It was around this time last year that all hope was lost. I was up to my chin in the final semester of my teaching program and well over 40 hours a week at my “residency,” which was just a full-time teaching job. With that much stress, it’s hard to acknowledge the beauty in winter.
In spite of that, it’s very dark this time of year I’ve noticed; and it’s quiet. My classroom faces the east, so the sun comes up for a short time and is nearly gone by the time I leave for the day. I guess it’s hard to acknowledge the beauty when you’re stressed, but it’s also hard to acknowledge the beauty when you are in it, because it’s gone in a blink. Winter is only pretty to the snow monsters and snowmen, and maybe those who travel by night.
Today I’m sharing the poem “Cold Passion” by Paul Cameron Brown, as it serves up a good portion of winter detail and figurative expression. I happen to like the lines, “Starry night. With halos / about the moon, pale / and languid, big as crimson, / far as wind driven flax.” These lines balance the beauty of winter for me–“halos,” “pale,” and “wind driven flax” all remind me of ghostly skies above desolation, and that imagery has that gothic charm I love so much.
Enjoy today’s poem. It’s cold and quiet, but there is some beauty in it, too.
“Cold Passion” by Paul Cameron Brown
Some dead undid undid their bushy jaws,
and bags of blood let out their flies.. .
? Dylan Thomas
The land is barren
wears straw wisps
as an unkempt man
might razor stubble.
The land is dry, a faded yellow
in its barrenness.
A sky broods from afar,
a stalactite sun accounts merely a jot
above that thin road into despair.
Grass lies everywhere dead,
faded tongues above an
earth afflicted with scleroderma,
deadliest of skin disturbances,
forerunner of deeper pestilence.
An erasing wind whips the fields
further into bereavement;
turns tiny bits of chaff to pursue themselves
in a mad St. Vitus dance
of cold passion.
Starry night. With halos
about the moon, pale and languid, big as crimson,
far as wind driven flax.
The orange pallor, pale
with liquid swoon and ability
to churn itself about the
night sky or flood in endless
beams our poorer spectacle below.
Brown, Paul Cameron. “Public Domain Poetry – Cold Passion by Paul Cameron.” International Pty., https://www.public-domain-poetry.com/paul-cameron-brown/cold-passion-35539. Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.