Long Cold Lonely Winter


This winter lingers late in rime filled dells,
old wearied bones and joints creak stiff and sore,
glazed frosted panes await Spring’s welcomed spells,
impatient for warm promises in store.

Once, ages past, we reveled in the cold,
to glide on ice filled ponds and snow clad hills,
clean sweetly scented air made young hearts bold,
brash youth enjoyed and reveled in these thrills.

What stays the daffodil and crocus bright,
what keeps earth’s welcomed spectrum from our sight,
come quickly Sol to mortals grant your boon,
glum spirits soar with rise of vernal moon.

Once more to frolic carefree in the fields,
once more enjoy the bounties Gaea yields,
too soon will come the dark, the cold, the sleep,
too soon into our selves our spirits creep.

© Michael Pollack, 2014


Your opening lines paint a vivid picture. I am there, overlooking the frost-covered vale, feeling the creaking in my old knees, and seeing the puffs of steam escape as I inhale the cold and exhale the warm. Man, it is cold! I reminisce on living in Wyoming as a young mother, when our idea of fun was to take the kids up into the mountains to play in the snow all day. Yikes, what was I thinking? Oh my, now you have me coasting down that pristine hillside at breakneck speed on an old Volkswagen hood without a care in the world, laughing all the way.   Memory is kind, and I thank you for recapturing those stellar moments from my past.

Your timely third stanza moves me smoothly from the specifics of personal experience into the universal realm of contemplation. Without imposing your own answer, you pose a question that leads me to ponder the balance achieved in nature by the stark contrasts of changing seasons, reflecting in human life as sorrow and joy, sickness and health, fear and love. So much to learn, so little time. To what end? Eternal sleep? Again, you leave it to the reader to finish painting the scene. The image of the spirit creeping back into the self is a powerful one.

The rhymes are interesting and mellow, and the meter doesn’t miss a beat. The rhyme scheme changes from ABAB to couplets halfway through, but it feels like a natural progression.   If this superbly crafted poem is any indication of what a 10-year writing hiatus does for a poet, I’m thinking maybe I should take one myself.  Thanks for it, Mike.

Mary Boren