the
Khyber Pass.
KHYBER RAILWAYS: With 75 seats, a kitchenette, and two toilets;
pulled by two old Lancashire engines of 1920 vintage! It cuts across
Peshwar Airport under Air Traffic Control! It was stopped in 1982, as
economically not viable! Started again by a Private Enterprise
in 1990, in collaboration with the Pak Railway! After the Partition of
India in 1947, the Khyber is under the Federal Administered Tribal
Area of Pakistan! A difficult and a volatile region to govern! The
Khyber now remains closed due political reasons! Thanks for
reading.
* ALL COPYRIGHTS ARE WITH RAJ NANDY
Kyle Kulseth  Dec 2016
Red Eye
Kyle Kulseth Dec 2016
Rub these eyes.
What a misspent night.
I cast one die, tumbled through to light
               aimed away from
               where I left you
on a corner, towards a ******.
               ...You know...
Hung my hat
on these stupid hopes,
tried to steer us two on an icy road.
               Slid through stop signs,
               you stopped speaking.
Anyway, I'm flying out tomorrow.

Tired as Hell
switch planes in Minneapolis
On the way from Richmond to Montana
This far North,
     the snow is never far away.
               Last one through
                       the gate
               and still sleeping.


Slug this Fall
down in airport bars.
A snowbound move, but I got disarmed.
               so I aim to
         where I came from
Gift myself with what's familiar
               ...You know...
Out here there's
not a lot of noise.
A few pinned dots between the bullet points.
               Here it gets cold,
               just a few miles
from the real Continental Divide.

Head dipped down,
and shoulder leaned windward.
Take two steps, try calling in the morning.
This far North,
     some flights can get grounded.
               Not much
                between
          here and Seattle.


*Heavy coats
and fortified spirits
keep us warm between our vacations.
This far North
     no Saints to preserve us.
               Not much
                between
          here and Seattle.
mark john junor Nov 2015
a snow filled winter wind rushes in my thoughts
but it is in the silence between our spoken words
where my heart caresses each line of her beauty
and swims in the heat of her eyes entwined in mine
where her heart desires mine
where spoken truths are just a
reflection of the deeper fires of our souls
and that ultimate truth expressed in our passionate embrace
becomes the living breathing of our souls

a snow filled winter wind drifts past the window
but like the world itself
seems so distant from us
cradled in my arms
the fabric of her clothes sweetly perfumed
dance tingling across my senses
her soft breath exhaled dizzying to my heart
her words soft warm wet fill my head

a snow filled winter wind
steady against a cloud soaked sky
spills into the very edge of my mind
as the comfort and beauty of our embrace endures
this is the truth i have sought my entire life
this is the promise that i so deeply desired
her eyes capture me and for a moment we sit gazing
we have saved us
we have found us
and the love and heat of our embrace
keeps the winter wind awaya snow filled winter wind rushes in my thoughts
but it is in the silence between our spoken words
where my heart caresses each line of her beauty
and swims in the heat of her eyes entwined in mine
where her heart desires mine
where spoken truths are just a
reflection of the deeper fires of our souls
and that ultimate truth expressed in our passionate embrace
becomes the living breathing of our souls

a snow filled winter wind drifts past the window
but like the world itself
seems so distant from us
cradled in my arms
the fabric of her clothes sweetly perfumed
dance tingling across my senses
her soft breath exhaled dizzying to my heart
her words soft warm wet fill my head

a snow filled winter wind
steady against a cloud soaked sky
spills into the very edge of my mind
as the comfort and beauty of our embrace endures
this is the truth i have sought my entire life
this is the promise that i so deeply desired
her eyes capture me and for a moment we sit gazing
we have saved eachother
we have found eachother
and the love and heat of our embrace
keeps the winter wind away
Jude kyrie  Jun 2016
snowbound
Jude kyrie Jun 2016
Winter's icy fingers
freeze my world.
The door to spring
now in a time lock
like a bank vault

Sitting alone
by my window
warm breath melting
a portal to the street
in the crystalline
patterns of ice .

Outside cars are like extinct
dinosaurs abandoned
in the street.
Covered in pure white.
How elegantly the snow
delivers its silent discipline

Now the wind
wails like a grieving lover
causing the ice covered berries
to gently ******
like glass wind chimes

In the mist of falling snow
Ghostly skeletons of the trees,
leafless grey and frozen
patiently await the springtime.

Far into a distant time to come
apple blossoms glow in radiance
and a church bell chimes.
Warren Erasmus Sep 2012
It started out so nice
This year
This life
My eyes wide with promise
My smile chasing its silver lining
Iris dilating like a magnified black button
Vacant, stupid
But promising

It started out so nice
When my parents tied the knot
Unmatched
Bracing for the windstorm to come
And the pumpkin oval moon
With their seventies corduroys
And their vinyl records
Scratching away at Elvis
In oval loops
Rocking and rolling on the living room carpet
Dying to be in love, madly
But unmatched

It started out so nice
When my sister was born
Cuddly thing
Running around
With her belly button
Wedged between her fingers
And snot running down her face
***** little thing
But cuddly

It started out so nice
On my bike one morning
Sailing on silver morning calm
Slippery
Gears seamless up and down
Leaning with life into hairbend corners
Straightening them out
Parental
And from nowhere a yellow taxi
Oozed from an exit
Greeting me with a thud
And then air
Borne to fly, it seems
Asphalt rushing at my face
Painful
But slippery

It started out so nice
When your lust grabbed my attention
Sickly, but lovingly
By the scruff of the neck
And your eyes threw me to the floor of my shyness
And your lips pried open my stubborn heart
With no regard for your own shame
How you gave me the lesson I needed
Before you tore away to someone else
Taking my throat with you
It was sick
But loving

It started out so nice...

Just before I stumbled into the Sugarman
The voice of the silvery soothing one, the same
The one with the indigenous eyes behind the shades
The one of perpetual expression of peace washing both highboned cheeks
With Big Ben behind him offering the world, the same!
Now hiding his golden smile in a shack of broken leaves and winters ice
Stooping his bent back against the galeforce reserved for the forgotten
Labouring to keep his gentle form afloat
Amidst the calm of his nothingness
Propped up by the skinniness of trembling knees
Sunk into the oversized roominess of his boots
Which plod the same snowbound path every day
In a soundless march to fetch his daily survival
And questions fell about me
Like spilt gruel splashing
And I asked why
And I asked
Why?!

Why you, Sugarman?
Are you really happy in your humility?
Do you still feel the butterflies
On a velvet afternoon?
It sure looks like it
You look just fine in your sea-purple Detroit harmony
I'm not there to share yours
But I'm ok with my dawn
And my sister is ok
My parents are ok
My girl is ok
Im not there to share your dawn
But I'm ok
John  Dec 2012
Snowbound Feeling
John Dec 2012
I can see where you're coming from
By the swing of your hips
But you can never see what I'm saying
Sometimes it seems like my lips
Are invisible

Look what you've done
Can't you see what I've made?
I've turned this old sweater inside-out
Settled on this bed that I've made
It fits just right in times like these

With the winter wind gushing
And snowflakes fluttering
The air feels a little warmer
When your heart and my stuttering
Are sent colliding
mark john junor Jan 2014
shuffled into the hallway
the laughing ignorance
stews in its bathrobe and cigar
at the edge of its own manicured lawn
with a pale eye it it calculates
with a thin cold lip it ponders
he makes his lazy way to his bed among the spilled leaves
makes his way to the comforts of eyes closed visions

the laughing ignorance proverbial
fool in ragged cloth dancing a jig
on a spring moon's grave
flowers in hand and wreaths of holly adorning
his head like a crown of soft thorns
his skilful laugh echoes across the barren field
littered with the passing of days
strewn with the formulations of nights bitter embrace
no mere words can delay or
mislead the way that darkness creeps into the mind
when alone with its own devices

done with his jig
he sits on the springs moons grave
and sips at the christmas wine
savoring its crisp life on his tongue
the laughing ignorance still wearing
the dancing fools leather shoe
is a hobbled prisoner of his laughing jest
no other time or place has room for his kind
for his pantomime of long lost victory's
on beachheads of distant sandy shore

his rancid eye calculates me
in all my rumoured mistakes
and he speaks to that dream not to me
so i will leave him here
standing in manicured existence
of his own sour pain
the fall will find him sleeping sweetly
on the spring moon's grave
and it will renew him
leaves swirling down as the world steals the crown
of the tree above
he will be a young man once again
renewed by the promise of maidens dancing
and the dance of winterlight on snowbound fields
snow shoe challenge
trekking untouched expanse
cracking beneath


rock climbing boots
eyeing open summit
crevaase shifts


lifetime chances
snowbound slide buries all
expanse untouched
Thomas H S Ung Dec 2015
A fire coursing through these veins
Melts every trace of ice away.
16 Dec. 2015
Or: "DreamCatchers"
Bryan  Oct 2017
Snowbound
Bryan Oct 2017
The green dies.
Never totally, but effectively.
The shadows reach across the land,
increasing their span.
They spill and run off edges like paint that never dries.
Yet you can step in it and never leave a print.
...Or never have one in the first place,
never leave your mark, just crush the foliage:
**** whatever life is left.

The air steams your breath:
A lesson in mortality.
Look! See what makes you tick?
Let me take it, freeze it, condense it,
put it on display, and leave none for you:
the one who made it...
just to make a snowball
(which is really just a fight waiting to happen.)
(Who stockpiles ammo with no intention of using it?)
(Who bites their tongue with nothing to say?)
Too many snowballs grow to be an igloo:
fallacies you can live in for a while.
It's better to just be rid of them.
Let them fly, let them fly...
Relinquish your breath back to its element:
say what must be said, even if it kills you.

It's all the same in the end:
the land will thaw,
the shadows recede,
the snow will melt,
the air will fill with argument.

Why make so much noise
if you can just throw the snowballs
as you make them?

I'll tell you my frozen friend: shelter.

At least then, we can hide for a while.
Mold it to our will.
Sure, we could let it accumulate naturally.
Unformed and unmolded, it's just a burden:
unfocused feelings, drifts of words,
letters, and sounds.
It's better put to use as shelter than mud.
At least igloos are useful for a time,
(Mud still has to be dealt with in the spring,
Why start early?)
and snowballs are at least manageable:
little bites of envy, jealousy, suspicion.

Woe betide the sun who made THIS winter!
Leave US in the cold, why don't you?
Shower US in discomfort!
Leave US to deal with blessing after blessing
in the worst way possible!

It's in our nature to throw the snow,
to waste our respite, to fight with words.
If we don't, in our igloos,
we're washed away every spring
when the thaw takes our shelter,
our words,
our breath,
our loves,

our lives.
Sharon Talbot Aug 2018
Our Dog Howling at Sunset

At sunset, the dog howls at sirens in town.
If he were snowbound in Talkeetna,
A hundred miles from nowhere,
What would he howl at instead?

I saw my husband trudging through the frost,
His blue jacket half-tinted orange and red,
“I don’t like the way you sound,” he said
As he left, deserting one who was already lost.

If I were a thousand miles from him now,
Listening to the wolves’ mournful cries,
And my beloved shunning me as he does now,
Would I pretend to believe my lover’s lies?

Or, instead, would it be enough to exist
Where the short summer dies on winter’s grist,
And true love’s a dream born on a dreamer’s mist,
And the one to stay with is the one you’ve just kissed?

If I lived in a land so cruel and hard,
Would I be bargaining with my soul?
If love’s short date were but a moon’s silver shard,
Would he be a passing thought, and my son the whole

Of any future we had scattered out on the snow,
Or caught in the rime-bound trees?
Would I see then what I already know—
That his future lies with himself and not me?

As our wolf howls a timeless wail to the air
I can listen and guess at its season.
I can comfort myself it will always be there,
Beyond human hopes, beyond reason.

Far wiser, the black-furred hound, than I,
To sing out his ancient song.
Waiting, watching, as we struggle and die,
Only to pass his wisdom along.

Waiting, hoping as he does for a touch,
He is made to think that he asks too much--
Waiting for a kind word or loving hand--
Wild and alone, in humanity’s bleak land.

A southern writer once lamented the lack
Of courage in humankind,
And suggested we borrow the strength we see
In the branches of an olive tree.

Yet there’s more courage in the dog-wolf’s cry,
Penned out on our city-cropped lawn,
As if he knows the grief of my son and I
When the man we both love is gone.

“Could we not as well” take a lesson from him,
Our wild and loyal friend?
To howl out our sorrow and loneliness,
Though the pain might never end?

Now, in the twilight I hear my lover return,
With no greeting to me, and I burn
For the summer’s newborn passion I recall.
The twilight wolf’s mourning tells it all:

That we never will have what we had before
That love can die just as well as it’s born,
That a child is the only one who restores
What is lost to the lonesome, the wolves, the forlorn.


July 6, 2001
A long-ago falling out and later mended.

— The End —