Meditations on Snow 10: I have your moon

by Ferral Willcox

I have your moon.  It rose up over snow as the last rose glow went to mist behind the mountain.  I caught it with my bow, arrowed in and reeled it to my side.  I have your moon, captive in my mind.

I held your snow.  I froze my hand to keep it cold.  It made a white hand of mine, and tempted as I was to drop or throw, I chose this glove, and even in my sleep, I held your snow.

I kept your peace.  Sweet as forest breeze in fir, a secret peace of trees, I kept the spirit of this place bathed in birdsong even when the birds were gone, even when there were no trees, I kept your peace.

I have your moon, your snow, your peace, soaked into my bones, and when they bury me, all will be released.

Meditations on Snow 7: Lost friend

by Ferral Willcox

See her, under ice. Her drink, sea glass
green, lost chalice of ice. Porcelain clink
of glass on sink. See her think in teacup
chime, spilling iridescent iris

green, lost chalice in a purse, clinks
metallic, kissing ice, her drink now twice
chimed, spilling palace in an iris
tempest, cursed. See her think the past

metallic, kissing friends, now lost twice,
poem crumpled in a purse, cursive
tempest, cursed. The ice, too thick, the past,
a fantasy, a palace in a glass.

A poem, crumpled in the trash, cursive
evidence, a friend, now lost, immersed
in fantasy, her story etched in glass
See her under ice, too thick, coerced

by evidence of silver past, immersed
at last in verse, in the trash of breaking,
reach her under frozen spell, coerced
once, now twice from story etched in wish

At last, in verse, iridescent, breaking
glass on sink of silver past, teacup
once, now twice, iced porcelain of wish
to reach her under frozen spell of glass

Glossary of Snow

by Ferral Willcox


1. tracewhist

When the snow is sudden and light and makes a bare hint of an outline on the world,
showing the world to be impure

the tracewist fell, a diagnosis, the land’s in a cancer and cannot rest, the dancer turned out of the dance to mud and rubble, cast off post-consumption, the meadow made to lie down for the plow until the tracewist fell, a light cool touch on the exhausted ground, a promise, soon, the long drum and blanket, and rest, and rest.


2. Bride of the limb

When the snow is heavy and wet and married to surfaces

If you are in the way of such a snow, she will love you. The broken branch, the plastic trash, every aspect of coal and ash, touched, and if you are birch or lonely post, you’re taken off to church with all the world in the way of such a snow. If you were unknown in the wood, a mere trellis of such unthunder as passed for a scratch, a hint of distraction in a patch of grass, prepare to be wed by the Bride of the limb. All known all-chosen in snow.


3. dove’s dress

Snow that sings as it flies

Remember this: a broom’s wish, best, a song unsettled from a startled nest, the underskirt of lyric white sings to offspring left in twig and ice, dove’s dress fluttered in sudden draft lifts in flight from this, the crest of heaven’s breath. Remember this: your mother left in fright singing secrets of regret.


4. Ghost of forest past

a snow that seems to fall on unseen shapes, evoking a landscape that no longer exists

when once she was wild with tree and unwrapped from glass, snow fell upon her in a tryst, and she glistened then with lust and frosted tips of fir and birch. But now the snowmade homes disperse in a concrete curse;  now alone, the snow remembers her.


5. hillshroud

the friendly surroundings disappear in snow when the sky is white

She disappeared. White into white, dark from dark. Hitched her petticoats up in fists and booted off post-haste into Les Cloches de Saint-Exupere, leaving the quiet city behind her to unravel its demented fits in dreams. The diamond died, still in the mine.

I tried to find her. but the white storm turned familiar hills to sky, horizon hid in hillshroud. I knew she loved that line.

The future of jewels is uncertain. The breeze that blows cannot carry them home, as it can the stars of snow from me to her, however it is she hides.


6.  hillscap

the second snow of the season, falling only in altitude without impact in the valley towns

It is snow in a scapular patch, neatly flipped up on the mountain’s top, a scrap of storm sewn into quilted landscape, domesticated weather as it decorates the mayor’s foyer, picture perfect hillscap, measuring just a few inches more than the year before.


7.   baker’s floor

A dusting of snow, a light powder, that blows up in the wind 

A sudden whiff of soup, chicken lentil and mystery, gusts up a day’s story from the baker’s floor, infiltrates cracks in the flatbread of mastery, spins a myth to ignite the white math of wind.


8. queen’s grief

a sudden, unexpected snow covered quickly with a thin polish of ice

In the time of fine china and pearl, enamel thin and brittle, still strong as stone and etched in bone real braille, not sadness, but an edict of it, witnessed and sealed, and the young sent off stalking with the Royal Consort at Balmoral; the queen’s grief swiftly and silently fell.


9. porcelain down

a sheet of snow covering a flat field once used for sport or battle

The field is done with the sport of war, has given up the ghost of grid, released from cults of more and territory, turf spar and parry, combustion fast, falling blast, drone borne bomb to quarry, all now buried here.

It was the soldier, at last that stopped it, one day,  just walked away, gathered up the flags, the undone drums, explosions, applause, orgasms of cheers, of force and torture.  His eyes, he knew, would never see again as they did when he was young; but his child, he swore, his boy, would never set foot on this field, now covered with porcelain down.

Porcelain down, the thin and brittle sheet of grief, will always fall on the corpse of more wherever it dies, from sport or war.


10. breath of Ptarmigan’s child

a scant snow on a deeper snow adding a light motion at the surface

Shadow of a shed feather, snowprint of the spirit of a twig,  whiteshade shift of a minute, beak black speck in a blizzard of acres,  the turn of all tundra in the breath of Ptarmigan’s child.


11. trilleblanc

a warm, wet snow, falling in flower-sized flakes on a moonless night

Sky gardens of winter’s trillium, falling petals of stars, trace out descending smiles, drift up, slip down, drift up, night-blooming into blankets for the dreaming ground.

In trilleblanc, the widow sleeps, her hair undone, her hand dropped down touches root borne visions come unbound.


12. alcrept

long days and nights of a tiny particulate snow falling on dry drifts and influenced by a
hint of wind, light, but steady, until the landscape is entirely changed without any
noticeable event.

From the flicker and stutter of indoor power, all outside appears grey aquarium as alcrept comes, tint click specks at glass, crustacean ticks on seafloor, quilts of scripture unsutured into scraps and patches, now adrift in endless waves of zikr

Old as sturgeon, listed tenets of religion, liturgies of fishes form and unform in requiems of themselves, as grey layered currents shift whole histories in minutes.  In alcrept, let the activist rest, as the delicate drift persists, unlit, undriven

When we wake, in a fortnight, all will be changed, and no shot fired, no severed heads, no one jailed, no congress entrained.


13.  icinder

Bright white flakes that dissolve just before they touch surfaces

We are lost.  Half-lint, half-light, half-life – it is as if there is a kiss suspended just above the warm lip of every small god begging.  But she will not suffer touch; this mistress, icinder, hovers in near miss and transubstantiates a sacrifice, body of christ, body if christ, to essence: starlight caught in the endless instant of loss.


14. trystice

when snow collects in small intervening spaces like scraps of lace in irish basements

We found the addict, cold, too late for trystice, medicine of the forest floor, fallen fir tine splinters intersticed in spits of curses on the white races.