Wednesday, January 27, 2016

mother water, and the phase change

the ice cometh, and stayeth

nature pulls me out into it,

when I’m in a building
my eyes are pulled out the window
to the tree, then to the sky,
liberated from the box around me,

I like to watch it snow while I’m inside:
soft white crystals crowding down
through the empty spaces of the air,
transforming the mundane into the magic,

this winter storm, though, 
has had little of such friendliness,
sleet and freezing rain have pelleted the view
and whitened the ground into a slick solid uniformity,
rather than wonderland, the outside has a stasis about it,
frozen into immobility,
more like what the white witch did to Narnia
than Bing Crosby’s White Christmas,

inside it’s warm and comfortable,
the power still on, necessities and luxuries right at hand,
we have time to get to neglected items
on our lists of what needs doing,
some house maintenance, some cooking, school work,
computer projects, even movies and naps,

I like to watch the birds at our feeder:
the bright flash of the cardinal,
the junco living its name of snow bird,
the intensity of the chickadee, the goldfinch,
the titmouse, the wren, the sparrow,
even a downy woodpecker,

and the second day snow does flurry outside the window,
between glimpses of sun,
all of us subject to the whim of a few degrees,
subject to a phase change of mother water.

by Henry H. Walker
January 22, ‘16

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