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Some Say That Snow

View from my window: Here on the ridge in Paradise today marked the first snow of the season.


Some say that snow is sleep. I say
That snow is but the rest
Of clouds upon earth’s surface laid
To soothe the forest’s breast,
To calm the souls that linger there
Beneath an age of leaf
That hides within its brindle flesh
Whole galaxies of seed.

Some say that snow is chill. I say
That snow is but a shawl
Draped over stones of silence,
That such silence shelter all;
And in such silence seal within
The brook beneath the glass,
That when the spring shall set it free
All dreams to sea shall pass.

Some say that snow is death. I say
That snow is but the prayer
Said when soul in winter’s glade
Calls the body from its lair,
To stand within the last of light,
Becoming less than air,
To leave behind what came before
In the shadows dawn prepares.

Alert the Authorities!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Marc Verdi February 22, 2018, 7:40 PM

    How was it with Mark Cutsforth, after Nina fired me? [You seem to think I really remember this. Alas this was several lifetimes ago and I have to confess that I don’t really remember you other than I recognize the name as somebody I once knew. As to the other guy I don’t have any memory of him either. You’d best correspond with me directly rather than trolling the comment stream. The next one’s I’ll simply delete as if they never were. — Van der Leun]

  • John A. Fleming February 22, 2018, 11:27 PM

    Lessee, first snow. Way late, should have happened in November. Northern California stands as of today at 14% of the April 1 average Snow Water Content. Statewide it’s 16%. Very bad juju. It’s looking every bit as bad as two and three years ago. Jesuit Jerry is going to demand that everyone in the state put on sackcloth and ashes and start flagellating themselves in abject penance for the wanton rape of Holy Mother Gaia.

    In the last year, the paradiso de Califia has had three of its four seasons: floods, fire, and drought. Only earthquake is missing. Por favor, Santissima Califia, oye nuestro oración.

    There have only been two good snow/rain years since 2010: 2010 and 2017. Looks like the Southwest US is entering one of those occasional 50-year mega-droughts like those that shattered the Hisatsinom. Couldn’t happen to a better bunch of deserving folks, you all backed the wrong horses and now you’re gonna pay.

  • John A. Fleming February 22, 2018, 11:34 PM

    Thanks very much for your poem of snow. To me it is the magical mystical substance above all others. I am happiest when I am surrounded by snow. I reckon it would take me living in Siberia in the gulag to think otherwise.

  • Jaynie February 23, 2018, 4:48 AM

    Tiny snow there. Beautiful piece. This winter at Cape Cod Massachusetts has been not snowy at all. Funny how that goes.

  • Kevin Dickson February 23, 2018, 6:17 AM

    I have only seen it snow once in my entire life and it happened this year. A freak white out in South Texas. It took me 63 years to make my appointment with that experience. The thing that I observed the most…..was the incredible silence it imposed on the environment. You could hear the snow hitting the trees……but no other noise escaped the world. It was truly amazing. I wish I could experience it again.

  • BillH February 23, 2018, 7:06 AM

    If that was my deep-South back yard, those seed trays would be full of squirrels. Then the local cat brigade would attack the squirrels, and the seed trays would be on the ground. Upside down. We have to use squirrel-proof bird feeders tailored to small birds. Squirrel-sized birds have to fend for themselves.

  • Vanderleun February 23, 2018, 7:38 AM

    Pretty much the same drama I have here. The feeders are for my entertainment. The green tubular one is said to be squirrel-proof. It works. The others? Nope.

  • Howard Nelson February 23, 2018, 10:22 AM

    Is it water vapor or tiny droplets of rain that metamorph to unique flakes of snow?
    I could google the question but I prefer to remain in wonder.
    I wonder too whether the flake, pondering its parentage, wonders whether its parent blessed its crystal form and laughed with the children it freed from school.

  • John A. Fleming February 23, 2018, 10:38 AM

    My in-laws have two of those tubular screened ones. Mostly the squirrels glean on the ground around the feeder, because some of the birds dig in the seed pile at the base of the suspended feeder and fling whole seeds onto the ground. But some squirrels are more adventurous, and manage to make the long flying leap to the feeder. But they find they don’t have the beaks for pulling the seeds out of the mesh, and it’s too much work to hang on.

    When there are birdseed feeders about, the squirrels of the neighborhood announce it on the party line, and they all show up and move heaven and earth to claim their fair share. Even among squirrels, there is a pecking order, with a few getting all the good stuff and stuffing themselves fat, and the others twitching anxiously at the periphery hoping they’ll be able to swoop in and find a few meager leftovers.

  • ghostsniper February 23, 2018, 11:02 AM

    We have 33 feeders and all get stocked every morning by my wife so I’m a self-learned expert at how to make em squirrel proof. If they come up from the ground it’s not possible.

    They have to hang, from wires. Many of ours hang from tree limbs, some from steel shepherds hooks.
    They have to be located at least 8′ from anything else that a squirrel can jump from and get on it.

    Black oil sunflower seeds are the order of the day and we go through a 50 pound bag a month. I don’t neglect the squirrels, I regulate them, cause they are nefarious little don’t-give-fux that mess it up for everybody else. Right now there are about 10 whole ears of corn with 1/4″ dia eye screws suspended on wires close to trees for them. They jump from the tree and hang on while gobbling to beat the band til they fall off, then scurry back up the tree for more.

    The raccoons? We have a 4’x4’x4′ open top compost container that they visit frequently and scourge thru lawnscape clippings, leftover food, anything we think they might enjoy. Nothing harmful. There are also half a dozen salt licks scattered about, mostly sitting on cut off tree stumps for the deers. This morning after making her rounds to the feeders my wife said she counted 34 cardnals around her before it got too confusing. After 12 years of doing this some of the birds follow her around as she tends to her chore. When the weather is decent just sitting on the porch observing the surroundings is very enjoyable. I leave the unscreened windows and doors open on my office in the summer and there has been 2 birds and a chipmunk in there at the same time as I sat at my desk unmoving. I’ll take wildlife over people any time.

  • John A. Fleming February 23, 2018, 12:25 PM

    Well ghost, you and my in-laws are simpatico. Although, he puts the loose corn in a crib for the deer. Even though the squirrels can eat that, they still also chase after the black sunflower seeds. I guess they need a balanced diet, or they get tired of eating rock-hard corn kernels. I’ll mention that suspended corn-ear trick to my in-laws, they might find that an amusing spectacle.

  • Jim in Alaska February 23, 2018, 12:46 PM

    20 inches of snow in my yard & it won’t be gone until April. I guess I enjoy the long winters, as well as the short, hectic, summers, else I wouldn’t still be up here for over 50 years.

  • ghostsniper February 23, 2018, 2:47 PM

    I was there in 1980 and have always wanted to go back, to stay.

  • AbigailAdams February 23, 2018, 4:41 PM

    Was there a poem? I was so distracted by that silver stuff binding all that other stuff together! What the…?! Okay, Gerard. Okay. I know I quote Red Green a lot for situations like this (on duct tape): “It’s only temporary unless it works.” Have the squirrels made a crown, robe and scepter and laid it on your door yet?

    And why haven’t I heard from you?

  • AbigailAdams February 23, 2018, 4:48 PM

    …and it’s snowing again in Seattle as I write. We got a couple inches on Tuesday/Wednesday, then it mostly melted away. Now Geoff C. is at Fred Meyer buying canned goods.

  • Jack February 24, 2018, 9:16 AM

    No offense but I hate snow. But I hate poetry more. I do love warm weather, beaches, fly fishing in salt water and this blog site though and the closest I can get to liking poetry (except that of Houseman) is a good, old fashioned dirty limerick.

  • ghostsniper February 24, 2018, 12:22 PM

    OK Jack, I’ll start it off:

    There once was a guy named Tucker,

  • Vanderleun February 24, 2018, 2:33 PM

    My readers. Class. Pure class.

  • Vanderleun February 24, 2018, 2:34 PM


  • ghostsniper February 25, 2018, 4:31 AM

    Whose nasty hoe was a trucker.

  • Jack February 25, 2018, 8:22 AM

    Easy now girls. We are all not called to love the same things and differences of opinion about them don’t signal class or a lack of it. In addition to poetry I don’t like rap, beets, death metal or lousy guitars, Samuel L. Jackson or George Clooney but I do like and appreciate straight shooting and plainly spoken commentary. No guessing, no hidden meanings or innuendo, just say what you want to say and be done with it.

  • BJM February 25, 2018, 8:30 PM

    Are those your pot plant-saucer-duct taped to a stake bird feeders?
    Gerard, you are indeed a treasure.

  • ghostsniper February 26, 2018, 2:29 PM

    I lubz the smell of sinsemella in the morning.