Between Storms

Just went out into a bright, sunny afternoon to shovel the walks and deck clear of last night's foot of snow. It's cold -- hovering around zero -- so the snow is light and easy to move. I cut a racetrack around the dogrun in back so that the terriers wouldn't be over their heads. Have to keep ahead of the shoveling, though, since the forecast is for another foot starting tonight. As I was taking a break & leaning on my snow shovel, I stood still near the bird feeder and let the chickadees fly up and down around me, cold enough that I could hear the beating of their wings. All the while I was there, a harry woodpecker braced himself against the pole with his tail and pecked at the suet I'd put out yesterday. The sun was remarkably warm for December, though the air was cold, & we were all enjoying it, I think, the animal pleasure of warm sun in mid-winter.

Author: jd

Joseph Duemer is Professor of Literature Emeritus at Clarkson University in northern New York state. His most recent book of poems is Magical Thinking from Ohio State University Press. Since the mid-1990s he has spent a good deal of time in Vietnam, mostly Hanoi. He lives with his wife Carole & five terriers (four Jack Russells & one Patterdale) on the stony bank of the Raquette River in South Colton.

2 thoughts on “Between Storms”

  1. How beautiful…and the ending…”the animal pleasure of warm sun in mid-winter”. Today I viewed the blackened trees, deciduous (naked) the evergreens strong and crisp but in their moody wintery black meeting the whitened splendour of the mountains meeting the eerie blue of a dying sky. Three levels of splendour and not one tiny winter bird in the vicinity. Where do they huddle in -18 Celsius? Near -10 farenheit. Or thereabout! Winter’s beauty is sometime in the realm of absent language.


    I don’t care to go alone
    I go alone because

    I do not care
    I am alone

    because I care
    not to be alone

    whispering its song
    to itself as if practicing

    in the wings
    that wave rising

    of green
    and falling

    which is a year
    another year.

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