Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts

13 January, 2012

Day After Snow, 2012

Snow covers all our petty arguments
silences our numerous indiscretions
and turns our thoughts, once again,
towards warmth. Overcast morning
the color of gray slush on the streets,
and the rumble of the village trucks
scraping what remains off the street outside
shakes the entire house.

[I am the only one awake to notice this.
Even the cats have learned to ignore
the intrusion. And I have learned
to pay it little mind.]

The ground shakes all the time, now.
Trucks or now trucks.
News channel talking heads dismiss
the phenomenon, focus instead
on election year gaffs and movie start cleavage.

(They learned their lesson in Vietnam. Had they sent
strippers with the reporters, we could've won the war.)

[I don't watch the news, anymore
before three cups of coffee, a smoke
and a good healthy shit.]

Forecast calls for partly sunny skies
bone cracking arthritic cold. Those bits
of remaining pristine snow will glisten
and the slush will shine gray
and the footprints will stick
until Spring erases all immediate traces;
there will be no path to follow
and there will be no proof
that anyone was ever here.

22 December, 2010

Untitled Lines / Post Solstice

Winter breeds patience out of desperation.
There is no instant gratification
When the snow plow buries you alive
And your only connection with the world
Comes in form of internet social networks
And high definition reality on ESPEN and the Travel Channel.
Realize (and remind yourself) this is a hermit's paradise;
All the one way talk you need
Without having to worry you're being judged
On how long it's been since you had a hair cut,
Or on whether you've taken a bath lately.
Snow outside made perfect by the thin layer of ice
Versus the dichotomous dirty snow left behind
By the shovel and the plow and the boot.
Look forward to Christmas, not for the gifts,
But because Solstice means
The days will get longer and the snow
Will gradually melt away, leaving behind
Something resembling Patience
Mingled with the hope
You have not yet dared to name
Or even appear to recognize.

21 December, 2010

Taking Out the Garbage The Morning After a Snow Storm

Up before the sun –
eyes pop open thanks to internal alarm clock
and the fear that the garbage men dug them-
-selves out last night. Pull on yesterday's
dirty clothes and go about bundling my-
-self up against the December winter outside.
Walk out onto the enclosed porch; the cooler air
pulls me out of my stupor as I
pull on my snow boots and turn on
the outside light so I can see what I have
to look forward to. Don't look up
I tell myself til it's done.
Grab the shovel.
Get to work.

                          It's me, a cheap shovel,
and the memory of a warm bed
against freshly packed snow
and a thin layer of ice that crackles
when the shovel breaks the surface. Don't look up
I tell myself til it's done. Get to the end
of the walk, meet the pile of snow and ice and rock
left behind by the snow plow. They don't pile it
in front of my neighbors' houses this way.

Start from the top
and dig my way down
thinking about about my landlord's
lawn tractor plow attachment
and I wonder if he's awake yet. Don't look up
I tell myself. Not til it's done. Slice through the pile
and step out onto the cleared street.
Snow reaches my thighs and I
can only revel so long in my victory
before I glance left
at the driveway.

                           The snow plow
didn't disappoint. Dig my way down,
through compacted snow and ice and gravel
hoping the shovel doesn't break – until
there's a space big enough to push through
and attack the thinner layer of pristine snow and ice
leading to the garage door. It breaks easy and I
move in a rectangle pattern
because it makes me feel like
it's disappearing faster, so that I
can feel like I'm winning
in spite of the forecast I'm
pushing out of my mind that calls
for more snow the day after tomorrow.
Don't look up, I tell myself
til it's done.

                      One last giant pile
tall as my waist and that
only so she can get the car out
when she leaves for work
in a few hours. Think about
the spaghetti dinner she cooked last night,
how it was heavy and warm in my belly
even though my hands and feet were cold
in spite of the heat. Dig my way down and
make my way through. Check my work
and allow myself a futile sense
of accomplishment.

                                Perch the garbage
atop the pile of snow. I know
the garbage men will throw
the recycling bin in the middle of the yard
to make me trudge through the snow
to retrieve it. Try not to think about it,
I tell myself.

                    Go back inside.
My hands and feet are warm. Strip
off cold sweaty clothes like I learned
from T.J. down in New Orleans
who warned me that a damp t-shirt
would kill me whether I was sleeping
on a park bench or soft bed.
That's how the elements finally kill you,
he said. They wait until you get sloppy.

08 March, 2010

Lines About A March Rain in Northwest Illinois

1. Morning Of

Woke to the first spring rain, still feeling the wonder
of the rarity of water I picked up living in the desert.
The sound soothes me and dulls the steady thumping
inside my skull, and reminds me
there are still small things worth watching
as the sun climbs high
hidden by gray spring storm clouds. The rain is
washing away what’s left of the snow
that’s covered the ground since early December; the grass
underneath is beginning to breathe in the still chilly breeze.
Under the large window facing the side yard, small yellow flowers
are blooming – a thoroughly pre-emptive strike at Spring.

2. Day of

I hear from the farmers, in town for last minute preparations
before the Spring planting, I should expect another winter storm.
It ain’t over yet, one tells me, though it’d be nice if it was.
Our conversation
interrupted his mental check list, the busy work
that kept them occupied through the winter
to avoid the worries about slow subsidies
and bad prices
and tornado season, which they are reminded of
because today is the day
they tested the emergency sirens
that warns people
it’s time to hide in the basement
and curl up in bathtubs.
Their voices are steeped
in anticipation, and their eyes are coated
in the worry born from generations of practice,
and I know they are weighing my responses
like another harvest – by the pound and ounce,
and deciding what its worth.
They have survived the winter
with mental check lists
and cheap beer at the local bar,
where they sit and tell stories and bitch
about having to smoke outside.

3. Morning After

The fog is still hanging close to the ground
and few patches of snow remain
like a bad hangover to remind me
of my first winter in four years
and that the memory of snow
is not the same
as the real thing.

25 January, 2010

Late Night Early Morning

This is one of those houses where
You hear ghosts whispering
In the water pipes. Late at night
An old woman speaks through
The drops and the drips
Echoing under the kitchen sink
And old men moan in the wind
Clattering against the porch storm windows.
These nights on the tundra
Are long and still and silent;
Semi-melted snow glazed over with
A fresh layer of frozen rain
Is all that remains
Of the storms that blew through today.
The cats uncoil in their warm corners,
Stretch, and fall back asleep.
Sitting in my chair, hoping for dreams
I can hear you in bed, moaning
The way you do when you are dreaming
And speaking to the ghosts
Who whisper quaint secrets
In your left ear at 2 in the morning; and
Though you will not remember them they will
Leave you dimes to find in odd places
As proof of their presence. As I
Nod off, I think I hear another salt truck;
But it is only
The old man on the porch stomping his boots
To remind me he is there and that
Snow will need shoveling
In the morning. Tomorrow,
The mail carrier will run late and the letters
In the local papers will outline opinions
Memorized from pews on the previous
Sunday morning. All the talk
In the restaurant on Main Street
Will center around fresh gossip,
The government, and the odd apathy
Of visiting grandchildren. Later in the day,
Down the street in the local bar, drunken farmers
Will talk of planting and shrinking subsidies
And make fun of their wives –each dreaming of when
Her breasts were firm
And the ground not so unyielding.
Then they will go home to fall asleep
In worn out recliners, lulled to black and white dreams
By the same whispers
That are keeping me awake tonight.