Walking in snow

I walked alone today —
   a wind from the north by my side
      pushing the restless snow
         against my opened face.

The lake lay silent
   the trees, unyielding sentinels
      reflected in its solemn ice,
         with even crows staying silent.

Is this death’s beginning?
   with only the sound of my footsteps
      compressing the snow
         walking beside me.

Maine Ice Storm by Jamie Wyeth

Today Magaly hosts at toads, and since Mary Oliver died recently we should write poetry reminded of her words: “whatever isn’t necessary shouldn’t be in a poem.”… I tried my best, and walked back to a walk I took earlier today.

I also link this to the Poetry Pantry
January 19, 2019

34 responses to “Walking in snow

  1. a sombre, almost menacing mood pervades your words. i love the painting, the way the crows are puffed up against the cold. we got snow last night. sunny today but the snow stays.

  2. I think she would’ve liked this. I know how ridiculously arrogant that sounds. But I think that a woman who started her days with welcoming the sun and walking around, to see what Nature and the rest had to offer, would probably appreciate the sight of this walk… that starts with a man alone and ends with a question that suggests that even while we step on our own, Nature always keeps us company.

  3. I typically find the silence of the snow comforting, but you’ve pulled out the disquieting aspect of silence, where all there is to hear is no more and no less the din we have in our heads.

  4. The feeling of comfort and lingering despondency is stark as falling snow in this beautiful, beautiful poem Bjorn! ❤️

  5. This is a fine piece of work Bjorn! I was lazy with my post today. I needed to make myself aware of Mary Oliver, and better respond to Magaly’s prompt. I am going to try again.

  6. The subtle personification of the wind is so effective, Björn, and the description of the silent lake is so evocative of a winter’s day that I felt its chill right through me. What a perfect ending!

  7. Actually, Bjorn, this is one of my favorites of your poems. It is very approachable and gives me strong images as I read. I understand the first time, with no necessity of re-reading. But then again I DID reread because I really liked it! I can picture your solitary walk and the thoughts swirling. The last stanza of contemplation is phenomenal.

  8. Does one ever truly know where death begins? Crunching snow is as good a beginning as any, I suppose. 😉

  9. “pushing the restless snow
    against my opened face”

    “compressing the snow
    walking beside me”

    You’re such a sneaky kinkster.

  10. Loved the opening two lines –
    the pause and the wording, the contrast – it speaks depths and volumes, in the unique way of long, northern winters and upon life’s reflections, on living and dying.
    A small poem that is filled with intense impact – it’s really very moving.

  11. On a lonely quiet night, under a full moon, the crush of snow under footfalls, seems like we are the only ones to hear. And yet, we stand at attention, to hear another’s foot steps break the silence.

  12. The snow blanket is regal yet menacing the juxtaposition is very clever

    Happy Sunday Björn, thanks for dropping by my sumie Sunday today


  13. I love the introspection and concluding question. Sometimes I think of death as a pioneer journey that I have to take alone.

  14. This is beautifully written – more so, I think, when, upon it’s conclusion, it was pinned to the backstory of Mary Oliver’s passing. The middle stanza, as I read, acted somewhat like a bridge from the walk to the introspective contemplation. I really like this poem!

  15. Yes this was beautifully written Bjorn. However with our temperatures here in Australia hovering around the 40’s C it is not blowing enough cold winds this way!

  16. I love your kind of snow. Bjorn. You wrote of my favorite. We had it quite often when we lived in New Hampshire. I especially remember on starting in the parking lot where I was shopping. That was 51 years ago.

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