Poem as snow

No updates to the rye diary as it is still under snow, and now under more snow.

The snow, which is still falling lightly, so lightly now, always sparks my heart. I love the way that it transforms the ordinary, the way it both cloaks and sharpens shapes. Here is the lilac.

Here is the view from my front porch.

It’s gorgeous and it’s temporary—gorgeous because it’s temporary.

Even with the inconvenience and the cancelled plans (this was supposed to be wine and chocolate weekend at the winery), the snow gives me a chance to step back or step out, feel and hear the crunching under my boots, and just breathe it all in.

That said, there’s danger, right?

People losing power, icy patches where you can slip and fall or where your car can skid out of control or just get stuck. Or, you might, like me, worry about the rhododendrons and go out in your pajamas and a jacket, with a broom and no gloves (I realized too late that I needed those gloves) to shake the heavy weight off the branches before they split off.

On the other side of snow’s beauty is risk.

And isn’t that what a poem is? The sounds and images collecting, building, and balancing between a palpable beauty that can make us gasp and the tension, discomfort, fear that makes us hold our breath?

Recently, I’ve been looking at my poems to locate where that tension begins–or if it’s even there. If it isn’t, what is the poem trying to do? What is it lacking? What have I avoided saying, and where have I avoided going? What is the story behind the story, and what is the feeling under the surface of the language? What’s at stake?

A poem changes the landscape of my day, but it cannot make that change profoundly without risk.

Meanwhile, the snow is still falling.