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ConnectHook Feb 2016
by John Greenleaf Whittier  (1807 – 1892)

“As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine Light of the Sun, but also by our common Wood fire: and as the celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of Wood doth the same.”

        COR. AGRIPPA,
           Occult Philosophy, Book I. chap. v.


Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow; and, driving o’er the fields,
Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
In a tumultuous privacy of storm.


                                       EMERSON

The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east; we heard the roar
Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores, —
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion rows
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
The **** his crested helmet bent
And down his querulous challenge sent.

Unwarmed by any sunset light
The gray day darkened into night,
A night made hoary with the swarm
And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
Crossed and recrossed the wingàd snow:
And ere the early bedtime came
The white drift piled the window-frame,
And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

So all night long the storm roared on:
The morning broke without a sun;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;
With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal: we had read
Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
The old horse ****** his long head out,
And grave with wonder gazed about;
The **** his ***** greeting said,
And forth his speckled harem led;
The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
And mild reproach of hunger looked;
The hornëd patriarch of the sheep,
Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
And emphasized with stamp of foot.

All day the gusty north-wind bore
The loosening drift its breath before;
Low circling round its southern zone,
The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
No church-bell lent its Christian tone
To the savage air, no social smoke
Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
A solitude made more intense
By dreary-voicëd elements,
The shrieking of the mindless wind,
The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
And on the glass the unmeaning beat
Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
Beyond the circle of our hearth
No welcome sound of toil or mirth
Unbound the spell, and testified
Of human life and thought outside.
We minded that the sharpest ear
The buried brooklet could not hear,
The music of whose liquid lip
Had been to us companionship,
And, in our lonely life, had grown
To have an almost human tone.

As night drew on, and, from the crest
Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
From sight beneath the smothering bank,
We piled, with care, our nightly stack
Of wood against the chimney-back, —
The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
And on its top the stout back-stick;
The knotty forestick laid apart,
And filled between with curious art

The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
We watched the first red blaze appear,
Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
Until the old, rude-furnished room
Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
While radiant with a mimic flame
Outside the sparkling drift became,
And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
The crane and pendent trammels showed,
The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
While childish fancy, prompt to tell
The meaning of the miracle,
Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
When fire outdoors burns merrily,
There the witches are making tea.”

The moon above the eastern wood
Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
Transfigured in the silver flood,
Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
Took shadow, or the sombre green
Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
Against the whiteness at their back.
For such a world and such a night
Most fitting that unwarming light,
Which only seemed where’er it fell
To make the coldness visible.

Shut in from all the world without,
We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
Content to let the north-wind roar
In baffled rage at pane and door,
While the red logs before us beat
The frost-line back with tropic heat;
And ever, when a louder blast
Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
The merrier up its roaring draught
The great throat of the chimney laughed;
The house-dog on his paws outspread
Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
And, for the winter fireside meet,
Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
The mug of cider simmered slow,
The apples sputtered in a row,
And, close at hand, the basket stood
With nuts from brown October’s wood.

What matter how the night behaved?
What matter how the north-wind raved?
Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
O Time and Change! — with hair as gray
As was my sire’s that winter day,
How strange it seems, with so much gone
Of life and love, to still live on!
Ah, brother! only I and thou
Are left of all that circle now, —
The dear home faces whereupon
That fitful firelight paled and shone.
Henceforward, listen as we will,
The voices of that hearth are still;
Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
Those lighted faces smile no more.

We tread the paths their feet have worn,
We sit beneath their orchard trees,
We hear, like them, the hum of bees
And rustle of the bladed corn;
We turn the pages that they read,
Their written words we linger o’er,
But in the sun they cast no shade,
No voice is heard, no sign is made,
No step is on the conscious floor!
Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
(Since He who knows our need is just,)
That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
Alas for him who never sees
The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
Nor looks to see the breaking day
Across the mournful marbles play!
Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
That Life is ever lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!

We sped the time with stories old,
Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
Or stammered from our school-book lore
“The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
How often since, when all the land
Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
As if a far-blown trumpet stirred
Dame Mercy Warren’s rousing word:
“Does not the voice of reason cry,
Claim the first right which Nature gave,
From the red scourge of ******* to fly,
Nor deign to live a burdened slave!”
Our father rode again his ride
On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
Sat down again to moose and samp
In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
Again for him the moonlight shone
On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
Again he heard the violin play
Which led the village dance away.
And mingled in its merry whirl
The grandam and the laughing girl.
Or, nearer home, our steps he led
Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
The low green prairies of the sea.
We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
The chowder on the sand-beach made,
Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
With spoons of clam-shell from the ***.
We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
And dream and sign and marvel told
To sleepy listeners as they lay
Stretched idly on the salted hay,
Adrift along the winding shores,
When favoring breezes deigned to blow
The square sail of the gundelow
And idle lay the useless oars.

Our mother, while she turned her wheel
Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
Told how the Indian hordes came down
At midnight on Concheco town,
And how her own great-uncle bore
His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
So rich and picturesque and free
(The common unrhymed poetry
Of simple life and country ways,)
The story of her early days, —
She made us welcome to her home;
Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
We stole with her a frightened look
At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
The fame whereof went far and wide
Through all the simple country side;
We heard the hawks at twilight play,
The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
The loon’s weird laughter far away;
We fished her little trout-brook, knew
What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
And heard the wild-geese calling loud
Beneath the gray November cloud.
Then, haply, with a look more grave,
And soberer tone, some tale she gave
From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
Beloved in every Quaker home,
Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint, —
Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint! —
Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
And water-**** and bread-cask failed,
And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
His portly presence mad for food,
With dark hints muttered under breath
Of casting lots for life or death,

Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
To be himself the sacrifice.
Then, suddenly, as if to save
The good man from his living grave,
A ripple on the water grew,
A school of porpoise flashed in view.
“Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
These fishes in my stead are sent
By Him who gave the tangled ram
To spare the child of Abraham.”
Our uncle, innocent of books,
Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
The ancient teachers never dumb
Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
In moons and tides and weather wise,
He read the clouds as prophecies,
And foul or fair could well divine,
By many an occult hint and sign,
Holding the cunning-warded keys
To all the woodcraft mysteries;
Himself to Nature’s heart so near
v That all her voices in his ear
Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
Like Apollonius of old,
Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
Or Hermes, who interpreted
What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
A simple, guileless, childlike man,
Content to live where life began;
Strong only on his native grounds,
The little world of sights and sounds
Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
Whereof his fondly partial pride
The common features magnified,
As Surrey hills to mountains grew
In White of Selborne’s loving view, —
He told how teal and loon he shot,
And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
The feats on pond and river done,
The prodigies of rod and gun;
Till, warming with the tales he told,
Forgotten was the outside cold,
The bitter wind unheeded blew,
From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
Went fishing down the river-brink.
In fields with bean or clover gay,
The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
Peered from the doorway of his cell;
The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
And from the shagbark overhead
The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
And voice in dreams I see and hear, —
The sweetest woman ever Fate
Perverse denied a household mate,
Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
A calm and gracious element,
Whose presence seemed the sweet income
And womanly atmosphere of home, —
Called up her girlhood memories,
The huskings and the apple-bees,
The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
Weaving through all the poor details
And homespun warp of circumstance
A golden woof-thread of romance.
For well she kept her genial mood
And simple faith of maidenhood;
Before her still a cloud-land lay,
The mirage loomed across her way;
The morning dew, that dries so soon
With others, glistened at her noon;
Through years of toil and soil and care,
From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
All unprofaned she held apart
The ****** fancies of the heart.
Be shame to him of woman born
Who hath for such but thought of scorn.
There, too, our elder sister plied
Her evening task the stand beside;
A full, rich nature, free to trust,
Truthful and almost sternly just,
Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
And make her generous thought a fact,
Keeping with many a light disguise
The secret of self-sacrifice.

O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
That Heaven itself could give thee, — rest,
Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
How many a poor one’s blessing went
With thee beneath the low green tent
Whose curtain never outward swings!

As one who held herself a part
Of all she saw, and let her heart
Against the household ***** lean,
Upon the motley-braided mat
Our youngest and our dearest sat,
Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
Now bathed in the unfading green
And holy peace of Paradise.
Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
Or from the shade of saintly palms,
Or silver reach of river calms,
Do those large eyes behold me still?
With me one little year ago: —
The chill weight of the winter snow
For months upon her grave has lain;
And now, when summer south-winds blow
And brier and harebell bloom again,
I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
I see the violet-sprinkled sod
Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
Yet following me where’er I went
With dark eyes full of love’s content.
The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
The air with sweetness; all the hills
Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
But still I wait with ear and eye
For something gone which should be nigh,
A loss in all familiar things,
In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
Am I not richer than of old?
Safe in thy immortality,
What change can reach the wealth I hold?
What chance can mar the pearl and gold
Thy love hath left in trust with me?
And while in life’s late afternoon,
Where cool and long the shadows grow,
I walk to meet the night that soon
Shall shape and shadow overflow,
I cannot feel that thou art far,
Since near at need the angels are;
And when the sunset gates unbar,
Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
And, white against the evening star,
The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
The master of the district school
Held at the fire his favored place,
Its warm glow lit a laughing face
Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
The uncertain prophecy of beard.
He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
Sang songs, and told us what befalls
In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
Born the wild Northern hills among,
From whence his yeoman father wrung
By patient toil subsistence scant,
Not competence and yet not want,
He early gained the power to pay
His cheerful, self-reliant way;
Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
To peddle wares from town to town;
Or through the long vacation’s reach
In lonely lowland districts teach,
Where all the droll experience found
At stranger hearths in boarding round,
The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
The rustic party, with its rough
Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
His winter task a pastime made.
Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
He tuned his merry violin,

Or played the athlete in the barn,
Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
Or mirth-provoking versions told
Of classic legends rare and old,
Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
Had all the commonplace of home,
And little seemed at best the odds
‘Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
The guise of any grist-mill brook,
And dread Olympus at his will
Became a huckleberry hill.

A careless boy that night he seemed;
But at his desk he had the look
And air of one who wisely schemed,
And hostage from the future took
In trainëd thought and lore of book.
Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
Who, following in War’s ****** trail,
Shall every lingering wrong assail;
All chains from limb and spirit strike,
Uplift the black and white alike;
Scatter before their swift advance
The darkness and the ignorance,
The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth,
Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
Made ****** pastime, and the hell
Of prison-torture possible;
The cruel lie of caste refute,
Old forms remould, and substitute
For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
A school-house plant on every hill,
Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
The quick wires of intelligence;
Till North and South together brought
Shall own the same electric thought,
In peace a common flag salute,
And, side by side in labor’s free
And unresentful rivalry,
Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

Another guest that winter night
Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
The honeyed music of her tongue
And words of meekness scarcely told
A nature passionate and bold,

Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
Its milder features dwarfed beside
Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
She sat among us, at the best,
A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
Rebuking with her cultured phrase
Our homeliness of words and ways.
A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
And under low brows, black with night,
Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
Presaging ill to him whom Fate
Condemned to share her love or hate.
A woman tropical, intense
In thought and act, in soul and sense,
She blended in a like degree
The ***** and the devotee,
Revealing with each freak or feint
The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
The raptures of Siena’s saint.
Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
Had facile power to form a fist;
The warm, dark languish of her eyes
Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
Brows saintly calm and lips devout
Knew every change of scowl and pout;
And the sweet voice had notes more high
And shrill for social battle-cry.

Since then what old cathedral town
Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
What convent-gate has held its lock
Against the challenge of her knock!
Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
Or startling on her desert throne
The crazy Queen of Lebanon
With claims fantastic as her own,
Her tireless feet have held their way;
And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
She watches under Eastern skies,
With hope each day renewed and fresh,
The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
Whereof she dreams and prophesies!
Where’er her troubled path may be,
The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
The outward wayward life we see,
The hidden springs we may not know.
Nor is it given us to discern
What threads the fatal sisters spun,
Through what ancestral years has run
The sorrow with the woman born,
What forged her cruel chain of moods,
What set her feet in solitudes,
And held the love within her mute,
What mingled madness in the blood,
A life-long discord and annoy,
Water of tears with oil of joy,
And hid within the folded bud
Perversities of flower and fruit.
It is not ours to separate
The tangled skein of will and fate,
To show what metes and bounds should stand
Upon the soul’s debatable land,
And between choice and Providence
Divide the circle of events;
But He who knows our frame is just,
Merciful and compassionate,
And full of sweet assurances
And hope for all the language is,
That He remembereth we are dust!

At last the great logs, crumbling low,
Sent out a dull and duller glow,
The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
Ticking its weary circuit through,
Pointed with mutely warning sign
Its black hand to the hour of nine.
That sign the pleasant circle broke:
My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
And laid it tenderly away;
Then roused himself to safely cover
The dull red brands with ashes over.
And while, with care, our mother laid
The work aside, her steps she stayed
One moment, seeking to express
Her grateful sense of happiness
For food and shelter, warmth and health,
And love’s contentment more than wealth,
With simple wishes (not the weak,
Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
But such as warm the generous heart,
O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
That none might lack, that bitter night,
For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

Within our beds awhile we heard
The wind that round the gables roared,
With now and then a ruder shock,
Which made our very bedsteads rock.
We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
The board-nails snapping in the frost;
And on us, through the unplastered wall,
Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
When hearts are light and life is new;
Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
Till in the summer-land of dreams
They softened to the sound of streams,
Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
And lapsing waves on quiet shores.
Of merry voices high and clear;
And saw the teamsters drawing near
To break the drifted highways out.
Down the long hillside treading slow
We saw the half-buried oxen go,
Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
Their straining nostrils white with frost.
Before our door the straggling train
Drew up, an added team to gain.
The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
From lip to lip; the younger folks
Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
Then toiled again the cavalcade
O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
And woodland paths that wound between
Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
From every barn a team afoot,
At every house a new recruit,
Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
Haply the watchful young men saw
Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
And curious eyes of merry girls,
Lifting their hands in mock defence
Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
And reading in each missive tost
The charm with Eden never lost.
We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
And, following where the teamsters led,
The wise old Doctor went his round,
Just pausing at our door to say,
In the brief autocratic way
Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
Was free to urge her claim on all,
That some poor neighbor sick abed
At night our mother’s aid would need.
For, one in generous thought and deed,
What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
The Quaker matron’s inward light,
The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
All hearts confess the saints elect
Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
And melt not in an acid sect
The Christian pearl of charity!

So days went on: a week had passed
Since the great world was heard from last.
The Almanac we studied o’er,
Read and reread our little store
Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
One harmless novel, mostly hid
From younger eyes, a book forbid,
And poetry, (or good or bad,
A single book was all we had,)
Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
A stranger to the heathen Nine,
Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
The wars of David and the Jews.
At last the floundering carrier bore
The village paper to our door.
Lo! broadening outward as we read,
To warmer zones the horizon spread
In panoramic length unrolled
We saw the marvels that it told.
Before us passed the painted Creeks,
A   nd daft McGregor on his raids
In Costa Rica’s everglades.
And up Taygetos winding slow
Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
Welcome to us its week-old news,
Its corner for the rustic Muse,
Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
Its record, mingling in a breath
The wedding bell and dirge of death:
Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
The latest culprit sent to jail;
Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
And traffic calling loud for gain.
We felt the stir of hall and street,
The pulse of life that round us beat;
The chill embargo of the snow
Was melted in the genial glow;
Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
And all the world was ours once more!

Clasp, Angel of the backword look
And folded wings of ashen gray
And voice of echoes far away,
The brazen covers of thy book;
The weird palimpsest old and vast,
Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
The characters of joy and woe;
The monographs of outlived years,
Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
Green hills of life that ***** to death,
And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
Shade off to mournful cypresses
With the white amaranths underneath.
Even while I look, I can but heed
The restless sands’ incessant fall,
Importunate hours that hours succeed,
Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
And duty keeping pace with all.
Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
I hear again the voice that bids
The dreamer leave his dream midway
For larger hopes and graver fears:
Life greatens in these later years,
The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
Dreaming in throngful city ways
Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
And dear and early friends — the few
Who yet remain — shall pause to view
These Flemish pictures of old days;
Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
And stretch the hands of memory forth
To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
And thanks untraced to lips unknown
Shall greet me like the odors blown
From unseen meadows newly mown,
Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
The traveller owns the grateful sense
Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
The benediction of the air.

Written in  1865
In its day, 'twas a best-seller and earned significant income for Whittier

https://youtu.be/vVOQ54YQ73A
Winter Vacation was coming
The kids were all set
They were thinking of Christmas
And the gifts they would get

But, Millie sat waiting
Thinking of nothing but snow
Watching the class clock
That was moving so slow


They did arts and crafts
Made cute cards for their folks
Sang old Christmas songs
And told old Christmas jokes

But Millie, our Millie
Was miles away
Thinking of Michigan snow
In which she'd soon play

She packed up her things
Then the bell filled the air
She waved to the teacher
And burst out of her chair

Faster than reindeer
She was gone from the school
Off to get packed
For a vacation so cool

She ran all the way home
She had sweat on her face
Left her books at the door
And grabbed her pink case

Millie was ready
With one thing on her mind
She was off to see snow
And leave the sunshine behind

She'd packed and unpacked
Twice every night
Now she was sure
That her bag was packed right

Winter vacation
In the north in the snow
She'd be there in hours
Just one night to go

She tossed and she tumbled
But she woke right at five
She showered and dressed
She felt so alive

They loaded the car
And they left in a rush
Millie was set
And gave her hair a quick brush

They got to the airport
At nine twenty two
They checked her small bag
Which was nearly brand new

They went to the gate
They met a woman in tan
He said "Hello, there Millie"
"I'm your steward...names Anne"

"Before we go on"
"There's someone else you should meet"
"He's a pilot, our Captain"
"And his name is Pete"

She kissed Mom goodbye
And she kissed her dad too
Anne took her aboard
To sit in seat number two

Millie was nervous
But, excited as well
She told Anne her feelings
Anne said "I won't tell"

The plane taxied out
Left the ground with a roar
Millie's tummy, it rumbled
Like it had never before

Anne came and sat
In the seat by her side
She said "Look over there"
"Those are clouds right outside"

Millie and Anne
Talked all the way there
Of the Christmas to come
They made quite a pair

The Captain announced
They were all set to land
When the plane hit the ground
Millie grabbed Anne's right hand

The big door then opened
They got off of the plane
At the end of the ramp
She saw her cousin, named Jane

Her Grandparents met her
Thanked Anne, said good bye
Anne said "Have a Good Christmas"
Millie said "I'll certainly try"

Jane and her brother
Had come for Christmas as well
With her Grandparents and cousins
Christmas was sure to be swell

They went to pick up her luggage
And then go out to the truck
Her bag came out first
It was her Christmas luck

The first thing she saw
As she held Grandpa's hand
Was no snow on the ground
This was not what she'd planned

Her parents had told her
About the Michigan snow
About snowmen, and snowballs
And the wind, how it'd blow

She kept quiet, said nothing
There was no snow to be seen
As she looked out the window
The grass was still green

Maybe, just maybe
I'm early she thought
It'll snow here tomorrow
Today is too hot

She played with her cousins
Called her folks about four
Rode bikes that her Grandpa
Bought them all at the store

Nothing was different
It was just like at home
No snow blowing white
Nothing fluffy like foam

She went to bed early
It had been a long day
She kissed her grandparents goodnight
And then hit the hay

She dreamed of the winters
Of the snow on the ground
She dreamed about snowmen
And climbing up a snow mound

The next morning she woke
Ran and opened the drape
Wrapped it round her neck
And looked outside, with her cape

Green as could be
For as far as she looked
There was no snow here
Millie felt she'd been rooked

She sat quiet at breakfast
Made barely a sound
Then she asked Grandma
"Why's there no snow on the ground?

"My big Christmas wish"
"Was to snow, snow...for real"
"It's just like at home"
"Grandma, what's the big deal?"

"We've had some strange weather"
"It's been warm every day"
"They just do not know"
"How long it will stay"

"I'm sorry dear Milie"
"This is just how it's been"
"I'm afraid that this Christmas"
"Is one that is green"

Millie, sat silent
Went outside then to play
There was no snow coming
There'd be no snow today

Depressed as she was
She had fun, best she could
Riding bikes around town
It was fun, but not good

With one day till Christmas
She called up her Dad
In the call she then told him
Of how she felt sad

She loved both her cousins
And her grandparents too
But, she just couldn't go
And do what she wanted to do

She'd come up to the north
To have some fun with the snow
She wanted to leave
But, she'd not let them know

They had dinner at six
Millie went up to bed
She was asleep in a moment
Christmas dreams in her head

At seven oh three
She woke up, looked outside
And she stood at the window
With her eyes open wide

The front lawn was covered
There was snow all around
She woke up her cousins
Down the stairs they did bound

They opened the door
To a yard full of white
Christmas had come
Bringing snow in the night

Out on the road
She says other kids too
All in their pjs
And some with no shoes

They were all throwing snowballs
Making angels as well
this was what she had wanted
Christmas was gonna be swell

During the night
While the kids were asleep
Out to the arena
Grandpa did creep

He'd called in some favours
Got the snow from the rink
Then they brought it out here
"Christmas magic" they'll think

The kids can't have Christmas
With no snow to be seen
It just isn't Christmas
With a yard that is green

Phone calls were made
To some other rinks too
And the ski hill as well
Knew what they must do

A parade of dump tucks
And machines that both blew
Came to help Grandpa Joe
Make Millie's Christmas wish true

It lasted four hours
Then it melted away
But, for Millie, our Millie
It was her best Christmas day

Wishing is magic
And dreams, they are too
So, believe just like Millie
And make your Christmas wish true
Emily Thompson Nov 2012
Snow is pure white and fresh like an angel's wings waiting in heaven.
I pull back the thick curtains and look out my window.
The snow is slowly falling like pieces of cotton from the sky.
It looks so soft and light that I want to reach out and touch it with my hand.
The moonlight catches each flake and makes it shine.
It looks so wonderfully peaceful outside that  I decide I must go.

I bundle up with my puffy down coat, hat, and black scarf.
I pull my boots on and open the door.
I walk into the bright moonlight and stare at the falling snow.
It is so beautiful this I know.
It is so bright outside because of the full moon overhead.

The snow falls upon my face and cleans away the dirtiness.
It melts as soon as it touches my skin.
Now my face is wet and my eyelashes hold the flakes as they fall down faster than before.
It is so quiet all around.
I can't hear a sound.
I feel happiness that only my heart can hold.
I love the snow!

There is no sound except for my boots walking upon the snow.
No cars, sirens, or people to be found.
The only light is from the bright moon that seems so near to me now.
It seems so peaceful outside that my worries and problems from the day,
They all fade away.

The snow is cold as it hits my cheeks again and again.
I love the clean, cold, crisp air,
I take a deep breath taking it in.
It is cold enough that it burns when it reaches my lungs and fills my nose.
I walk down the road for a while.
Not seeing a single soul.

I see a small dim light in the distance.
I wonder what it could be?
I haven't noticed it before?

The snow crunches loudly with each step I take.
The snowflakes are falling bigger, faster, and harder now.
It is almost too hard to keep my eyes open.
I squint so the hard pellets, which were once soft flakes a time ago don't sting my eyes.
I keep walking towards the light.

With each step I take my momentum slows,  
The howling wind blows the snow against my face so hard that I can't see a thing.
It stings, it bites, and the temperature is dropping now I do believe.
It has suddenly become bitterly cold,
I can see my breath, where I couldn't before.
I keep on walking, I don't know why?
But it feels like the light is pulling me in.

The light in the distance is getting brighter.
I am almost there.
I am very tired and sore all of a sudden.
How long have I been out here?
Should I stop and turn back or keep going in the whipping, blinding snow?
I stop in the middle of the road.
Which way should I go?

I could walk towards the light, or turn back and go into the darkness behind me now.
I choose to walk on, towards the bright light that gets brighter with each step I take.
The light is closer, no turning back.
I am intrigued and entranced by the light's warmth and its glow.
I slowly walk into the light and finally I feel safe at last.

I am warm and comforted by the yellow light that surrounds me on this dark, cold, snowy night.
It feels good to breathe air that doesn't burn icicles in my chest.
The light is too bright, and I close my eyes tight.
I am glad that I am no longer in the blinding snow.
Where am I?
I open my mouth to say, "Hello."
But no voice comes out, only silent hums from the lights all around.
Should I stay or turn and run?

I suddenly feel a panic inside, like I am somewhere I don't belong.
I walk back in the direction from which I came.
All I see is ambient yellow light around me.
The road is gone and all the white falling snow has vanished.
I want to be back home right now.

I turn to the yellow humming lights and find only more light ahead of me.
Will I ever return to all that I know?
Or is it all gone in this unknown world I walked into?
I turn and start to run.

I run as fast as I can, but I can't seem to get anywhere.
I feel as though I am standing still, but running in place.
I feel the wet tears welling up inside my eyes.
They fall down my cheeks, as I realize my own fate.
Where is all the blinding snow?

Running and running I am out of breath.
My lungs burn now from the lack of air, instead of freezing snow.
I close my eyes and make a wish.
I wish I hadn't walked into the white, peaceful snow.
Tears from my eyes fall so hard like hail stones in a summer thunderstorm.

I stop running and open my stinging red eyes.
It feels as though I have been crying for days.
I see a small glimpse of an angel's wing.
A soft white feather brushes against my face.
A wind picks up quickly and dries my tears.
The air begins to freeze again, and I gasp for air or maybe for my own words.
What is happening?
I feel weak and I give up the fight to continue.
Did I die in the blinding snow?
Is this the end of the road, or the end of my life as I know?

Suddenly, there is heat in my soft frozen cheeks, as though I have been thawing after a long hard winter's cold.
I open my eyes again, afraid to take a look around.
I wake to find it was all but a dream.
I think, or do I believe?
I am in my bed with the covers pulled up to my chin.
Breathing so hard and scared to speak.
I get up slowly from my snowy slumbering nightmare.

I walk to my window and pull back the heavy, thick curtains with shaking hands.
The snowflakes are quietly falling, perfectly from their winter clouds.
Soft and white like big cotton puffs.
I want to reach out and touch them with my hand.
I breathe a sigh of relief, and turn around to go.
I feel something wet and cold dripping down my face.
If it was a dream, then why is my hair wet from the melting snow?
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.
Namir May 2014
Once upon a winters eve, there was a young little fox. As she played around in the forest and snowy plains she kept trying to walk along the thick snowbanks. But she always seemed to fall into the snow. In the distance there was a older, but still young, snow leopard, watching and giggling as the little fox kept falling through. The snow leopard decided to get up and walk closer to the fox and softly he said with a happy laugh, "so what are you trying to accomplish?"The little fox looked up at the leopard with an annoyed looked as she poutingly explained, "The snow is to high and I am to small, and I can't seem to walk on top of it." She then sighed softly. The snow leopard laughed and smiled, "You can't just jump on it then. You can't try to walk on it," the leopard said with a grin. The little fox looked up at him in befuddlement with her bright blue eyes. The leopard slowly walked around the snow hole she was in and proceeded to explain, "You have to let it lift you," he smiled, picking her up by the scruff carefully, takeing her out of the hole and softly placing her on a less deep part of the snow bank, "Only when you understand this, may you be able to walk atop the snow."The little fox was still confused but was willing to learn, "What do you mean 'let it lift you'?" the little fox asked. The leopard smiled and lay on the snow, sticking his paws into the snow, "Every flake, like us, is different. Each one being different gives it it's own type of life, melting fast, or melting slow. Sticking firm, or lightly." he then softly blows the snow off his paws into her direction, "You have to let life of each of the snow flake be as unique as your life is and let it lift you. Let them lift you, as if it they were trying to show you somewhere new, to bring you places." He got up and started walking off atop of the snow, but then stopped and turning around and said with a big smile "Now do you see?" The little fox was still kinda confused, but when she looked at the beautiful snow, and saw each snowflake, a different shape, a different size, she smiled and believed what he said. The little fox looked back up at the leopard and softly placed her paw down on the snow before she said to him softly, "I think I get it..." She was afraid but she slowly started walking on top of the snow, step by step, not looking down, But looking to the leopard as she got closer to him. The leopard with a happy laugh, smiled and congratulated her, "There you go. Like a natural." The little fox smiled brightly and ran up to the snow leopard happily and excitedly asking him, "What can you teach me next?"The leopard laughed and patted her head with his paw. "My my, Looks like I have a little apprentice" the leopard said with a smirk, "We shall see where the wind and sun takes us and what lessons we have to learn as the days go on," the leopard said as they both started walking out into the setting sunlight.
This was a little story I made for my love. I was thinking of making it a continued series. Leave a comment if you wish. Maybe if you want to see a continuation or not.
No matter what life you lead
the ****** is a lovely number:
cheeks as fragile as cigarette paper,
arms and legs made of Limoges,
lips like Vin Du Rhone,
rolling her china-blue doll eyes
open and shut.
Open to say,
Good Day Mama,
and shut for the ******
of the unicorn.
She is unsoiled.
She is as white as a bonefish.

Once there was a lovely ******
called Snow White.
Say she was thirteen.
Her stepmother,
a beauty in her own right,
though eaten, of course, by age,
would hear of no beauty surpassing her own.
Beauty is a simple passion,
but, oh my friends, in the end
you will dance the fire dance in iron shoes.
The stepmother had a mirror to which she referred--
something like the weather forecast--
a mirror that proclaimed
the one beauty of the land.
She would ask,
Looking glass upon the wall,
who is fairest of us all?
And the mirror would reply,
You are the fairest of us all.
Pride pumped in her like poison.

Suddenly one day the mirror replied,
Queen, you are full fair, 'tis true,
but Snow White is fairer than you.
Until that moment Snow White
had been no more important
than a dust mouse under the bed.
But now the queen saw brown spots on her hand
and four whiskers over her lip
so she condemned Snow White
to be hacked to death.
Bring me her heart, she said to the hunter,
and I will salt it and eat it.
The hunter, however, let his prisoner go
and brought a boar's heart back to the castle.
The queen chewed it up like a cube steak.
Now I am fairest, she said,
lapping her slim white fingers.

Snow White walked in the wildwood
for weeks and weeks.
At each turn there were twenty doorways
and at each stood a hungry wolf,
his tongue lolling out like a worm.
The birds called out lewdly,
talking like pink parrots,
and the snakes hung down in loops,
each a noose for her sweet white neck.
On the seventh week
she came to the seventh mountain
and there she found the dwarf house.
It was as droll as a honeymoon cottage
and completely equipped with
seven beds, seven chairs, seven forks
and seven chamber pots.
Snow White ate seven chicken livers
and lay down, at last, to sleep.

The dwarfs, those little hot dogs,
walked three times around Snow White,
the sleeping ******.  They were wise
and wattled like small czars.
Yes.  It's a good omen,
they said, and will bring us luck.
They stood on tiptoes to watch
Snow White wake up.  She told them
about the mirror and the killer-queen
and they asked her to stay and keep house.
Beware of your stepmother,
they said.
Soon she will know you are here.
While we are away in the mines
during the day, you must not
open the door.

Looking glass upon the wall . . .
The mirror told
and so the queen dressed herself in rags
and went out like a peddler to trap Snow White.
She went across seven mountains.
She came to the dwarf house
and Snow White opened the door
and bought a bit of lacing.
The queen fastened it tightly
around her bodice,
as tight as an Ace bandage,
so tight that Snow White swooned.
She lay on the floor, a plucked daisy.
When the dwarfs came home they undid the lace
and she revived miraculously.
She was as full of life as soda pop.
Beware of your stepmother,
they said.
She will try once more.

Snow White, the dumb bunny,
opened the door
and she bit into a poison apple
and fell down for the final time.
When the dwarfs returned
they undid her bodice,
they looked for a comb,
but it did no good.
Though they washed her with wine
and rubbed her with butter
it was to no avail.
She lay as still as a gold piece.

The seven dwarfs could not bring themselves
to bury her in the black ground
so they made a glass coffin
and set it upon the seventh mountain
so that all who passed by
could peek in upon her beauty.
A prince came one June day
and would not budge.
He stayed so long his hair turned green
and still he would not leave.
The dwarfs took pity upon him
and gave him the glass Snow White--
its doll's eyes shut forever--
to keep in his far-off castle.
As the prince's men carried the coffin
they stumbled and dropped it
and the chunk of apple flew out
of her throat and she woke up miraculously.

And thus Snow White became the prince's bride.
The wicked queen was invited to the wedding feast
and when she arrived there were
red-hot iron shoes,
in the manner of red-hot roller skates,
clamped upon her feet.
First your toes will smoke
and then your heels will turn black
and you will fry upward like a frog,
she was told.
And so she danced until she was dead,
a subterranean figure,
her tongue flicking in and out
like a gas jet.
Meanwhile Snow White held court,
rolling her china-blue doll eyes open and shut
and sometimes referring to her mirror
as women do.
Victor Marques Dec 2010
Snow, snow, snow,
Gratitude and a blow.
The big white screen,
Snow I,m keen.

Snow, snow, snow,
you eye, your eyebrow,
From the sky,
Snow you can,t buy.


Snow, snow, snow,
I don,t know.
Clean like a carpet,
Snow for your cat.


Snow, snow, snow,
A perfect show.
Smiling to the sun,
Snow a great fun.
snow
Purcy Flaherty Mar 2018
Winter snow, Winter snow;
I’ll come shining through,
They say that every cloud has a silver lining,
But it’s snowing down on you.
You’ve forgot your coat and umbrella
and now you’re froze right through!
I’ll come shining through
~ this winter snow.

You can hop from tree to tree;
Use a bag, or a magazine,
Take shelter in a coffee shop
and soak up the caffeine!
The streets are now deserted;
There’s not a soul to be seen,
I’ll come shining through;
this winter snow.

There are clouds up in the sky,
Whistling winds are blowing by,
There are snow flakes big and round,
What a sight, oh me oh migh!
Winter snow, winter snow,
I’ll come shining through,
Yes I’ll come shining through
This winter snow.

Winter snow, winter snow,
I’ll come shining through,
They say that every cloud has a silver lining,
But it’s snowing down on you.
You’ve forgot your coat and umbrella,
And now you’re froze right through!
I’ll come shining through,
this winter snow.

I’ll come shining through ~ this winter snow.
winter snow, winter snow,  winter snow.
Two poems for the price of one!
Nigel Morgan Mar 2013
Fukiko had woken before her accustomed time. She was alone and would have prefered to sleep, and sleep on until Narumi had lit the brazier in her room and brought tea. But she had woken, and was aware that outside the world had changed. The world, her world of Yukiguni, where the mulberry fibres for paper-making were laid out in the snow-bleached fields. Her world where men from the cities sought the kind of woman she was, a woman uncultured in the ways of geisha, but possessing a freedom no city-bred geisha could possess. She had been schooled by an aunt, was accomplished as a performer on the samisen and though her voice was thin, it held a quality of understanding, it had a fine texture, though thin. And yes, this morning a change had come over the world outside her small house that looked over Hikachi Lake, that looked towards the southern flank of the Central Mountains where during the previous day and night the snows from across the seas had fallen on the landscape. She imagined the roofs of the monastery across the lake were heavily white, and as she sought the image in her mind’s eye so the large brass bell of the temple sounded, no, it throbbed across what she knew would now be hard-frozen water.

I am floating she thought, like the snowflakes I glimpsed in the reflected lamplight when last night I opened the shutters for a moment before bed, before sleep and descent into my dreams. For days now she had been dreaming like never before. She seemed to enter a dreamstate; she would then wake purposefully; she would then fall instantly into quite a different world; over and over this seemed to happen until she found herself wondering if she was dreaming within a dream; she would become aroused, her skin glowing with the ministrations of hidden hands and fingers; she would feel that presence on her upper thighs, a kind of perspiration born of that ****** sensation that, when awake, would sometimes steel upon her.

The coming of the deep snows before spring was always a delight, an excitement carried her from childhood. The way its coming turned daily life upside down. She would enjoy choosing her very warmest garments, the bringing together of layers, her rabbit-skin mantle perhaps, a bright warm scarf over her hair, which she would not today ‘put up’ but allow to flow comfortably next to and down her back, then the hood only if the snow and the wind persisted. She could tell from the warmth of her bed that this was not so, that outside there was a stillness. Even the birds were subdued. Only the brass bell broke the stillness born of this deep snow of spring.

She heard Narumi rise, heard her **** in her chamber ***, heard her roll her bedding away, heard her bring the stove into life and fill her mistress’ brazier with the few precious coals brought across the mountains. There would be tea soon, and this young girl, appointed by her aunt to her charge, would appear to kneel beside Fukiko and give the morning blessing her mother had given Narumi since infancy. Then, she would say, ‘Madam, the snow is deep this morning. We are bound in snow today. Our path has disappeared.’ Still a child’s voice, and still a child at thirteen winters, such a slight girl. And she would retire to the warmth of the kitchen and Fukiko’s cat who was not allowed into her mistress’ presence unless requested.

Fukiko could feel the warmth from the brazier. It was as comforting as the thought of the silent snowscape outside. Gathering her cloak around her, kneeling on the covers of her bed, she held the bowl of tea in her hands, letting its warmth caress her fingers. Standing up, she stroked herself as though to bring her body awake - her flanks, the front of her thighs, her stomach, her slight *******, the long curve of her bottom and then the back of her thighs, her right hand stroking her left arm, her left arm stroking her right arm from shoulder to fingers. She was awake, and placing her feet on the cold matting found her night cloak of deepest blue with the ornamental sash of red and white. She would open the shutter and gaze out into this fresh world of snow and light.

It seemed quite miraculous that a covering of snow could so change this view across the lake to the monastery and its attendant village and then to the mountains beyond. She had once seen a woodcut of this scene, in snow, and had been mesmerised by what it revealed. Despite her status, her profession, such as it was, any ambition she might have harboured to dwell in a city, evaporated at this vista, this snow country scene. It was as though she was living in a story book where she could imagine herself as a concubine of some favoured lord, even better, a princess groomed for a fine marriage, a marriage she knew she would be unlikely to experience. There was one, a land-owner beyond Huchin whose business brought him past her domain, who, widowed and childless, had been advised to seek her presence. And she had been charmed by his shyness, his lack of experience with such as the woman she was, or thought she had to be. And it was often that she would find herself thinking of his presence, and imagining her body melting to his careful touch.

Suddenly, out on the lake figures moved. Was the hard frost of the last week really able to sustain figures on the ice? The brothers from the monastery were tentatively moving too and fro, they were suketo, skating. She would summon Narumi. Her girl should see this sight. The brothers in their crimson robes moving to and fro across the ice, their robes flowing. ‘Narumi’, Fukiko said, ‘a sight so rare. Come and look, the monks are skating.’

So Fukiko and Narumi opened wide the shutters and let in the whole landscape, the lake, the monastery, the snow-roofed village, the mountains beyond into the room. The snowlight dazzled, the hard cold air rushed into the warm room filling its very corners with an enervating freshness. Narumi knelt beside the brazier in her best purple cloak, her hair already pinned for the day, her eyes wide at the sight of these figures dancing with movement on the ice. Although cold, Fukiko would not pull herself away from this play of forms, this wholly pleasurable sight. Just below her window her camellia bushes were in bud, almost budding, their dark redness, bloodlike, enhanced by the vivid snow white. And then the bamboo, snow on the bamboo, as though carefully layered on the fragile stems and branches. This morning no wind and a period of snow falling that had laid flake upon flake upon flake giving the bamboo a wholly different form and weight and body. Its stems bent as though in supplication, as though in prayer to bless the landscape of this snow country.

One must bend
In the floating world -
Snow on bamboo


Kaga no Chivo (1701-55)
Kanka no yuki means contemplating snow from the inside. This short story is the second in my series Snow Country and is based on a wood-cut by Ogata Gekko (1859 -1920)
Aa Harvey Apr 2018
The snow leopard


A snow leopard is walking down snow covered streets.
In these empty streets, she walks alone, a vision to be seen.
With skyscraper buildings on either side,
All the cars are silent,
The apartments only have a few lights on,
As she walks outside in the night-time.


With every stride the snow leopard creeps along,
These empty streets with her eyes fixed upon,
Her destination; the local fountain has become an ice rink.
She needs a place where she can sit and think
And the frozen water is calling.


The scratches on the surface from skaters earlier in the eve,
Are sliced crisscross by fur-covered shoes;
Her claws dig in deep.
With perfect balance she moves along;
Tail flat, she is relaxed, no pressure is on.
No need to flee, no-one to be seen.
The snow leopard lies down to relax; her cub inside is heavy.


Before dawn has arisen, the snow leopard has awoken.
Her ears pointed skyward to listen to distant sirens.
From early risers, phone calls have been made;
The zoo keeper is on his way…
But with a flash of her silhouette, the snow leopard is gone;
She was only seen close up for a second,
Before she disappeared into the thick winter’s fog.


Never to be seen again, but the lights in the skyscrapers remember.
The snow leopard stood here, on this cold night mid-December.
From where she came, nobody ever truly knew;
Some people say she was here simply looking for food.


She had been hiding a long time in a snow cave;
Her footprints were filled by the snow and her tracks began to fade.
She never was found and never again did she return.
The snow leopard was just passing through, her image just a blur.
Like a wind through a narrow street,
A piece of ice falling through a cloud;
A memory of a snowflake that disappears as soon as it is found.


There was no sign that the snow leopard had ever been around
And there was no way to know why,
The snow leopard ever came walking through this town.


(C)2017 Aa Harvey. All Rights Reserved.
If you say the word snow again, I think I'm going to scream!  I am not the type of woman, going around acting mean.
Don't say the word snow again!
There is snow in the streets, snow on the car, snow on the roof, snow near and far.
Don't say the word snow again!
Please don't turn the TV on, they mention snow on every station.  Are we the only ones with snow, falling everywhere, within our Nation?
Don't say the word snow again!
I know the children are happy for the snow, they get a chance to stay home.  But, I'm sure their parents will be glad, when all the snow is gone!
Don't say the word snow again!
By, Sandra Juanita Nailing
RainbowBlessings Mar 2015
Blanket of Snow On A Hill


In the state of NY upon a hill
A Blanket of Snow was so real
Right before my very eyes
A blanket of snow a surprise
On my way to another state
This photograph I had to take
Nothing moving not a sound
A blanket of snow on ground
On the ground the snow lies
Glittering before my eyes
Every branch on every tree
Snow covered I could see
The beauty of New York City
A Blanket of Snow so pretty
How I will forever behold
It's beauty from the road
The winter wind it doth blow
Through the trees and snow
Blowing through leafless trees
Calms ones spirit right at ease
Softly singing a calm melody
Beckons the call for all to see
The chill of the morning snow
Fills the air of Gods pure glow
All white down the mountain
A stream of frozen fountain
Snow on hill will fade away
To brighten Gods given day
Picture perfect it doth seem
Only something you'd dream
Words hardly cannot convey
Of the beauty I saw that day


WrittenBy: Barbie Kirk 03-01-15 7:25pm   - See more at: http://allpoetry.com/poem/11928026-Blanket-of-Snow-On-A-Hill-by-RainbowBlessings#sthash.phX­AT515.dpuf
Marieta Maglas Oct 2012
She entered and lied in a bed to sleep, but she was feeling as a bandit.
She was shaking being so cold, but she couldn't move under the blanket.
Drifting illusions rolled on her dreams to nothing else but a dying trance,
The breadth of her mind stopped for a second to wish any other chance.



In his vision, the prince saw her dancing so gracefully and being alone.
As angelic was the princess Snow White as the heaven was her home.
The next day, he seemingly heard her again singing in the early dawn,
Her reflection on the water he touched, but she was suddenly gone.



That house belonged to seven dwarfs working in a diamond mine.
Having some mine flowers inside, their home had a special shine.
She drank wine and ate vegetables from each glass and each plate,
The dwarfs returned home and lit their candles wanting to recreate.



They approached their candles to that bed to clearly see Snow-White.
'Good heaven! ', 'She is so beautiful! ' They loudly exclaimed in the night.
She told them about her story and her desperate search for a new home,
They asked her to clean their house, they told her to avoid the wood to roam.



The oldest dwarf was the Smiley, the one they could really smile back to...
The youngest dwarf was called the Lier, because he couldn't say any true...
She wanted to be brave in the face of what was fearful, fatidic and fateful,
She could play and dance with her friends and she was really grateful.



She asked the little Sleepy, ''Are you aware that you talk always in your sleep? ''
''Don't say that! ' He replied, 'You should know that your confidence I'll keep! '
She said and asked the Painter, ''Paint me the mine with your deep emotion! ''
The Singer composed for Snow White a sweet serenade to set her in motion.



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '

While the queen's dogs were howling into the broken night to throw away
The forces, the queen was preparing the poison for the Snow White's birthday.
The poison was melted into blood and dew by that queen with innocent eyes.
Her beggars jumped over the moon for a ritual dance of a princess, who dies.




Her crows were flying in the wind being so proud of what they have done,
Her dress could hide the truth so well, with her mask she enjoyed the fun.
''I'm having bodice laces for sale, '' she said knocking on the dwarfs' door.
Then, she pulled the laces so tight that Snow-White fell down on the floor.


The sun hid behind the sea of clouds not to see the Snow White's death,
The dwarfs came home and found her on the floor without having breath.
They cut the bodice laces in two and Snow White could come back to life,
''She will give you poison to drink in sips and you will die without any strife.''



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '



She poisoned a comb and went out to knock again on the Snow White's door,
When she stuck the comb into the girl's hair, the girl fell down on the floor.
When the seven dwarfs returned home, they drowned in their own despair,
But she opened her eyes, when Liar pulled the poisoned comb from her hair.



‘'Mirror, on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all? '' Queen wanted to know.
‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true, '' replied the bad mirror through its glow.
''But beyond the seven mountains, in the dwarfs' house, Little Snow-White
Is a thousand times fairer than you, moreover, her future is extremely bright! '



Everything was grey, while the queen was saying her mystic words aloud,
Inside her dark castle's granite walls, even the signs of time were not allowed.
Only lonesome birds and souls were flying there above a big fragile shroud,
Only craggy faces and weary eyes could be seen there in a demonic crowd.
Mohd Arshad Oct 2014
Snow
snow
snow
snow
snow on her golden hair
snow on her palms
snow on her crimson lips
snow on her blushing cheeks
snow
snow
snow
snow
white beauty in a cup
I would drink to the brim
Notes (optional)
Jack Dec 2014
~

Simply soft, serenely so
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Wrapped within its chilly bow
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Petals gleam of crystal glow
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Upon this world of white to show
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
For its beauty to bestow
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Deep upon this earth to grow
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Serenity of soft halo
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Cast by winds of frigid blow
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Resting on the ground below
Does fall this winter’s evening snow
As my heart doth love thee so
*Does fall this winter’s evening snow
Ok, I know it's repetitive...perhaps there is an echo in here. :)
Tate Morgan Jul 2015
A collection of thoughts and prayers for our friends their families and the whole of humanity. Written by 76
voices from around the world.

The biggest star shines, proudly announced he arrived
My lord Jesus Christ was born to witness the truth
He granted identities to all of us, lost and unknown
Taught us love, peace and harmony, while forgiving all
A. Amos - United States

An ancient mission, a veiled plan
The Son of God, the son of man
A virgins wonder, a humble birth
The King of heaven is born to earth
Adanette - United States

Winter creeps in as fall fades to an end
frost coats the ground and snow begins to drift
tis' the time of year
Christmas is near.
Alicia Schroeder - United States

Let peace on earth begin at home
And spread to friends far and near
Bringing together all those we love
"It's the most wonderful time of the year.
Ana Sophia - Canada

Little excitement triggering at night
What Santa will bring for me this night
Little wish of mine; do listen my lord
Let Santa bring this time happiness for all...
Anne - India

Egg nog, holly, and Christmas wreaths
Pointsettia's white and bright red leaves
Fat, jolly Santa and Jesus' birth
A bright star arises and alights the Earth
Anne - United States

Adorable boy wiping the blur window pane with his poky hands,
and have a wish that santa claus will bring joy through this window,
Gracefully chanting jingle bells, he became santa for his parents,
so santa given the happiness from this side of window
Anshul's Vision - India

Dreamy hot chocolate kisses
steamy snowflake sprinkled wishes
lists of who's been naughty or nice
blend together this wintry spice.
April -United States

We have no jingles or Santa Clause
We have no snow
Still we have spirit of Christmas
Love and hope
Avinash - India

Christmas in Australia,
Sun, summer heat, Christmas outside
Backyards, and Barb-B-ques
Yule tides under the stars
Barb - Australia

Soft Smells of frankincense.
pine needles of fresh scent of bright Christmas Trees
Frosted windowpanes Magical time of the year
with children playing in the snow
Benita - United States

The season of love and joy is upon us
Sunshine or snowfall, no matter the weather
Smiles and laughter, and good cheer among us
When friends and family gather together
Brian - United States

The count down starts
for the best gift ever received
let peace reign in your hearts
as you wait to unwrap it.
Cassie - Kenya

Time is right, the time is near Christmas will soon be here.
Bells will ring and folks will sing "Oh holy Night all is bright
Children will wait with anticipation for Santa to come
Hearts will be warm, and love will abound Christmas is here.
Cheryl Davis - United States

He is the gift.
Jesus Christ,
He can have our burdens lifted,
By the gift of Christ.
C. Lee Battaglia - Unites States

Wind has licked the poor trees clean
All brown and bare in desolation
All except the evergreen
Soon to be sold as decoration
C. Rose - United States

The snow flakes dance in the wind
Shining lights like a magical dream
For those holding on to promises
To find in these times their wishes.
Dayran - Malaysia

Flash floods of snow replace once august plains of paper white
Mystic rivers freeze over as December lets her true colors shine
Incandescent light spreads throughout the ethereal winter night
As chariot of Christmas comes to life for yet another fiery ride
Doorman Dan - United States

A Merry Christmas poem
Always brings me Advent Joy
As we laud the Christ Child
The Birthday of the King
Douglas Raymond Rose - United States

Shattered crystals float to the ground
Stillness lay upon sweet earth
Warmed by angels silent sound
Jesus love bless yuletide hearths
E.Noodle - United States

To the poor and sick this year
I wish a bit of Christmas cheer
From the homeless and forlorn
Stable where a child was born
Fabian G. Franklin - United States

Christmas shines shimmering bright.
Stars spotlight a dance with the snow.
To welcome a merry season with cheer and light.
Bringing peace, joy and warmth for all to know
Fran Marie - United States

Snowflake kisses, full of holly wishes
peaceful rejoices bestowed upon fellow man
warmth of hope abiding a Joyeux Noel,
& muchly good cheer throughout the coming year
Frieda - United States

Lights shimmer,bells jingle on Christmas Tree
Half asleep eyes waiting for Saint Nick
Straight from the Pole wrapped with love & care
The gifts arrived our homes with a conjuring trick!
Frozen Eyes - India

The night before Christmas is known to be magical
With snowflakes in the air and Santa in the fireplace
And a smile plastered on our child's face
When the morning comes, all the magic will be done
Haley Wilson - Canada

Distance keeps us far apart,
Despite the cheer within our hearts.
The Spirits of Yule sing far and wide,
Let their songs brighten our minds.
Hime no Yuki - United States

Stuff your face, there's more to come
Before the games, the laughter and fun
in lively repose we'll mark the feast
With music and song and family treats
IanJohn63 - United kingdom

This reminds us of the true spirit
of the season.
It is much more than the material dreams dancing in our head
peace and love are the real reason
Jacob - United States

Unpack socks,yes this year is dying.
No child on this day coming should be crying.
I would be lying if I said Christmas isn't exciting.
All joy and glee,wouldn't you agree?
John - England

When children dream each year of Christmas,
Whispers from river and mountain pass --
Touching each language, corner, and part,
Wishing this year's dreams unwrap each heart.
K.L.Goode - Canada

Family visits,
where strangers find each other.
Long lost smiles reborn,
to sister and to brother.
Kusa Da Shin Avira - United States

Shining great star from heaven into hearts
Intimate wooden barn with manger in place
Celebrate the birth of Christianity and Jesus
Who died to keep humanity sin-free and safe
Lady Ann Graham-Gilreath - United States

We danced the year's temporary rhythm
Hitting the high or low steps to each tone
Like black and white in a composition
Let's find forte in harmony made
Laury Hitch - Ghana

The festival of lights is near
"Happy Hanukah" a wish we will hear
Every sundown, one candle more
A wish for peace in our hearts will endure
Lydia Shutter - United States

Bright patterned paper parcels waiting
with ribbons gold, green and red
while children peaceful dreaming sleeping
of the stockings hanging on their bed.
Mad Englishman (Clive) - United Kingdom

Drifting droplets over Christmas Tree
Spreading white foam of cracking snow,
Santa stood beside distributing to all free
****** Mary blessed divinity from above.
M.A. Rathore - India

Son of God, salvation of man
At last unto the earth is brought--
Who will remember, indeed who can
Unless final Ipod or Bratz is bought?
Mark Teague - United states

Thoughts toward the poor, sick or dying
Yet another year passes without some knowing
Of Christmas cheer, frolics for them too annoying
All symbolism meant only for those who are growing
Martin - Ireland

The gift of love.
The gift of peace.
The gift of happiness
May all these be yours at Christmas
MBUYISA - South Africa

To one and all I would grant a gift,
blessings for the holiday season.
Hearts overfilled with a joyful lift
from the angels bright holy beacon.
Michael Greenway - United States

In this season of Christmas
Through the eyes of the child
We look up and do believe
In Peace and Mercy mild
Momzilla - United States

Better than men than me,
Make their own mark
on world
and modern history
Moriarty Mesa - United States

Red and green dress our doorsteps
as our holiday dreams of
smiles and laughter, friends and family
fill our hearts with warmth and love
Ms Jewel - United States

O heart, receive Him! "There is no room in the inn."
May that cease to be our case.
May our blessed Savior be most welcome
in our most holy place.
Nautili - United States

Flakes of snow have come to remind,
Regrets, sorrow should be left behind
Prayers, hopes n joy to everyone's mind,
Family come together for dinner and wine.
Nitesh Poojari - India

The rhythmic snow cascades and falls,
Its beauty overshadows the polar air,
And welcomes the Christmas season,
In a glorious dance the waltz …
Nisa - United States

Christmas morning, early, dark, silence abounds
Coffee in hand, watching the deer on the lawn
Waiting for the family, and their rising sounds
Is there anything more peaceful than Christmas dawn?
NoelHC - Canada

Writing out a list, while sitting in my room
Christmas is approaching everyone soon
Decorating my beautiful green tree
Fairy on top, presents underneath
Noodlebumble"Sye" - Scotland

The wheel of joyful tidings on my mind.
We celebrate love and the gift of life
Our hearts rid of hate and squalor
As we dance to the sounds of Christmas
Norbert Dwayne Weweh - Ireland

We came under the inspiration of poem
To celebrate you, often nobly, is your season come?
Delighted hands trenchant: you reign!
Creeping towards the Bethlehem to be born again.
Onyia-ota, Kingsley C. - Nigeria

The problem with his beard
when the child isn't looking
is the rustle that is heard
when he opens up the stocking
Pete Langley - United kingdom

A fire in the heart as angels sing
Young and old caroling sweet and clear
Wishes for love, and Peace on earth
Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year
Phibby Veneble - United States

Where the cold bites and snow may fall
there is always a lesson of beauty within for us all
hold the hand out, next to your own
see the unity of the season,that brings us home
Poppy Ruth Silver - United kindom

Let the tolling bells bring peace on Earth
Be the only fire, your yule-log's warmth
The only red, the cheer of holly
The only fallen … a snowflake's folly
Pryde Foltz - Canada

Excesses of the season have commenced
Remember those beyond your fence.
Beyond the reunions,parties and the food
Find in in your heart to do some good.
(Rachelle) Mara Lin - Philippines - China - UnitedStates

As we celebrate in feast this Christmas Day
may you heal our land and the sick
for your touch of love strengthen the weak
a perfect gift for Christmas Eve
Racquil - Philippines

To each in season warmed at the hearth
Soft carols play as we serenade by the fire
The little babe come of a ****** birth
We come to offer blessings of your desire
Realmwriter -United States

This Christmas cold with winter chill,
snow flows free upon the hill,
within the home, warmth from the hearth
parents give love and children laugh.
Richard Allen Beevor - Cyprus

Star of Bethlehem, snow in the air;
red suit, chimney soot, Santa beware.
The stars all sing from high above
and Christmas wraps my heart with love.
Richard Williams - United States

The warmth and love of those amassed
Gathered 'round the family tree
Brings cherished tales of Christmas past
And gifts us with sweet memory
Rita L. Sev - United States

There shone warm light on a cold night
with the angels over head
Keep watch along with the Wise-men
over this blessed child's bed
Ron - United States

Sharing the joys of sharing
sparkling how life meant to give
receiving the blessings of each day
hallmarking the key role of sharing and giving
Roy Mark Azanza Corrales - Philippines

Stockings hung,carols sung
Tinsel on the tree
Don't forget to thank the one
"Twas born in Galilee
Samuel Dickens - United States

The poinsettia alone in a darkened room
Faithfully again begins to bloom
No particular rhyme or reason
Just a beautiful reminder of Christmas season
Sharon L.H. Kelly - United States

A sunny celebration under a winter sun
never put up a tree, no presents
yet holiday spirit excites, brings fun
amidst cake, tales and dear ones: lovely time spent
Sindu - India

I found myself following the Christmas Star
To Bethlehem not too near or too far
Throughout the dessert I roamed
To meet the Christ Child at the Stable Home
SmittyJas - United States

Hoist the glass to men we once knew
those of us who passed on before
The moments shared with precious few
whose souls we knew in times of yore
Tate Morgan - United States

A feathered mess of ****** bird,
Let's feast the corpse no room for third,
Dear pudding flame cause acid nose,
Let's run it off St. Nick's repose.
Thomas - Ireland

Hope is born on Christmas Day
Bow our heads give thanks as we pray
Peace to family and all our friends
Peace to those across all lands
Tina Kline - Unites States

Another year has come to pass...
With many an opportunity missed...
Yearly resolve comes around so fast..
preceded by yuletide bliss
Timothy Woodfin - United States


Spirits or Christmases past,look on those who celebrate today
With the celebrants of Christmases to come, in life's circular way
We think of those who've past on gone, tell of times past we did enjoy
Knowing someday the child will talk of us, whose engrossed in his new toy..
Tomas O Carthaigh -Ireland

Remember Jesus love of mankind
As we celebrate the holiday
With family and friends
Spreading cheer and love to all
(Tootsie Harvey Novels) Valerie L Harvey - United States

Our lord was born into flesh and bone,
dazzling star above his manger shone,
came to pay our debt though vastly great,
that we may enter the pearly gates.
Valormore De Plume - United States

Dry sands in this winter season
Lonely may seem at heart we rejoice
Hiding vibrant happiness for some reasons
Life in this dome, still we enjoy
Willyam Pax - Saudi Arabia /Phillipines

With smiles all on the children's faces
old folks prepare stockings for the fireplace
Churches singing Amazing Grace
preparing his birthing place
Wordman - United States

"Lovebirds dance with Christmas song
Divine message make them happy
Children clatter ding **** ****
Christmas made them quite sappy"
Zainul - Bangladesh

From our family to yours please try to be good to one another this year. The Cafe is a refuge for us all to hang out, share our lives and dream

Merry Christmas Everyone !!!

Tate
Can a thought or feeling be larger than a universe? Love is the only trait that is worth remembering because it is meant to be given away selflessly. The recipient is as happy to receive it as you were to give it! To my friends those of you whom I hold dear If you'd like to be added to this years Canon message me. I will do my best to add you to this poem.
shayla ennis Feb 2014
winter snow,
it is beautiful,
it is soft,

winter snow,
it is harsh,
it is unpredictable,

winter snow,
when it comes you never know,
bearing you in cold,

winter snow,
we see it as a blessing of a new year,
we see it as a curse to our daily planes,

winter snow,
we know spring is coming,
summer next,
followed by fall,
with another winter snow around the Ben,

winter snow,
we play in it,
we drive in it,
we walk in it,

winter snow,
there is happiness,
there is sadness,

winter snow,
with tears turn to ice,
ice to water,

winter snow,
grass underneath,
flowers sleeping,
animals in hibernation,

winter snow,
when will spring come again,
when will the sun shine,
where is the sparkling beauty

by scarlet rose
2-19-2014
I wrote this today to to the surprising snow storm we got.
Nickols Oct 2012
Red is for the blood split.
Three drops; no more, no less.
Plucked upon a roses thorny edge.

Down

Drop

They

Drop

Tumbled.

Drop

­A stark contrast against the blanket of the whitest snow.
A wish was all it took,
For a spell had been woven through true loves magic.

The Queen belly, twas ripe with babe--
A princess-
skin white as snow,
lips red as glittering ruby's
and hair black as nights coal.

Her name:
Well Snow White, of course.
Or so the legend has told.

For what comes next is quite tragic.
For all magic comes with a toll;
An equivalent exchange:
a life, for a soul.

The babe was born on the morning rays, as for told.

With skin white as snow,
lips red as glittering ruby's
and hair black as nights coal--
For the Queen's last wish held true.

But for the King,
He grieved his sorrow for his lost beloved.
His happily ever-after crumbled throughout his kingdom-
like a wicked plague itself.

A Witching Queen rising in the true Queens place.
A evil stepmother-
for sweet innocent Snow White.

This vain diabolist, weaved her dark spell.
A magical looking glass-
appeared in front of her face.

"Magic mirror on my wall
Who is the fairest of them all"


The enchanted piece of glass
swirled and looped and then spoke.

"My Queen,
you are full of fair,
it is true,
but on this day
Snow White is fairer than you"


With a mighty jealous roar-
this Evil Queen called for her Huntsman.
To **** the one that might dare, to be fairer, then she--

Snow White's heart in a box
was the bounty!
because in the end the child needed to die.
For no one was fairer then the vainest of the Queens.

But you see:
The Huntsman of this Baneful Queen,
could not **** one such as sweet and fair as
the one know as:
Snow White.

A deer's heart,
is what is sent back in the Queens box;
But what became of dearest Snow White, you say?

Well: She went to live in the woods,
A small tiny cottage,
with seven little dwarfs.

What are their names, you ask?
Lets see:
There is--

Blick
&
then there is,
Flick
don't forget,
Glick
or then,
Plick,
wait a second.
Don't forget about,
Snick,
&
Whick,
and most important,
Quee.

And if you do not know them by these names,
what about:
*****,
Then Grumpy
Doc,
&
Happy
Sleepy and
Sneezy,
don't forget about,
Bashful.

They protected their fair Snow White,
from the Hideous Queen.
And for two year-
they kept her safe.

Until:
The Evil Queen conjured her magic,
and when the enchanted mirror gleamed back at her,
she queried--

"Magic mirror on my wall
Who is the fairest of them all"


The enchanted piece of glass
swirled and looped and then spoke once more.

"My Queen,
you are full of fair,
it is true,
but still too this day,
the young Queen,
is a thousand times fairer than you"


The Queen knew she had been tricked--
A wicked plan had been struck.
A old hag hid the Queens' face well.

Red is the color of ripened apple,
disguising the greenest of deadliest poison.
One bite: was all it took.
Snow White, asleep for all times.

But you see,
All magic comes with a toll.
And a true loves kiss, broke the spell.

This is a story about over coming the greatest of evil.
A reminder:
the light will always prevail.
© Victoria
Katelyn Feb 2014
oftentimes i have told you
i hate the snow even though
it's a beautiful sight to see
but today i awoke to
snow dancing through the sky
landing gracefully on treetops
and some of it fell to my heart
i love the snow because
you love the way it falls and
how the color white isn't a color
i love the snow because it gives
me chances to sled with you
inside snow covered kisses
and frostbitten noses
i love the snow because it reminds me
there is beauty in things other than
the way you look at me
i love the snow because you taught me how

oftentimes i have told you
the snow only creates messes
even though it's just trying
to see itself as beautiful
but today i awoke to
streets covered head to toe
in sheets of a color that does not exist
and i could not help but laugh
to find myself smiling and whispering
your name because it was
almost as amazing of  sight to see
drifts of snow covering bald spots on
the earth than it is to see
you light up when you see flurries
i love the snow because you taught me
not everything in the world is trying
to cause mayhem around me
i love the snow because you taught me how
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



The room would have been a cold ,dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back."

Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The sauve, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.


Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the ferris wheel."



"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.

I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday. Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why? I had so many questions and you know what?
I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"Maybe if you knew the reasons, now, it wouldn't matter anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore," Jack Delleto asks.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."


2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is and adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


Paul Keater has a room above Maloney's Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.



                                           Chapter 3


"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells the boy, they're all out of them."

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sergeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.

"Mommy, mommy, I want an ATTACK HELIOCOPTER, MOMMMEEE, I WANTAH TTTAAANNNK..."

Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


                              
     

The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You re not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."

                                        
     

It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Susan says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I did nt want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


                              
     

As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and restitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

"Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."



                                           Chapter 5


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."


Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When is reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Teresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head.

"Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and sqeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Teresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Teresa mother has stopped crying. Her father just stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the night, odd circles of light that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the big dipper and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, a glimpse shadows, shades uncounted, and he saw the dreamer and its dream erased.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows, in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Nothin," Delleto tells his friend, "Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.


                                          Chapter 6


"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up, what should I call you."

"How about, Darlin?"

She looks up from her whiskey glass, "Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"

"Nothing."

"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes."I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"

"No."

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match, "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth  across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.
"TELL YOUR DREAMS TO ME, TELLME YOU LOVEME, IFYOU LOVE ME TELL ALL YOUR DREAMS TO ME."


                                         Chapter 7


An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "how are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and  gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifys his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now because when you are dead you are going to be dead a long, long time."

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he whats to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells like ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back.The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real and what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the old man's heart.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he can not determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching. Joseph grabs the crow bar he keeps under his pillow. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms and kisses her and they walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above treeline heralding a brief season of son and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the kitchen.

"It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Spectre singing the baqck up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in the moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend." His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

"*** always ruins every thing," Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. He pulls her to the edge of the table and Ronnie sings, ",O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BABY NOW."


Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."



                                             Chapter 10



All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you." Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder and Kate pulls away.

"Well I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"Your an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

The lingering silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.


"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all she has she clings to them.


On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind.He continues up the  dark street to his Harley.

High in reachless branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and  the singing goes on and on.



                                            
     



The ringing phone.

"Who the hell is this?" The clock on the dresser says 5a.m.

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, He ran out the door when I screamed."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6,"Says jack The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead. Jack starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. "What is it with you , two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on he T.V. he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"

"Fine."

Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto.. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to jack, stands closer, smiles, and jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



"Daddy,"the little girl her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.


When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform , grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the rise starts. Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughters hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."


Kathleen concentrates on the rain soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever present waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride stops, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the  Casino amusement park door."****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all the her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden place.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the  street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the empting lot of scattered thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.




                                      
     

"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside Jack's head, he sees  spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, but he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbkes back. His girlfriend in the tight  black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto, but Jack does not let up on the man, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man does down.

Jack wins.



                                                  CHAPTE­R 13

"I's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more. He hands the rolled up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear. Straightening up, he looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell , I'm sorry, sad about Kate, too."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine shot. "We have a winner, "the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard. Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, lost consciousness in the dressing room, died at the hospital."

"What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you loose all track of the clock."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure they do, "O'Malley asures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? Sure they do, june bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals and you'll produce love and dreams."

                                          
     

Jack Delleto goes into the room, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the night stand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the over hand right, tthree left hooks. He punches the wall and his knucles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood stained wall.

At last he is exhausted, collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the blood stain plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy. The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the night stand, finds it, and turns off the light. The red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign winks soft neon into his room.
The sign pulsates to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar. Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifys. Jack slides toward the night.



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into the abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the  mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbl;y to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.

"Da DA DUN, DA DA DUN, HEY PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND  MY BRAIN."

Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that liter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant wind blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in singing, shouting, "LATELY THING DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM,  WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE< PURRPPLLE HAZEEE."


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A belly that's empty hurts, I miss you Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you ,too."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bare to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I m love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


                                          
      *


The dread begins to grow into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.



                                            Chapter 15


Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and the for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing reverberates down the hallway steps.

Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, I heard you were dead."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you."
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is  startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The dog has him pined down, goes for his face. And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for awhile.
v V v Dec 2015
Mother tried to be a decent mother
in the weeks ahead of Christmas.
she’d fill the month with Advent calendars,
finger countdowns and splotchy
un-successful attempts to create a
joyful face with lipstick.

In hindsight maybe the weight
of her guilt was especially heavy during
the one month of the year that God
could not be ignored.

Its different now.
God is no longer privy to X-mas,
and guilt is not an appropriate emotion
to be taught to children.  

I was more afraid
of mother during Christmas
than at any other time of the year,
all that fake smiling and brittle kindness,
her strings could snap at any moment,
and you knew they would
you just didn’t know when,
or how, or on who.

“It always snows at Christmas!”
mother said as she reached
out my bedroom window to
gather a handful of fresh powder.
She’d bring it in to show me
and I’d wince and cringe because
her movements were  erratic
and unpredictable
like a puppet on strings, her
arms swinging wildly
from side to side,
knees jerking up and down
across the floor
she’d always end up
spilling snow on my bed.

I think the snow helped numb
what it was that she hid,
helped her hide behind
that painted wooden smile,
if only for a little while.

My memories of snow
are quite vivid.
  
I’d shovel snow into
tall piles, taller than I stood
then build tunnels
to the other side.
I jumped off of rooftops
into huge snowdrifts
and come up with
sleeves full of snow.
My friends and I would
latch onto bumpers of
slow moving cars
and “skeech” through
the neighborhood,
or careen down toboggan
runs on our feet,
face planting
at the bottom where
the ice gave way
to fresh snow.

When I turned 16
we’d hide Old Style Beer
in snow drifts,
build ice forts in the forest
and spin donuts in
St. Mary’s parking lot with
open beers in our laps
and never get caught.

As I see it now
all of these things
helped ease the
burden of confusion
with my mother’s
dis- interested
wooden puppet
smiling,

but her guilt ridden
attempts at
Christmas niceties
were never going
to be enough
to keep me from
becoming
dysfunctional.

You see its all about the snow.  
A life embraced by snow.

snow cut into lines,
Encapsulated snow,
spoon melted snow,

any kind of snow
to numb the extremities
and freeze the nerve endings,

a temporary escape from
the Christmas gift
of mother’s guilt.
ishaan khandpur Nov 2019
As it goes,
In the words of the old,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

The life of a student,
Is a myriad of problems,
Laundry without quarters,
Tide pods no longer have offers,
Missed the last bus for the night,
So had to walk the two and a half miles,
But all is forgiven, because tonight we sing,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Exam pressure's got you down,
Lack of jobs making you frown,
Too many events to remember,
Even your calendar's out of colours,
Don't freight, don't frown, just sing this all day long,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Down to the last dollar,
Got no date to the winter formal,
Your taste in music is being called out,
Your last tie snapped as you tried to pull it off,
Remember the words, they're hard to forget,
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Audrey Bautz Mar 2013
I remember the frost that morning,
- painting the window in a satin-white.
How it burned my throat when I inhaled;
the distant scent of someone’s open-fire,
- curling through the atmosphere a thick fragrance of Maple.
The trees dressed in winter’s coat of freshly lain snow.
The sky was hanging low in the mountains as I looked ahead.
I even heard the soft landing of snowdrops
- From the surrounding branches.

My skin felt rough and tight
- as I walked further on,
My nose feeling of someone else’s.
I could feel the pangs of old age hit me
- like a time-bomb.
But it was no use returning,
I only had to march on. Crunch, crunch,
below my snow-boots,
When at last I realized I had reached a gravel road.

The dawn awoke behind the somber mists of clouds.
I could just catch a glimpse of sun-rays within a break.
Oh, how glorious
she bathed me in a pool of warmth
before dispersing at once,
alone again in my frozen world;
Though, I never faltered
and continued to walk down the snowy path.
Crunch, crunch, continued my boots,
my arms swinging right after the other,
Front-to-back, front-to-back.
I scaled the peak of the hill,
(the hill I’d spend all my days upon as a child)
covered in a thick layer of snow;
Its’ features all too familiar to hide.
It aged with me through a life of joy and pain
as though an old friend. And now I stood
- in the place no longer welcoming like it used to be.
My heart filled with a void that I could not process,
- could not or would not.
And the sad scene of my past
only plunged deeper into my consciousness
- pulling from its’ depth a Charles Dickens’s quote.
It is as follows:
“Happy, happy Christmas that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home.”
And deep within a melancholic-faze,
I departed from the distant view of my home.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The bag I carried seemed to grow with each step
and after what I only could have guessed was hours in,
I found myself stooped over a rock
- rummaging the contents of my pack.
I leaned back beneath a frozen Willow and munched on an apple.
Gazing out at the flourishing scene God had bestowed me; the trees mid-thought,
and I wondered what they must have been thinking
- when at that moment, winter’s angry hand
- broke the silent beauty of autumn and shook the trees bare;
their life strewn upon the ground
- and replaced by a thick layer of ice.
But what of the brushes or flowers?
Were they not too silenced, frozen in time?
A thousand questions buzzed through the hemispheres of my brain.

When the clouds would split
- the sunshine would pour in heaping rays of gold in my walk,
- just as she ripened through the morning hours.  
The snow had stopped falling and the stillness of the land comforted me;
Only my thoughts and the random flutter of birds broke the silence.
The snow surrendered beneath my feet,
crunch, crunch,
- gravel shooting high into the air.
My legs carried me aimlessly unbeknownst of the destination.
And overtime, the cold seemed to eat away through my suit, wrapping tightly around my joints;
the pain was more than my aged body would let me bear
- with my heart pumping bitterly through the frozen hemisphere.
The very thought of the beautiful landscape which beheld my gaze,
having ever play a part in bitter sorrow of those even most fortunate,
- boggled the very life of me. And Mother Nature seemed not quite finished,
as she whipped a brisk chill breeze through the bristly oaks.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sun was my only comfort and I longed for its’ presence.
It danced around the complexities of my synapses with a cruelness,
- Its image just as vibrant in thought, as it would have been before me;
- As though, someone, had pulled the earth closer to the sun.
And the excruciating thought only made the ice colder,
- snow deeper, and wind harder.
I felt tiny needle-like ****** where my skin was bare
- and a cruel pressure as though a force was splitting my flesh in two.
Then, that blinding flash flooding my sight;
I couldn’t see my feet. So strong and powerful,
- I thought I had unknowingly fallen into the center of the earth.
Though my eyes adjusted before any real panic set in, becoming clear.
I looked up and marveled in the exposing warmth;
God smiled upon my weak, aging soul, one last time.
Colors in majestic tones and lifetimes apart
- overlapped the silk shimmer of afternoon sunlight.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Two o’clock and I trudged through the thick snow
- as adamant and determined as the moment I first set foot outside.
My moist hair protruded from beneath my hat,
- a result from the sporadic snowfall.
The trees echoed with the call of birds; their beautiful songs
- bellowed clear and shook the boughs in harmonious celebration.
I felt as though a surge of relentless joy lifted me from the heartache of the walk.
I, was a part of something bigger than I could ever imagine,
- the unity of blood and soul, the bond of humanity and their heritage.
I could see my Ancestors pillaging the forest floors for scraps of food
- walking this very path. Such dream was mine,
to walk hand-in-hand with my family again,
- to rejoice at the sight of snow rather than cringe.
To hear the floorboards creak from the mass of human pressure
- rather than the creeping age of the foundation;
- to hear the echo of my sweetheart down the hall.
There was nothing left to show for a lifetime of love
- but a broken heart and memories, all of which haunted me.
I became so distracted from my journey that I hadn’t realized
- how far off course I was. I gazed at the empty, bare trees,
- for the first time unfamiliar with their presence.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hours passed and I could feel the wind grow heavy and frequent.
The sky showed no sign of improvement, but only seemed to increase in clouds.
I pulled my coat to me tighter and tucked my hands beneath my arms.
It was not long after, that I found a suitable place to rest.
I gathered all the sticks nearby and cleaned a shallow area of snow.
The wood burned slowly as the surrounding snow liquefied at light-speed.
Its’ immense heat covered my frozen-self in a blanket of warmth
- and I felt the bulk of the journey fall over me.
My eyelids became as heavy as cement blocks.
I decided to compromise this by giving in
- and falling deep into unconsciousness.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
It was not too clear at first
- the hazy grounds in which I found myself.
There wasn’t snow but that of soft spring grass
- and I was no longer aching from frostbite.
I smelled an overwhelming ample of spring blossoms
- accompanying the gentle breezes. The sunlight sat upon my cheek,
- no cloud in sight. Birds swarmed the open sky
- rejoicing the beautiful weather. What was this place? Where was I?  
There were the plumped-fields encircling the full oak trees,
- the wonderful sun showering the land in a ravishing golden light.
“There you are! I’ve been waiting for you.”
The voice startled me in its’ familiarity.
I opened my mouth to speak but no words came.  
“I’ve missed you so much!” It continued.      
Still not a single syllable could I form.
I looked all around,
- but no source could be found as to the whereabouts of the voice.
I forced myself up and stood at a loss.
Searching every corner, every shaded area but returned with no results.
Crunch, crunch, sounded the pitter patter of feet;
I looked around frantically but just as the voice, I remained alone in the field.
Only the crunch, increased, in speed and numbers;
I closed my eyes tightly and covered my ears
- until it was only the pounding of my heart that broke the silence.
A harsh, cold wind began to blow violently against my face
- and my hands stung with the feeling of my skin being pulled from my fingernails.
I strained to open my eyes and then
- found nothing but the thick suffocation of darkness.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Charred-wood remained beneath the remnants of smoke;
Its base still grasping a hint of light within the pile.
My face felt exposed and raw to the chill,
- burning with the intensity of a bonfire.
My fingers beyond that, to the point of numbness;
I couldn’t even feel my lips. I had lost control of my nerves;
I felt a madness possess my senses
and I struggled to contain as much rationality as possible.
I reached into my coat pocket for my matchbox
and with one strike of the flint,
- a tiny brilliant flame danced in direction with the wind.
And the light as though a disease,
- spread rapidly to the remaining wood. My environment became clear
- and I gazed up noticing the presence of the moon.
What time was it?
A sudden grumble arose from within the darkness
and I, continuing to fall in and out of unconsciousness.
But it wasn’t until I nearly dozed off
- that I recognized a most foreign presence; I was no longer alone.
A fierce set of eyes had been watching me; inching closer and closer.
They stared with the intensity of a 1000 hungry eyes
- coming closer until at last I caught a glimpse more of my visitor.
Her fur displayed sheen like that of the ocean at dawn;
Her eyes radiated a beautiful emerald hue.
She refrained from baring her teeth, though I knew why she was there.
I leaned up and between my chattering-teeth I spoke:
“I know why you’re here,”
The words did not come without consequence
for my lips split wide open from the sudden ****.
“. . . But it's not your job . . . not today!”
She studied my indigent-state, as grasped my coat to me tighter.
She sat down where she stood gazing with a longing.
her full-coat folding over her joints as she sunk further into the snow
- resting her head upon her paws, slowly closing her eyes.
And soon I followed suit, closing mine, and drifting off. ©
This is the first chapter in my poetry book called, "The Howl of the Wolf."
Donall Dempsey Feb 2017
TO BOLDLY GO

Hour by hour
the snow

grew heavier and heav...i...ER
grew more and more

daring
deciding to boldly go

where no snow
had ever gone before!

It had listened to an entire
box set of early Star Trek

leaking from
the house's windows.

It knew it
off by heart

admired Kirk
adored Spock.

The snow pushed the door
ten-ta-tivel-y ope:N

at first, but. . .now that
push had come to shove

( the latch had not been
latched properly)

opted to" "Wot de. . !"
go for it.

"That's one small step
for a snowflake...one big step

...for snowkind!"
it chuckled hee hee to it self.

"Yavaş. . .yavaş"
it repeated slowly slowly.

It was Turkish snow.

The snow advanced
flake by flake

just putting one flurry
in front of the other

into the( gasp )
"Oh mother!"

living room!

"So, this...
is how humans

- live?"

The bookshelves
feeling a little chilly

woke and whimpered
"Oh my pages...oh...my pages!"

as the unrelenting whiteness
crept nearer and:

- nearer.

"Where is a reader when
you really need one!"

asked a newly acquired
Saito Masaya.

"Isn't anyone gonna do
anything about this!"

screamed the Poems of Oktay
Rifat.

The Poems of Nazim
Hikmet

were...were...were
speechless!

But the humans were busy
snoring.

A string of cartoon Z's
like Christmas decorations

emanated from
the room of the bed.

Even the guilty one
( who would catch hell

in the huh huh morning )
slept the sleep of the innocent

since the Star Trek
had been watched all

the way through and
love had been drunkenly made.

The snow a little
nervous now

in case the book's readers
would come to their rescue

wet
the carpet.

"Oh my giddy flakes...no
but when ya gotta

go ya gotta gooooo!"
smirked the snow.

A mobile phone
asleep on the sofa

heard voices ringing
in its head

suddenly woke
spoke

in a disembodied voice
that went - straight to message.

"Wow...you guys...wow
you should see outside

...it's...like
crazy awesome!"

The snow( held
its breath): "Oh oh...

...an informer!"

It felt like the fallen
book by the carpet's edge

A Spy In The House
Of Love.

It didn't know what
an Anaïs Nin

could be.

It had a lot
to learn.

But the phone
slipped into sleep again

voiceless now.

In the morning they
found it.

"Holy cow...how...?"

Each of the humans
blaming the other

more especially
the guilty human .

"Your mother....
...don't bring my mother into this."

Neither of them spoke to the other
for the rest of the day.

The snow lay
curled up

in the fireplace
dead to the world

fast fast
asleep

drunk on the success
of its excess

dreaming that it had become
human.

A balloon clung
to the ceiling

didn't know how
to get down somehow.

The snow played
possum.

It took an hour
to evict it

with shovels and
curses.

Later, the snow
told the snow

that had been too
afraid to come in

all it had seen
all it had been.

"No...?" said the bottom-
of-the garden snow.

". . .no?"
Tyler Harper Feb 2019
Every time it goes, that snow blows.
But the time it comes, who goes to blow snow?
The times have gone, that snow blows.
So what time will come, when snow is needed to be blowed?
And when the time comes for these snow-blowers to go blow snow,
Will it be time for snow to be blowed to make it go?
When the time comes for these snow-blowers snow blows to go,
The snow will go, as time blows.
Every time it goes, that snow blows.
Bodhi May 2017
It was so cold. Snow fell constantly, and ice formed over all the waters. The animals had never seen snow before. At first, it was a novelty, something to play in. But the cold increased tenfold, and they began to worry. The little animals were being buried in the snow drifts and the larger animals could hardly walk because the snow was so deep. Soon, all would perish if something were not done.

"We must send a messenger to Kijiamuh Ka'ong, the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be," said Wise Owl. "We must ask him to think the world warm again so that Spirit Snow will leave us in peace."

The animals were pleased with this plan. They began to debate among themselves, trying to decide who to send up to the Creator. Wise Owl could not see well during the daylight, so he could not go. Coyote was easily distracted and like playing tricks, so he could not be trusted. Turtle was steady and stable, but he crawled too slowly. Finally, Rainbow Crow, the most beautiful of all the birds with shimmering feathers of rainbow hues and an enchanting singing voice, was chosen to go to Kijiamuh Ka'ong.

It was an arduous journey, three days up and up into the heavens, passed the trees and clouds, beyond the sun and the moon, and even above all the stars. He was buffeted by winds and had no place to rest, but he carried bravely on until he reached Heaven. When Rainbow Crow reached the Holy Place, he called out to the Creator, but received no answer. The Creator was too busy thinking up what would be to notice even the most beautiful of birds. So Rainbow Crow began to sing his most beautiful song.

The Creator was drawn from his thoughts by the lovely sound, and came to see which bird was making it. He greeted Rainbow Crow kindly and asked what gift he could give the noble bird in exchange for his song. Rainbow Crow asked the Creator to un-think the snow, so that the animals of Earth would not be buried and freeze to death. But the Creator told Rainbow Crow that the snow and the ice had spirits of their own and could not be destroyed.

"What shall we do then?" asked the Rainbow Crow. "We will all freeze or smother under the snow."

"You will not freeze," the Creator reassured him, "For I will think of Fire, something that will warm all creatures during the cold times."

The Creator stuck a stick into the blazing hot sun. The end blazed with a bright, glowing fire which burned brightly and gave off heat. "This is Fire," he told Rainbow Crow, handing him the cool end of the stick. "You must hurry to Earth as fast as you can fly before the stick burns up."

Rainbow Crow nodded his thanks to the Creator and flew as fast as he could go. It was a three-day trip to Heaven, and he was worried that the Fire would burn out before he reached the Earth. The stick was large and heavy, but the fire kept Rainbow Crow warm as he descended from Heaven down to the bright path of the stars. Then the Fire grew hot as it came closer to Rainbow Crows feathers. As he flew passed the Sun, his tail caught on fire, turning the shimmering beautiful feathers black. By the time he flew passed the Moon, his whole body was black with soot from the hot Fire. When he plunged into the Sky and flew through the clouds, the smoke got into his throat, strangling his beautiful singing voice.

By the time Rainbow Crow landed among the freezing-cold animals of Earth, he was black as tar and could only Caw instead of sing. He delivered the fire to the animals, and they melted the snow and warmed themselves, rescuing the littlest animals from the snow drifts where they lay buried.

It was a time of rejoicing, for Tindeh - Fire - had come to Earth. But Rainbow Crow sat apart, saddened by his dull, ugly feathers and his rasping voice. Then he felt the touch of wind on his face. He looked up and saw the Creator Who Creates By Thinking What Will Be walking toward him.

"Do not be sad, Rainbow Crow," the Creator said. "All animals will honor you for the sacrifice you made for them. And when the people come, they will not hunt you, for I have made your flesh taste of smoke so that it is no good to eat and your black feathers and hoarse voice will prevent man from putting you into a cage to sing for him. You will be free."

Then the Creator pointed to Rainbow Crow's black feathers. Before his eyes, Rainbow Crow saw the dull feathers become shiny and inside each one, he could see all the colors of the rainbow. "This will remind everyone who sees you of the service you have been to your people," he said, "and the sacrifice you made that saved them all."

And so shall it ever be.
~ Lenni Lenape Tribe
Mark Jun 7
SILLY SEASON, SLIPPERY SLOPES AND SOME SNOW SLUSH    
From the 7th diary entry of Stewy Lemmon's childhood adventures.    
       
WOW, it was already Christmas Eve. It goes to show, 'time flies when you're having fun', for winter was amongst us again. This year's weather was awfully cold, with the temperature dropping to only two degrees, it was freezing outside. I said, to my parents, 'it seems to be a silly shkeason for this time of year, and without any real good reason'.    
     
My dad, had gathered some wood for the open fireplace, that he had made for us inside. We then all sang songs and ate our multi coloured marshmallows, straight off the wooden sticks, to make us feel yummy, once inside our tummy.    
     
My mum Flo, said, with her cheeks as red as a rose, from the heat of the fire, which was making her cheeks glow. 'Do you want to go to the snow, for a couple of days'? We could have so much fun, in the white, cold snow'?    
     
So, the next morning, Dad packed up the car, with ski's, gloves, boots, jackets and even some ski chains for the slippery wet road tar.    
     
Mum, packed some food, drinks, our tooth brushes and even a hair brush and a comb. Then we hopped into the overloaded car, and headed off west in search of the white, cold snow.    
     
We finally arrived at the Shivermetimbers Ski Lodge, and the manager Monty Lopez, was there to greet us, and gave us the keys to our regular ski lodge. It's a funny job, by the way, for a bloke that can't even ski, due to vertigo, unbalanced and all.    
     
Once inside our weekend ski lodge, we quickly lit the enormous fireplace, which was built, smack in the middle of the very large lounge room.    
     
Mum and Dad had their own bedroom, my two much older, identical twin sisters, Emma and Jemma, had the ski loft, while my little brother Lemmy, Smoochy and I had the fold-out bed, that popped out from under the couch.    
     
Early next morning, we all ate bacon and eggs and drank hot chocolate, except for dad, who preferred his hot cup of tea.    
     
After breakfast, the manager Monty Lopez, told my Mum, Flo and my two, identical twin sisters, that they can have, free ski lessons down the back tracks, for an hour or so.    
     
     
But after only about, ten or fifteen minutes, with the, Shivermetimbers ski instructor, Stefan Pettersson, who was from North Poland, they just simply gave up.    
     
Not just because, every time they tried to stand up, all three of them kept falling flat on their backs. But, because Stefan Pettersson, could not speak a word of English, unlike his distant English speaking cousins in South Poland.    
     
I'm sure he was a great ski teacher, but maybe, needed to learn the language of the South as well. Then he could explain to the tourists, from English speaking countries, what he needed them to do, to stay on their feet.    
     
Meanwhile my Dad, along with his old and very funny friend, Trevor Thomas Timberlake, whom Dad has always called Triple T for short, were hiding in the retreat's garage, making another Christmas surprise.    
     
While Smoochy, Lemmy and I were trying to peek in and see what they were doing, we heard loud noises like, Boom, Buzz, Bang, Clunk, Clink, Clank, Smack, Swat, Slap and even Heave-**.We couldn't wait to see what they had made for us, after all of that noise.    
     
As we were walking back to grab a soft drink and bite to eat, BANG the garage doors opened, and that's when we saw our Christmas surprise.    
     
For it was Trevor Thomas Timberlake, dressed up in a very colourful Santa outfit. But, if you think that was funny, 'who do you think was pulling Santa's even more colourful sleigh'?    
     
It was the manager Monty Lopez's, eight very small pet Chiqaua's. They didn't look like they were that strong, to pull Santa's sleigh and Dad's old and very funny friend, Triple T.    
     
All of the kids and I were so pleased. I even noticed Smoochy, with a bit of a glee. Santa Trevor and his chosen helpers, my two, identical twin sisters Emma and Jemma, gave out the presents, to all of the children that were staying at the,'Shivermetimbers Ski Lodge'.    
     
Later that afternoon, my mum, had made a big barrel of fruit snacks for everyone to share. We were all about to start to eat, when all of sudden, we heard an almighty big crash.    
     
For Monty's eight very small pet Chiqaua's, were spooked by my grouse new pet mouse named, Smoochy. He had startled them all and made Triple T's Santa Sleigh, stack right into the table. With the fruit barrel sitting on top, the big crash had tossed the barrel of fruit, onto the ground and it rolled down the slippery snow ski slopes.    
     
Everybody rushed over to see all of the mess. But it actually turned out to be quite good looking, more or less. Because, Mum's fruit snack, had all spilled out and had created a really cool, very cold and quite a colourful, rainbow snack in the snow.    
     
I named that accidental creation of a mess, 'The Sensationally Spilt Rainbow Snow Snack on the Slippery Ski *****'.    
     
We had all decided to head back to our family's very large shack and have chicken nuggets with tomato sauce of course, instead of Mum's colourful fruit snack.    
     
In the morning, we went and saw the mess from the night before. My Dad and Triple T had come up with a clever idea, They had made some square wooden boxes, in such quick style.    
     
We gathered up all of the mess and packed it all into the wooden boxes. Then we made some very cool, fruit coloured, solid snow bricks. We were going to make some igloos out of the colourful bricks, and try and spend a whole night sleeping inside them.    
     
It wouldn't be that cold inside an igloo, we thought. Eskimo's do it all of the time, and they don't seem to catch that many colds.    
     
When morning had come, we had awoken to find the very cool, fruit coloured, solid snow bricks, had all melted away and we were lying in, not so very cool, fruit coloured, soggy, snow slush.    
     
We laughed and cried and hurried inside to get ourselves dried. I called that creation, 'The very cool, fruit coloured bricks, that just didn't stick'.    
     
Mum said, gather up all of that, not so very cool, fruit coloured, soggy, snow slush, and I will create you a new all time favourite, colourful fruit creation.    
     
She had put the slush and the fruit into several ice trays, and had placed solid sticks over each block and made them stick out a bit, from each of their ends. She then, cut holes in the middle of some plastic cups and placed the cups, on one of the ends.    
     
After a while, our very cool, frozen fruit delight, was ready to bite. We all had one, and yelled out yum, good on ya Mum. For, not only did the cup catch the melting ice, it also caught any fruit that fell off the side.    
     
I named that creation, 'Colourful Ice-Drips & Fruit-Drops in a Cup'. That's my Mum for you, always likes a good clean mess.    
     
Dad said, what a great idea, and that we should all listen more often to our Mums. Then, my Mum joked, 'if only your dad would listen to me more often'.    
     
That night, I was back in my fold-out bed, that popped out from the couch, I slept like a bug in a rug. Even Smoochy, crawled into bed, and gave me, an ever so tight hug, on our very last night, of our silly season, ski holiday trip.
© Fetchitnow
20 October 2019.
This children’s fun adventure book series, is only for children from ages, 1-100. So please enjoy.
Note: Please read these in order, from diary entry 1-12, to get the vibe of all of the characters and the colourful sense of this crazy mess.
Donall Dempsey Feb 2018
TO BOLDLY GO

Hour by hour
the snow

grew heavier and heav...i...ER
grew more and more

daring
deciding to boldly go

where no snow
had ever gone before!

It had listened to an entire
box set of early Star Trek

leaking from
the house's windows.

It knew it
off by heart

admired Kirk
adored Spock.

The snow pushed the door
ten-ta-tivel-y ope:N

at first, but. . .now that
push had come to shove

( the latch had not been
latched properly)

opted to" "Wot de. . !"
go for it.

"That's one small step
for a snowflake...one big step

...for snowkind!"
it chuckled hee hee to it self.

"Yavaş. . .yavaş"
it repeated slowly slowly.

It was Turkish snow.

The snow advanced
flake by flake

just putting one flurry
in front of the other

into the( gasp )
"Oh mother!"

living room!

"So, this...
is how humans

- live?"

The bookshelves
feeling a little chilly

woke and whimpered
"Oh my pages...oh...my pages!"

as the unrelenting whiteness
crept nearer and:

- nearer.

"Where is a reader when
you really need one!"

asked a newly acquired
Saito Masaya.

"Isn't anyone gonna do
anything about this!"

screamed the Poems of Oktay
Rifat.

The Poems of Nazim
Hikmet

were...were...were
speechless!

But the humans were busy
snoring.

A string of cartoon Z's
like Christmas decorations

emanated from
the room of the bed.

Even the guilty one
( who would catch hell

in the huh huh morning )
slept the sleep of the innocent

since the Star Trek
had been watched all

the way through and
love had been drunkenly made.

The snow a little
nervous now

in case the book's readers
would come to their rescue

wet
the carpet.

"Oh my giddy flakes...no
but when ya gotta

go ya gotta gooooo!"
smirked the snow.

A mobile phone
asleep on the sofa

heard voices ringing
in its head

suddenly woke
spoke

in a disembodied voice
that went - straight to message.

"Wow...you guys...wow
you should see outside

...it's...like
crazy awesome!"

The snow( held
its breath): "Oh oh...

...an informer!"

It felt like the fallen
book by the carpet's edge

A Spy In The House
Of Love.

It didn't know what
an Anaïs Nin

could be.

It had a lot
to learn.

But the phone
slipped into sleep again

voiceless now.

In the morning they
found it.

"Holy cow...how...?"

Each of the humans
blaming the other

more especially
the guilty human .

"Your mother....
...don't bring my mother into this."

Neither of them spoke to the other
for the rest of the day.

The snow lay
curled up

in the fireplace
dead to the world

fast fast
asleep

drunk on the success
of its excess

dreaming that it had become
human.

A balloon clung
to the ceiling

didn't know how
to get down somehow.

The snow played
possum.

It took an hour
to evict it

with shovels and
curses.

Later, the snow
told the snow

that had been too
afraid to come in

all it had seen
all it had been.

"No...?" said the bottom-
of-the garden snow.

". . .no?"
Marian Feb 2014
The Snow Is Falling
To The Ground In Thick Fluffy Snowflakes
They Kiss My Cheeks And Face
Quietly And Tenderly It Falls
From Every Overhanging Cloud
The Sky Is Grey But I Am Happy
Because The Snow Is Falling From The Sky
And It Is Kissing My Face
It Places Wet Kisses Upon My Hands
And Instantly Turns Into Water
Oh, No! It Melted On My Hand
The Snow Is Falling Mixed With Ice
It Blankets The Cold, Hard Earth
It Has Fallen In A Graceful Manner
It Sticks To My Hair
The Snow Has Covered Every Tree
In Blankets Of Snow Mixed With Ice
Pines And Furs Are Bending Low
In The Heavy Blanket Of Ice And Snow
Jewels Of Icicles Hang From The Pine Needles
And Branches Of Nearly Every Tree
Winter Is Beautiful Especially When The Snow Is Falling
From The Bleak Grey And Barren Sky
Making Everything Beautiful
Dogwoods Are Sleeping
And So Are The Flowers Of Spring And Summer
They Are Sleeping Peacefully Under The Blanket Of Snow
When The World Awakes
They Will Unfurl Their Bright Beauty
Up, Up Towards The Dawn Of Morning
Winter Is Beautiful And I Do So Admire It
And If You Think About It In The Same Way I Do
Every Season Is Beautiful In It's Own Unique Way
The Snow Is Falling Making The Whole Wide World Beautiful

**~Marian~
A Poem That Just Randomly Popped Into My Head
So Here It Is!!! :) ~~~~~<3
I Hope You Enjoy It, One And All!!! :) ~~~~~~~~~~<3
Marieta Maglas Oct 2012
Hers were the beautiful blue eyes and the black long hair,
She watched her blood dropp freezing to burn in the air.
Her pale lips were keeping the mark of her love's glow,
She wanted a child having the skin as white as the snow,


The hair as black as ebony and the lips as red as the blood.
That red on that white looked as beautiful as a flower bud.
She was sewing and watching the ebony of her window's frame.
An angel became visible in the air to tell her the child's name.


''Light up this love, my Lord, and give me this child of light
Unbearable is this pain of mine, light up my soul and my sight.''
Coming up the stairs, the king saw this and he told his queen,
'This white angel is the most beautiful creature I've ever seen! ''


The queen's heart used to be like a little book being unread,
But in front of her husband, it has become an open thread.
He tenderly kissed her, ''Your broken heart is no longer dead,
Because for Snow White on the snow your secret has bled.''


When she gave birth to her child, the sun rose to be so bright
And everything in the castle could be seen in the holy light,
But when the king came to see them, he heard only the sighs.
When he saw his dead queen, sad tears flooded his black eyes.


While he was living with his child being a lonely sad father,
The king thought to bring to little Snow White a new mother.
''Light up this life, my Lord, because I have only fears and sighs,
Change my fate, because I need a new morn in my sad eyes! ''


He married again, but the queen's heart was mercilessly beating.
She was like a dangerous snake and poisoned was her greeting.
Her sarcastic lips were always keeping the mark of her hatred,
Her powers were hidden, because for her the devil was sacred.



She kept her frozen air, although the snow was melting in Spring,
Her words could remain suspended in the air to freeze everything.
‘'Mirror, dear Mirror on the wall, who in this land is fairest of all?
‘'You, my queen, are fairest of all'', echoed the mirror in the hall.




The Snow White grew up becoming more beautiful than the queen,
The king told her, 'You're the most beautiful child I have ever seen! ''
When the mirror told the queen, ‘'You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
She added, ''Little Snow-White is still a thousand times fairer than you.''


The king started seriously to think of the passion they had known
‘Cause the queen's self-satisfaction and insensibility have grown.
He realized that it's a wretchedness to continue sharing their bed.
He wanted to open a dialog with her, but the words left all unsaid.

His bag of accusing words was opened and ready her heart to fill.
Her swear about playing fairly by being in love was like a bitter pill.
A subject to change himself was his escape from her malefic mess
And all the power she used had the purpose to gain her own success.



She summoned a huntsman asking him to push the little Snow White
Into the woods, to stab her to death just in the middle of the night.
As a proof of the her death, he had to bring back her lungs and her liver.
‘Cause the queen wanted to cook, to eat them and to feel that shiver.




The girl was scared to death, when she saw him taking out his knife.
She convinced him to find, however, a good solution to spare her life.
After promising to run away and never to return from the forest's core,
She asked him to give the queen the liver and the lungs of a young boar.



She admired the accidental depth, with which the oak forest was draped,
She went quietly and very quickly, because from her death she escaped.
She stood for a second, while the breeze was flowing with her breath,
She heard the voice of her mother telling her the secret about life and death.




She heard the birds singing and she wanted to be like a little bird so much
Sitting under a huge mushroom's umbrella, she avoided the light's touch.
Like shining diamonds were the misty clouds above the oak wood's trees.
She stayed there for a while to enjoy the symphony of some honey bees.





However, the cold night time came to hold all her empty unwanted dreams,
While hallucinogenic horror images were there to catch all her bleeding screams.
She woke up, but the fog's confusion enshrouded the whole dawn's entrance.
In that forest, the mystery was cast in some strange fairy shapes by chance.





Dry huge branches hardly hit her and swished in her frightened ears,
She noticed that her wet clothes in the rain were mingled with tears.
Suddenly, she found a very little house in the middle of that forest.
It was well hidden and nicely surrounded by red flowers as a florist.
wayne mockler Mar 2019
journey to snow moutain
We all wake up in this great palace of ice and look around for the man to appear. I turn towards lieutenant megs to comfort her and the ice figure appears in strange clothing dressed like a wizard.

He stands  in front of us and says he is the ice wizard and wants to leads us through the ice forest  towards a place called snow mountain.

We all walk out through the palace and into the cold winter of the ice world.  The wizard tells us to follow him down a pathway of ice towards the gates of frozen eternity.

I start to walk along the path with lieutenant megs and the horses following the ice wizard  moving through ice trees with  snow leaves hanging down from our heads.  

The wizard leads us through the path towards the gate of eternity  and we all enter into the  core of the ice forest.  I turn towards lieutenant megs and comfort her with protective arms.  

We all walk through the forest  being lead by the wizard of  ice and into the cauldron of terror.  Walking through the forest of snow  we hear sounds coming deep  from the forest  depths  and see a large figure coming towards us.

The wizard tells us to run fast towards  an ice covering in the forest because the ice dragon has seen us.  We  hide in the  forest  and are protected by the horses force field until the ice  dragon has passed  .  The wizard warns us if the dragon see us we will be frozen by the dragons fire of ice  and never return home.

After a few minutes  we move on through the ice forest  and reach the gate of snow mountain but see other figures  watching us in the cold  sun of ice city.  The figures appear to be  ice  bears  with large ice teeth and green eyes  glare at our bodies with extreme intent

The ice wizard gives us a special key of ice to  open the gates but we struggle to open it because the lock is frozen stiff with the ice. The horses blow hot air from their mouths onto the key and it glows red  and ready  to  open the gates.  We enter into snow mountain and see  mystical place of ice beauty snow covered landscape.


The wizard waves to us  goodbye saying  be very aware and tells the horses to protect us from the perils of snow mountain  The wizard then waves at us and moves up into the frozen sky flying across the ice cold  sky and back to his home at ice palace.

We look up at ice mountain before laying down  and resting  wondering what will happen to us while we move up the  massive mountain of snow  that leads high above the clouds and into space

written by wayne mockler
ownership  copyright wayne mockler
I

The girl in the room beneath
Before going to bed
Strums on a mandolin
The three simple tunes she knows.
How inadequate they are to tell how her heart feels!
When she has finished them several times
She thrums the strings aimlessly with her finger-nails
And smiles, and thinks happily of many things.

II

I stood for a long while before the shop window
Looking at the blue butterflies embroidered on tawny silk.
The building was a tower before me,
Time was loud behind me,
Sun went over the housetops and dusty trees;
And there they were, glistening, brilliant, motionless,
Stitched in a golden sky
By yellow patient fingers long since turned to dust.

III

The first bell is silver,
And breathing darkness I think only of the long scythe of time.
The second bell is crimson,
And I think of a holiday night, with rockets
Furrowing the sky with red, and a soft shatter of stars.
The third bell is saffron and slow,
And I behold a long sunset over the sea
With wall on wall of castled cloud and glittering balustrades.
The fourth bell is color of bronze,
I walk by a frozen lake in the dun light of dusk:
Muffled crackings run in the ice,
Trees creak, birds fly.
The fifth bell is cold clear azure,
Delicately tinged with green:
One golden star hangs melting in it,
And towards this, sleepily, I go.
The sixth bell is as if a pebble
Had been dropped into a deep sea far above me . . .
Rings of sound ebb slowly into the silence.

IV

On the day when my uncle and I drove to the cemetery,
Rain rattled on the roof of the carriage;
And talkng constrainedly of this and that
We refrained from looking at the child's coffin on the seat before us.
When we reached the cemetery
We found that the thin snow on the grass
Was already transparent with rain;
And boards had been laid upon it
That we might walk without wetting our feet.

V

When I was a boy, and saw bright rows of icicles
In many lengths along a wall
I was dissappointed to find
That I could not play music upon them:
I ran my hand lightly across them
And they fell, tinkling.
I tell you this, young man, so that your expectations of life
Will not be too great.

VI

It is now two hours since I left you,
And the perfume of your hands is still on my hands.
And though since then
I have looked at the stars, walked in the cold blue streets,
And heard the dead leaves blowing over the ground
Under the trees,
I still remember the sound of your laughter.
How will it be, lady, when there is none left to remember you
Even as long as this?
Will the dust braid your hair?

VII

The day opens with the brown light of snowfall
And past the window snowflakes fall and fall.
I sit in my chair all day and work and work
Measuring words against each other.
I open the piano and play a tune
But find it does not say what I feel,
I grow tired of measuring words against each other,
I grow tired of these four walls,
And I think of you, who write me that you have just had a daughter
And named her after your first sweetheart,
And you, who break your heart, far away,
In the confusion and savagery of a long war,
And you who, worn by the bitterness of winter,
Will soon go south.
The snowflakes fall almost straight in the brown light
Past my window,
And a sparrow finds refuge on my window-ledge.
This alone comes to me out of the world outside
As I measure word with word.

VIII

Many things perplex me and leave me troubled,
Many things are locked away in the white book of stars
Never to be opened by me.
The starr'd leaves are silently turned,
And the mooned leaves;
And as they are turned, fall the shadows of life and death.
Perplexed and troubled,
I light a small light in a small room,
The lighted walls come closer to me,
The familiar pictures are clear.
I sit in my favourite chair and turn in my mind
The tiny pages of my own life, whereon so little is written,
And hear at the eastern window the pressure of a long wind, coming
From I know not where.

How many times have I sat here,
How many times will I sit here again,
Thinking these same things over and over in solitude
As a child says over and over
The first word he has learned to say.

IX

This girl gave her heart to me,
And this, and this.
This one looked at me as if she loved me,
And silently walked away.
This one I saw once and loved, and never saw her again.

Shall I count them for you upon my fingers?
Or like a priest solemnly sliding beads?
Or pretend they are roses, pale pink, yellow, and white,
And arrange them for you in a wide bowl
To be set in sunlight?
See how nicely it sounds as I count them for you-
'This girl gave her heart to me
And this, and this, . . . !
And nevertheless, my heart breaks when I think of them,
When I think their names,
And how, like leaves, they have changed and blown
And will lie, at last, forgotten,
Under the snow.

X

It is night time, and cold, and snow is falling,
And no wind grieves the walls.
In the small world of light around the arc-lamp
A swarm of snowflakes falls and falls.
The street grows silent. The last stranger passes.
The sound of his feet, in the snow, is indistinct.

What forgotten sadness is it, on a night like this,
Takes possession of my heart?
Why do I think of a camellia tree in a southern garden,
With pink blossoms among dark leaves,
Standing, surprised, in the snow?
Why do I think of spring?

The snowflakes, helplessly veering,,
Fall silently past my window;
They come from darkness and enter darkness.
What is it in my heart is surprised and bewildered
Like that camellia tree,
Beautiful still in its glittering anguish?
And spring so far away!

XI

As I walked through the lamplit gardens,
On the thin white crust of snow,
So intensely was I thinking of my misfortune,
So clearly were my eyes fixed
On the face of this grief which has come to me,
That I did not notice the beautiful pale colouring
Of lamplight on the snow;
Nor the interlaced long blue shadows of trees;

And yet these things were there,
And the white lamps, and the orange lamps, and the lamps of lilac were there,
As I have seen them so often before;
As they will be so often again
Long after my grief is forgotten.

And still, though I know this, and say this, it cannot console me.

XII

How many times have we been interrupted
Just as I was about to make up a story for you!
One time it was because we suddenly saw a firefly
Lighting his green lantern among the boughs of a fir-tree.
Marvellous! Marvellous! He is making for himself
A little tent of light in the darkness!
And one time it was because we saw a lilac lightning flash
Run wrinkling into the blue top of the mountain,-
We heard boulders of thunder rolling down upon us
And the plat-plat of drops on the window,
And we ran to watch the rain
Charging in wavering clouds across the long grass of the field!
Or at other times it was because we saw a star
Slipping easily out of the sky and falling, far off,
Among pine-dark hills;
Or because we found a crimson eft
Darting in the cold grass!

These things interrupted us and left us wondering;
And the stories, whatever they might have been,
Were never told.
A fairy, binding a daisy down and laughing?
A golden-haired princess caught in a cobweb?
A love-story of long ago?
Some day, just as we are beginning again,
Just as we blow the first sweet note,
Death itself will interrupt us.

XIII

My heart is an old house, and in that forlorn old house,
In the very centre, dark and forgotten,
Is a locked room where an enchanted princess
Lies sleeping.
But sometimes, in that dark house,
As if almost from the stars, far away,
Sounds whisper in that secret room-
Faint voices, music, a dying trill of laughter?
And suddenly, from her long sleep,
The beautiful princess awakes and dances.

Who is she? I do not know.
Why does she dance? Do not ask me!-
Yet to-day, when I saw you,
When I saw your eyes troubled with the trouble of happiness,
And your mouth trembling into a smile,
And your fingers pull shyly forward,-
Softly, in that room,
The little princess arose
And danced;
And as she danced the old house gravely trembled
With its vague and delicious secret.

XIV

Like an old tree uprooted by the wind
And flung down cruelly
With roots bared to the sun and stars
And limp leaves brought to earth-
Torn from its house-
So do I seem to myself
When you have left me.

XV

The music of the morning is red and warm;
Snow lies against the walls;
And on the sloping roof in the yellow sunlight
Pigeons huddle against the wind.
The music of evening is attenuated and thin-
The moon seen through a wave by a mermaid;
The crying of a violin.
Far down there, far down where the river turns to the west,
The delicate lights begin to twinkle
On the dusky arches of the bridge:
In the green sky a long cloud,
A smouldering wave of smoky crimson,
Breaks in the freezing wind: and above it, unabashed,
Remote, untouched, fierly palpitant,
Sings the first star.
sobie Mar 2015
My mother raised me under the belief that monotony was a worse state than death and she lived her life accordingly. She taught me to do the same. About five years ago, my mother died. Her death steered my course from any sort of seated, settled life and into a spiral of new experiences.
For months after she left, I skulked about each day feeling slumped and cynical and finding everything and everyone coated in the sickly metallic taste of loss. I noticed that without her I had allowed myself to settle into a routine of mourning. I pitied myself, knowing what she would have thought.  Life was already so different without her there and I couldn’t continue with life as if nothing had happened, so I jumped from my stagnancy in attempts to forget my mother’s name and to destroy the mundane just like she had taught me to. I had to learn how to live again, and I wanted to find something that would always be there if she wouldn’t. I had a purpose. I tried to start anew and drown myself in change by throwing all that I knew to the wind and leaving my life behind.

I was running away from the fact that she had died for a long time. When I first picked up and left, I befriended the ocean and for many months I soaked my sorrows in salt water and *****, hoping to forget. I repressed my thoughts. Mom’s Gone would paint the inside of my mind and I would cover it up with parties and Polynesian women.
I was the sand on the shores of Tahiti, living on the waves of my own freedom. A freedom I had borrowed from nature. A gift that had been given to me by my birth, by my mother. I tried to lose myself in those waves and they treated me with limited respect. More often than not, they kicked me up against their black walls of water. They were made of such immense freedom that many times made me scream and **** my pants in fear, but they shoved loads that fear into my arms and forced me to eventually overcome the burden.
As time slipped by unnoticed, I created routine around the unpredictability of the tides and the cycle of developing alcoholism. One night after a full day of making love to the Tahitian waters, my buddies and I celebrated the big waves by filling our aching bodies with a good bit of Bourbon. By morning time, a good bit of Bourbon had become a fog of drink after drink of not-so-good *****? Gin maybe? I awoke to the sight of the godly sunrise glinting off of the wet beach around me, pitying my trouser-less hungover self. With sand in every orifice, I took a swim to wash me of the night before. I floated on my back in silence while the birds taunted me. I felt the ocean fill every nook and cranny of my body, each pulse of my heartbeat sending ripples through it. My heart was the moon that pressed the waves of my freedom onward and it was sore for different waters. The ache for elsewhere was coming back, and the hole she left in my gut that was once filled with Tahiti was now almost gaping. It had been a beautiful ride in Tahiti but I had not found solace, only distraction. The currents were shifting towards something new.
She had always said that the mountains brought her a solace that she never felt in church. They were her place to pray and they were the gods that fulfilled her. She told me this under the sheets at bedtime as if it were her biggest secret. I had delusional hope that she might be somewhere, she might not be gone. I thought if I would find her anywhere it would be there, up in the clouds on the highest peaks.
The next day, I was on the plane back to the States where I would gather gear. The mountains had called and left a needy voicemail, so I told them I was on my way.

In Bozeman, the home I had run from when I left, every street and friend was a reminder of my childhood and of her. I was only there to trade out my dive mask for my goggles. I had sold most of my stuff and had no house, apartment, or any place of residence to return to except for a small public storage unit where I’d stashed the rest of my goods. Almost everything I owned was kept in a roomy 25 square foot space, the rest was in my duffel. I’d left my pick-up in the hands of my good man, Max, and he returned her to me *****, gleaming, and with the tank full. I took her down to the storage yard and opened my unit to see that everything remained untouched. Beautifully, gracefully, precariously piled just as it was when I left. I transitioned what I carried in my duffel from surf to snow. I made my trades: flip flops for boots, bare chest for base layers, board shorts for snow pants, and of course, board for skis. Ah, my skis… sweet and tender pieces of soulful engineering, how I missed them. They still suffered core-shots and scratches from last season. I embraced them like the old friends they were.
I loaded up the pick-up with all the necessities and hit the road before anyone could give me condolences for a loss I didn’t want to believe. I could not stray from my path to forget her or find her or figure out how to live again. I did not know exactly what I wanted but I could not let myself hear my mother’s name. She was not a constant; that was now true.  

My truck made it half way there and across the Canadian border before I had to set her free. She had been my stallion for some time, but her miles got the best of her. It was only another loss, another betrayal of constancy. I walked with everything on my back until I eventually thumbed my way to the edge of the wild forest beneath the mountains that I had dreamt of. They were looming ahead but I swore I caught a whiff of hope in their cool breeze.
With skis and skins strapped to my feet, I took off into the wilderness. My eyes were peeled looking for something more than myself, and I found some things. There were icy streams and a few fattened birds and hidden rocks and tracks from wolves and barks of their pups off in the distance. But what I found within all of these things was just the constant reminder of my own loneliness.
I spent the days pushing on towards some unknown relief from the pain. On good days there fresh snow to carry me and on most days storms came and pounded me further into my seclusion. The trees bowed heavy to me as I inched forward on my skis, my only loyal companions; I only hoped they would not betray me on this journey. I could not afford to lose any more, I was alone enough. My mother was no where to be found. The snow seemed to miss her too and sometimes I think it sympathized with me.
I spent the nights warmed with a whimpy fire lying on my back in wait hoping that from out of the darkness she would speak to me, give me some guidance or explanation on how I could live happily and wildly without her. Where was this solace she had spoken of? Where was she? She was not with me, yet everything told me about her. The sun sparkled with her laughter, the air was as crisp as her wit, the cold carried her scent. I could feel her embrace around me in her hand-me-downs that I wore. They were family heirlooms that had been passed to her through generations, and then to me. The lives that had been lived in these jackets and sweaters were lived on through me. Though the stories hidden in the seams of these Greats had long been forgotten, died off with their original masters, I could feel the warmth of their memories cradle me whenever I wore them. I cringed to think about what was lost from their lives that did not live on. I was the only one left of my family to tell the world of the things they had done. I was all that was left of my mother. She had left her mark on the world, that was clear. It was a mark that stained my existence.
These forested mountain hills held a tragic beauty that I wish I could have appreciated more, but I felt heavy with heartache. Nature was not always sweet to me. For days storms surged without end and I coughed up crystals, feeling the snowflake’s dendrites tickle at my throat. I had gotten a cold. Snot oozed from my nostrils, my eyes itched, my schnoz glowed pink, my voice was hoarse, and I wanted nothing but to go home to a home that no longer existed. But I chose to go it alone on this quest and I knew the dangers in the freedom of going solo. The winds were strong and the snow was sharp. New ice glazed once powdery fields and the storms of yesterday came again and there was nothing I could do except cower at the magnificence of Nature’s sword: a thing so grand and powerful that it has slayed armies of men with merely a windy slash. I was nature’s *****. I felt no promise in pressing on, but I did so only to keep the snow from burying me alive in my tent.
And I am so glad that I did, because when the great storm finally passed I looked up to see the sky so hopeful and blue bordering the mountains I knew to be the ones I was searching for. I recognized them from the bedtime stories. She had said that when she saw them for the first time that she felt a sudden understanding that all the many hundred miles she’d ever walked were supposed to take her here. She said that the mere sight of them gave her purpose. These were those mountains. I knew because the purpose I had lost sight of came bubbling back out of my aching heart, just as it had for her.

These peaks as barren as plucked pelicans and peacocks, but as beautiful as the feathers taken from them, were beacons in the night for those in search of a world of dreams in which to create a new reality. From them I heard laughter jiggle and echo, hefty and deep in the stomachs of the only people truly living it seemed. When I was scouring the vastness of this wilderness for a sign or a purpose, I followed the scent of their delicious living and I guess my nose led me well.
A glide and a hop further on my skis, there the trees parted and powder deepened and sun shone just a bit brighter. Behind the blinding glare of the snow, faces gleamed from tents and huts and igloos and hammocks. Shrieks of children swinging from branches tickled my ears, which had grown accustomed to the silence of winter. As I approached this camp, I saw they were not kids but grown men and women. It seemed I had stumbled down a rabbit hole while following the tracks of a white jackalope. I had found my world of dreams. I had found them. I had found a home.
I was escaping my lonely, wintery existence into a shared haven perfectly placed beneath the peaks that had plagued my dreams. A place where the only directions that existed were up and down the slopes and forwards to the future. Never Eat Soggy Waffles did not matter anymore. By the end of my time there, I had even forgotten my lefts and rights. The camp had been assembled with the leftovers of the modern world and looked like a puzzle with mismatched pieces from fifty different pictures. At first glance, it could have been a snow covered trash heap, but there was a sentimental glow on each broken appliance that told me otherwise. Everything had a use, though it was not usually what was intended. The homes of these families and friends were made of tarp or blankets or animal hides and had smelly socks or utensils or boots or bones hanging from their openings. There were homemade hot springs made of bathtubs placed above fires with water bubbling. Unplugged ovens buried in snow and ice kept the beer cooled. Trees doubled as diving boards for jumping into the deep pits of powder around them. The masterminds behind this camp were geniuses of invention and creation. Their most impressive creation was their lifestyle; it was one that had been deemed impossible by society. This place promised the solace I had been searching for.
A hefty mass of man and dogs galumphed its way through the snow. Rosy cheeks and big hands came to greet me. This was Angus. His face grew a beard that scratched the skies; it was a doppelganger to the mossy branches above us. But his smile shone through the hairs like the moon. There are people in this world whose presence alone is magic, an anomaly among existence. Angus was one of them. Not an ounce of his being made sense. The gut that hung from his broad-shouldered bodice was its own entity and it swung with rhythms unknown to any man; it was known only to the laughter that shook it. Gently perched atop this, was his shaggy white head that flew backwards and into the clouds each time he laughed, which was often. Angus fathered and fed the folks who’d found their way to this wintery oasis, none of which were of the ordinary. There was a lady with snakes tattooed to her temples, parents who’d birthed their babies here beneath the full moon, couples who went bankrupt and eloped to Canada, men and women who felt the itch just as me and my mother had. The itch for something beyond the mundane that left us unsatisfied with life out in the real world. All of them came out of their lives’ hardships with hilarious belligerence and wit, each with their own story to tell. The common thread sewn between all these dangerous minds was an undeniable lust for life.
The man who represented this lust more than any other was Wiley and wily he was. He’d seen near-death countless times and every time he saw the light at the end of the tunnel, he would run like a fool in the other direction. He lived on borrowed time. You could see that restlessness driving him in each step he took. Each step was a leap from the edges of what you thought possible. Wiley was a man of serious grit, skill, and intelligence and never did he let his mortality shake him from living like the animal he was. He’d surely forgotten where and whence he came from and, until finding his way here, had made homes out of any place that offered him beer and some good eatin’. Within moments of shaking hands, he and I created instant brotherhood.
The next few days turned into months and I eventually lost track of time all together. I could have stayed there forever and no day would have been the same. I played with these people in the mountains and pretended it was childhood again. We lived with the wind and the wildness the way my mother had once shown me how to live. I had forgotten how to live this way without her and I was learning it all over again. We awoke when we pleased and trekked about when weather permitted, and sometimes when it didn’t. Each day the sun rose ripe with opportunities for new lines to ski and new peaks to explore. The backcountry was ours and only ours to explore. We were its residents just like the moose and the wolves. My body grew stinky and hairy with joy and pushed limits. Hair that stank of musk and days of labor was washed only with painful whitewashes courtesy of Wiley. Generally after a nice run, we’d exchange them, shoving each other’s faces deep into the icy layers of snow, which would be followed with some hardy wrestling. By the end of each day, if we didn’t have blood coming out of at least two holes in our faces then it wasn’t a good day.
I never could wait to get my life’s adventures in and here I was having them, recalling the unsatisfied ache I had before I left. Life was lost to me before. I had forgotten how to live it after she had died. Modern monotony had taken control until my life became starved of genuine purity and all that was left then was mimicry. But the hair grown long on these men and smiles grown large on these woman showed no remembrance of such an earth I had come from. They had long ago cast themselves away from such a society to relish in all they knew to be right, all their guts told them to pursue: the truth that nature supplies. Still I worried I would not remember these people and these moments, knowing how they would be ****** into the abyss of loss and time like all the others. But we lived too loud and the sounds of my worries were often drowned in fun.
     We spent the nights beside the fire and listened to Wiley softly plucking strings, that was when I always liked to look at Yona. Her curls endlessly waterfalled down her chest and the fire made her hair shimmer gold in its glow. She was the spark among us, and if we weren’t careful she could light up the whole forest.  She was a drum, beating fast and strong. Never did she lose track of herself in the clashing rhythms of the world. She had ripped herself from the hands of the education system at a young age and had learned from the ways of the changing seasons f

— The End —