Moving to New Hampshire: Winter


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Coming Storm

Tonight I sit again on my porch.

It had been a fall luxury

Morning coffee, outside,

looking towards my woods,

and my first friends.

Still friends, of course,
though I see them not this night.

It’s February and snowing,


I listen to the quiet
and hear the thousand thousand drops

the pings and patter, whisper drops

on oak leaves and beech,
holding on ‘til spring
determined to add their rustle voice

to what I cannot see.

Two lights high on the corner of the house
show the chunks and furrows of the path

I’ve just cleared

and dimly outline the soft billows beyond,
two feet of snow from other storms
covered now with the gossamer net,
illusive glinting diamonds of new snow.

Little George is just a slope,
the vespers* ghostly shadows,
(*name for birch that catch the evening sunset)

and Lily, beyond the light, a giant stalk,
with her friends and family.

These friends wait, as I do,

for the coming storm.

It’s here, it’s now, the precursor

barely begun, not nearly finished
the filling up
the blanket soft.

But for these few quiet moments

I sit and breath in the sounds
of the cold night


At 20 degrees I’m amazed at my own self.

Perfectly warm, relaxed on the steps--
no gloves, no hat?
two sweaters for my core, one soft against my skin, one densely knit,
and snow pants, reminiscent of and returning again from childhood to second childhood?

This wonder world of winter,
This wonder world of new life,
(may it never grow old)
these moments caught of warmth in cold.

My warmth is from my work, my play,

simple preparations for the coming storm.

Of clearing snow from my mailbox
from my paths to door and porch and woodpile.

Of carting from the woodpile

and stacking on my porch

winter work warms me through

gives me porch respite.

It stays, surprisingly long, the warmth,
as I write and sketch,
me among the millions...snow flakes, leaves, pine needles, branches and twigs.

Think of the numbers...

but, in good time,
I hail my outdoor friends
Lily, Cathy, Margaret.
Gentle John and Little George
They are the stanchions of my woods, my clearing.

I bid them good night, affectionately,
It’s been a good day
It’s been a good night,
and my wood stove calls its comfort from inside.