Winter used to be the time when I wrote most of my poetry. There was something about a relentless, glittering, deadly season that fired up my anxieties to a pitch were poetry or catatonia were the only options. I recall lines like:
February mornings, it’s death outside the door, 25 below.
Tea water freezes in the kettle. The dog’s breath floats
in puffs above the hearthrug and crystallizes on the window.
We could die here if those clouds hold snow.
Spring could find us like Spanish coins,
storm-flung on the beaches of Cuba,
hung from the ears of women for luck.
When the ice goes out in the night, all at once,
like a hammer through a plate-glass window.
For the last number of years though, winters have been puppy chow in the North Country–starting late, ending early, and having a certain lack of murderous enthusiasm in between.
But this year, finally, we have a winter of extreme prejudice, an old-time horror show of a season. And you know what? I can’t say I like it.
Anxiety just doesn’t float my boat like it used to. I look up at all that ice up on the roof, and it nags at me. I look at the Adirondack chairs frozen into the side yard permafrost and think–poor husbandry of resources.
Fortunately, my nerves were soon soothed. We had a bit of a thaw, and with a sound not unlike the end of the world, all that ice came off in a single sheet and crushed the Adirondack chairs to kindling. No more worries–mischief managed.
I guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for topics poetical. The polar vortex is dead to me.