Saturday, January 22, 2011

Winter Reflections

I have spent very little time trying my hand at poetry. In junior high English class I always felt fearfully awkward trying to write within the parameters of whatever poetic form we were asked to use. But in the stillness of early December and January I was drawn to the simplicity and concise demands of poetry. The first poem was written freely without concern for meter, rhyme, or specific poetic form.



A Season Turns

A breeze, a howl, a silent white night
Snow slips in, an early solstice guest

A wintry blanket erases fall’s marquee
Clouds hover and propose retreat

Crystals, unabashed, chilly and fresh
Stir, wiggle, and awaken

A season’s turn, a new land
Braced and be-stirred


This second poem is called a "Cascade." The first stanza can be any length, but each line of the first stanza must be repeated in order as the last sentence in the following stanzas. In other words, in my poem the first line is the last line in the second stanza, the second line is the last line in the third stanza, and the third line is the last line of the fourth stanza.

Janus

Janus, god of beginnings and endings, motions
To a threshold of contemplation
Of life behind and life yet to unfold

Footsteps dancing through Long Draw’s door
Float through winter’s deep pastoral chill
Janus, god of beginnings and endings, motions

To linen-covered hills and icy still waters
Crystalline air taps spirit and calls mind
To a threshold of contemplation

Land and sky’s quiet breath
Entice reflection, rising to ask what
Of life behind and life yet to unfold


I found working on these a quiet, satisfying challenge. I experienced the thinning, whittling, and search for clarity a kind of contented discipline I couldn't envision as a thirteen-year old.

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