Saturday, January 8, 2022

 



Snowy Night by Mary Oliver

Last night, an owl
in the blue dark
tossed an indeterminate number
of carefully shaped sounds into
the world, in which,
a quarter of a mile away, I happened
to be standing.
I couldn’t tell
which one it was –
the barred or the great-horned
ship of the air –
it was that distant. But, anyway,
aren’t there moments
that are better than knowing something,
and sweeter? Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness. I suppose
if this were someone else’s story
they would have insisted on knowing
whatever is knowable – would have hurried
over the fields
to name it – the owl, I mean.
But it’s mine, this poem of the night,
and I just stood there, listening and holding out
my hands to the soft glitter
falling through the air. I love this world,
but not for its answers.
And I wish good luck to the owl,
whatever its name –
and I wish great welcome to the snow,
whatever its severe and comfortless
and beautiful meaning.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Snow and Snow by Ted Hughes

 




SNOW AND SNOW

by Ted Hughes 

Snow is sometimes a she, a soft one.
Her kiss on your cheek, her finger on your sleeve
In early December, on a warm evening,
And you turn to meet her, saying "It''s snowing!"
But it is not. And nobody''s there.
Empty and calm is the air.

Sometimes the snow is a he, a sly one.
Weakly he signs the dry stone with a damp spot.
Waifish he floats and touches the pond and is not.
Treacherous-beggarly he falters, and taps at the window.
A little longer he clings to the grass-blade tip
Getting his grip.

Then how she leans, how furry foxwrap she nestles
The sky with her warm, and the earth with her softness.
How her lit crowding fairylands sink through the space-silence
To build her palace, till it twinkles in starlight—
Too frail for a foot
Or a crumb of soot.

Then how his muffled armies move in all night
And we wake and every road is blockaded
Every hill taken and every farm occupied
And the white glare of his tents is on the ceiling.
And all that dull blue day and on into the gloaming
We have to watch more coming.

Then everything in the rubbish-heaped world
Is a bridesmaid at her miracle.
Dunghills and crumbly dark old barns are bowed in the chapel of her sparkle.
The gruesome boggy cellars of the wood
Are a wedding of lace
Now taking place.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Snow Day by Billy Collins


 Today we woke up to a revolution of snow,

its white flag waving over everything,
the landscape vanished,
not a single mouse to punctuate the blankness,
and beyond these windows

the government buildings smothered,
schools and libraries buried, the post office lost
under the noiseless drift,
the paths of trains softly blocked,
the world fallen under this falling.

In a while I will put on some boots
and step out like someone walking in water,
and the dog will porpoise through the drifts,
and I will shake a laden branch,
sending a cold shower down on us both.

But for now I am a willing prisoner in this house,
a sympathizer with the anarchic cause of snow.
I will make a pot of tea
and listen to the plastic radio on the counter,
as glad as anyone to hear the news

that the Kiddie Corner School is closed,
the Ding-Dong School, closed,
the All Aboard Children's School, closed,
the Hi-Ho Nursery School, closed,
along with - some will be delighted to hear -

the Toadstool School, the Little School,
Little Sparrows Nursery School,
Little Stars Pre-School, Peas-and-Carrots Day School,
the Tom Thumb Child Center, all closed,
and - clap your hands - the Peanuts Play School.

So this is where the children hide all day,
These are the nests where they letter and draw,
where they put on their bright miniature jackets,
all darting and climbing and sliding,
all but the few girls whispering by the fence.

And now I am listening hard
in the grandiose silence of the snow,
trying to hear what those three girls are plotting,
what riot is afoot,
which small queen is about to be brought down.


Monday, January 3, 2022

The Silence Of The Snow by Ruth D. Velenski

The night sky is a dull grey white.
An opaque dust sheet floats so light
Upon the roofs and lamps and cars.
It settles so softly like falling stars.

It sneaks in crevices and onto window sills.
Piles up in soft layers over roads and hills,
Weighs down branches, envelopes bark,
Skips and flutters across the depth of dark.

With dawn a scene of raw meringue.
From bough and bridge and roof does hang.
Through night's deep slumber - a silent world
Descended - a ghostly shroud unfurled.

In slow motion, life begins to show.
The traffic crawls in a funereal row.
Children squeal in soundless delight.
Pedestrians slide in voiceless fright.

A world transformed into monochrome,
An aerosol sky spraying its white foam,
Floating in breathless, boundless speed,
Submerging all with voracious greed.



Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-silence-of-the-snow



Sunday, January 2, 2022

2022 Book Recommendations

 

I am so lucky to be an occasional recipient of an Advance Reading Copy of a new or upcoming novel.


It not only allows me to read books by my favorite authors a wee bit early, but it introduces me to books by "new to me" authors I might otherwise miss.


I've discovered several authors through ARCs who are now permanent residents on my auto-buy list.  I'm happy to have their books on my shelves, or on my Kindle.  


Here's a few upcoming novels that I enjoyed that I'd like to share in hopes you might enjoy some of them as well.






















Happy Reading!
















Saturday, January 1, 2022

New Year's Day by Billy Collins


Everyone has two birthdays

according to the English essayist Charles Lamb,

the day you were born and New Year’s Day—


a droll observation to mull over

as I wait for the tea water to boil in a kitchen

that is being transformed by the morning light

into one of those brilliant rooms of Matisse.


“No one ever regarded the First of January

with indifference,” writes Lamb,

for unlike Groundhog Day or the feast of the Annunciation,


New Year’s marks nothing but the pure passage of time,

I realized, as I lowered a tin diving bell

of tea leaves into a little ocean of roiling water.


I like to regard my own birthday

as the joyous anniversary of my existence,

probably because I was, and remain

to this day in late December, an only child.


And as an only child—

a tea-sipping, toast-nibbling only child

in a bright, colorful room—

I would welcome an extra birthday,

one more opportunity to stop what we are doing

for a moment and celebrate my presence here on earth.


And would it not also be a small consolation

to us all for having to face a death-day, too,

an X drawn through a number

in a square on some kitchen calendar of the future,


the day when each of us is thrown off the train of time

by a burly, heartless conductor

as it roars through the months and years,


party hats, candles, confetti, and horoscopes

billowing up in the turbulent storm of its wake.


from the book, "Ballistics," © Random House 2008