April 15: Snow and Ice
We've all experienced surprising or expected snow, ice and everything in between, and not always just in winter. Write about a time when cold weather or whatever falls from the sky in cold weather impacted life as you know it. For inspiration, here is Peter Wright's poem, due to appear in 150 Kansas Poems on December 22:
winter solstice song
love can not cure loneliness
loneliness is love
all things sheathed in ice
a sough issues from each blade
aching to decide
one spark rings then another
walking through winter
her emptiness emerges
to carry my heart
steel sky descending
engaged in stainless quiet
a kernel of love
woken by a flash
pre-dawn thunder & big snow
eerie new year's eve
one one of one one
will i be alone this year
will i be all one
one one of one one
a bond to our calender
or to emptiness!
she was the archer
who struck my heart & quickened
grace to be reborn
who quickened grace in my heart
reborn in darkness
again we have died
& the secret arrows fly
etching this arcade
the sky is a tongue
a vulgate palimpsest wrought
anew by each choice
what have i written
the flotsam of long short days
shortly growing long
the milkyway smiles
you are your own galaxy
a kind glacial truth
charlie mingus plays
spurring the indifferent stars
to forbidden song
able to respond
he finds himself a star
in the winter sky
-- Peter Wright
Peter Wright is a poet and writer who lives in Jefferson County.
Please send your poem in a Rich Text Format document or as a Word document, to KSpoetlaureate@gmail.com by midnight on April 15.
Professional Poet Category Winner:
Inside the Snow Globe
By Wyatt Townley, Shawnee Mission
At long last you are in
the blizzard behind glass,
this trail of flakes your cape
Dogs romp on the path.
Skaters twirl on the lake.
Under the ice, life
swirls. The yellow chapel
is forever framed by evergreens
and at the end of the pathway
the scene starts over:
The skaters are still
turning, it is still snowing,
turning and snowing.
Moving from solid to scattered
effervescent to evanescent
takes a lifetime.
Everything is nothing
if you look long enough.
NonProfessional Poet Category Co-Winners:
Diane Wahto, Wichita
Two of the boys dead before they graduated
high school. One shot by a pumpkin farmer saving
his Halloween crop on a cold October night.
The other killed when his horse threw him.
This boy, more animal than child, came to school
with dirty-faced brothers and sisters
on days when it was too cold in the unheated house
they called home.
The year before, when the snowstorm hit,
the kids slewed their eyes to the schoolhouse windows,
said I needed to let school out before we were snowed in.
I, too focused on the lessons, told them to pay attention
and forget about an early release.
Then the parent showed up at the door and pointed to my VW bug,
almost buried in white. She took the kids, I plowed through
the blizzard-hidden road ten miles to our little house in town.
We didn’t leave for days except for my husband’s treks
to the grocery store through the snow tunnel in the street,
where he filled a backpack with staples to see us through the siege.
Now, the school sits empty. Country kids ride the school bus to town.
Two boys rode the arc of their lives into the white light of endless night.
By William J. Karnowski, Wamego
old elm we named you the Sentinel Tree
high upon the Flint Hills peak
stood winter winds and summers bleak
that did not rip your branches free
there came last night an icy spit
that laid a burden too great to bear
of sculptured glass and crystal glare
and weighted you until you split
the coyote wails of your demise
by sorrow moon and faint starlight
his refuge friend in black of night
no longer there at this sunrise
my young father once sat in view
full of fire and fresh romance
and asked his bride to take a chance
on time and trees that shelter you