Posts Tagged ‘winter’

Two Approaches to the Lake: A Poem for Early Spring

April 4, 2018

 

At sunrise
the last snow withdraws its fog
into the fissures
and braces among the rocks 

In the lake below
mountains
poise

             *

River falls from sky
and boils in the pool
Brown sinews slip through
rocks and foam 

Beyond
sunflames shudder
on deep water
A skiff sets out
along the shore

 

First published in Kennebec.

 

Mountain Lake in Winter - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Mountain Lake in Winter – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Spring Comes to Old Town, Maine

March 20, 2018

  

The March rain is colder growing,
snow will fall on ice tonight.
Summer thoughts are huddled low in
nests of lint with summer’s mice. 

Who will sing cuccu, cuccu? 

Old panes crackle, house beams buckle,
melt waters freeze below the spouts.
Snow squalls dance with bones of maple
as this gray equinox blacks out.

 And no one sings cuccu, cuccu.

 

First published in Mostly Maine.

 

House in Scarborough, Maine - photo by Mike Smetzer.

House in Scarborough, Maine – photo by Mike Smetzer.

Late-Night Café in Missouri

March 16, 2018

 

It’s 9 p.m. and they’re
        out of mashed potatoes
        out of corn
        almost out of beef
        (Mine’s the last order) 

In the john the air dryer’s
out of air 

Behind the cashier they are
out of Brach’s candies
in the Candyland display! 

The tossed salad is out of
everything but lettuce 

The waitress is out of pep
so the cook refills my coffee 

Got any apple pie tonight?
Sorry  he says  you’re
        out of luck

 

First published in Poetry Now (No, not in either of those. In the big tabloid that existed in California in the 1970’s).

 

Winter Seeds - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Winter Seeds – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

 

End of Winter

March 7, 2018

 

Sloshing through marsh
at the end of winter
in hip boots
with snow still stuck
to the willows
Sky above is featureless gray
and oak-covered hills
are black-gray lines
with brown tatters

To the south an angry farmer
calls his son
To the north water trickles
through dead grass
Legs and face
are numb and still
Only the heart
is whispering
spring

 

First published in Cottonwood (formerly Cottonwood Review).

 

Dad's '51 Plymouth Still Waiting for a Tow - photo by Mike Smetzer.

Dad’s ’51 Plymouth Still Waiting for a Tow – photo by Mike Smetzer.

Hunger Moon

January 31, 2018

 

Rapids growl under ice.
Warm blood freezes on the snow.
Dry seeds chatter in the trees.

What hunts again tonight?
Stooped back, snout and ears
like a boar,

alone and cold, ravenous.
Living bones crookt
with pain.

 

Copyright © 2018 by Michael B. Smetzer

 

Abandoned Adobe near Taos, New Mexico - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Abandoned Adobe near Taos, New Mexico – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Sunday Morning: A Winter Poem

January 28, 2018

 

Outside the drizzle finds oak rags
        solemn on their limbs,
and sets against the radio hymns
        its own rough-measured drops.

 The toaster pops its little plume
        that lingers as I drip and stop
the honey spout, sweet almost-lips
        I circle with my finger.

 

First published in Mostly Maine.

 

Woods road on the Valparaiso Moraine in Indiana, photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Woods road behind my parents’ house on the Valparaiso Moraine in Indiana. The marsh is seen below and the back woods beyond. Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer.

Sibyl: A Love Poem in Winter

January 22, 2018

 

Look down from your mountain air.
Come home again
on eastward blowing winds.

Winter’s high thin cold
has only paled your skin,
not flushed your blood as I would.

Sibyl, you could be a swan and I
a hot spring in winter’s air,
my mouth around your thighs,

my love, a steam against the cold.

 

First published in Innisfree Poetry Journal.

 

Colorado Mountains in Winter - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Colorado Mountains in Winter – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

After You Left: Lost Love in Winter

January 17, 2018

 

Two days of freezing rain. 

The car glazed fast to the clay.
The snow hardened, gray as the sky. 

But today a fat cabbie
flies a kite in the park.

It dips in the Kansas wind
like his chins.

 

First published in Wind.

 

Sky above Land's End, Maine - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Sailboats in Winter

January 15, 2018

(Clinton Lake, Kansas)

Sailboats in dry dock are chorus bells
on a windy hill.

Through two winter miles of Osage woods,
branched low and sheltering,
A hiker comes stumbling down crumbling
     limestone hills, wandering
in and out, skirting lake-flooded creeks,
     boldly sauntering

across boat ramps and silent roads,
     side-stepping hillside seeps,
leaping on fallen oaks, and laughing
     at the deadfall’s creak.

Then wind in the rigging. The music
     of metal fittings fills the sky,

tinkling   tinkling   tinkling

like nothing wintering on a Kansas hill.

 

First published in Mostly Maine.

 

Mike takes a hike in Missouri - photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Mike takes a hike in Missouri – photo by Vera Lisa Smetzer

Ordinary Meats

December 4, 2016

We have had a variety of meats lately, but I have been missing something this fall. As squirrel hunting wanes back home and rabbit hunting gets underway, I have been missing those seasonal rodents of my youth. Mom would brown them in a pan and then bake them in the oven. Squirrel and rabbit had distinctly different flavors. I liked them both.

They were ordinary meats. Not grand meats like the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas ham. And not trophy meats like venison or moose or elk. They were everyday fare. Each a part of its season. Squirrel in the fall, rabbits in the winter once their tracks could be seen in the snow. They fit into the calendar like the progression of vegetables in the garden, from the greens and radishes of spring to the squash and carrots and potatoes of late fall. Sitting here in my city apartment, I miss the taste of squirrel and rabbit as a part of that progression.