April 17 John Haines: Winter News

Everything about this poem is wintry white and cold. A funny poem for me to post in the easy, warming days of early spring where winter is thawing away and green shoots are exploding from the damp earth. Perhaps it makes me feel a twinge of nostalgia for the recently departed Winter and her frosty panes, her smokey breath, her diamond crusted vines. I will miss the glass crack sound that comes from stomping in puddles, the little brittle white flowers bedecking blades of grass.

Winter for many is white, but for me it’s green, because our so many of our trees keep their foliage throughout the year. And the morning dew is often frozen, but melts away into cold mud as the sun rises and then turns grey and to rain.

But that is my painted picture of winter. The portrait of Northway – and it is a portrait, a long vivid description of a time and place frozen in the amber of words (some poems need say little more than this, show is a beautiful moment in time) – is white and brittle, powdered and cold, so very, very cold.

Winter News

by John Haines

They say the wells
are freezing
at Northway where
the cold begins.

Oil tins bang
as evening comes on,
and clouds of
steaming breath drift
in the street.

Men go out to feed
the stiffening dogs,

the voice of the snowman
calls the white-
haired children home.


About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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