I want to love things all by myself,

not looking sidelong to see

if others are loving them, too:

the sky like old blue glass held in by a tracery of trees,

the great horned owl’s cynical question–

Who’s awake?

the falling cold stars of snow.


One night I snowshoed in the woods alone,

the full moon lamplight gleaming

through the lace of soft snow clouds.

Coming toward home I saw in the frame of an uncurtained window

the painting of a summer orchard

above my piano against the green wall,

my husband moving across the kitchen with his teacup.

I thought I would break for joy.


This is an old one. It was published in Calyx, in September, 2000

Winter Prompt #11: Spells


Winter Prompt #11


Great spider, untangle

the threads you’ve spun.

Turn to dust the husks of bees

and flies sucked dry.

Bits of leaf and fur let fall

and in the dark a new web weave

so in the dawn’s light

we may see the shining shape

of all set free.


Audmula lick us from the ice,

Skadi, hunt up the sun,

free us from this Niflheim.

Bragi, loosen my tongue.


Old man Winter, that Old Man Winter,
He don’t need nothing; he must want something.
He just keeps blowing, he keeps on snowing along.

He don’t wear sweaters, he don’t wear longjohns,
And them what wears them will soon be bygones,
He just keeps blowing, he keeps on snowing along.

You and me, we shovel and strain,
Backs all aching and wracked with pain:
Clear that walk!  Chop that ice!
Vermont Life makes the winter look nice.

I get weary, and sick of freezing,
I’m tired of sniffling, and tired of sneezing,
But Old Man Winter, he just keeps blowing along.