Sunday, January 26, 2014

Winter Notes

pink horizon


If winter were a book page,
what would you write
in the margins? I'd write
of bare limbs against
a frigid, pink horizon.
It would glow in a
straight line, nature's
cheerful offering,
a rosy hem offering up
color and jounce to the
ashen, bewildered trees.

I'd jot down gentle words
like freshly fallen snow,
describing the sound
of a wandering cardinal,
how the breath in its throat
smells of earth and branches.
I'd notice the brittle ivy
twining our oak tree,
how my own frozen breath
hovers over it like
a vapor ghost.

I'd write of January's
twilight, how it snaps
its necklace, scattering
its strung stars across
the sky like loose pearls
in a black, velvet box.
The stars would shiver and
dance to keep warm, and
I'd take notes while
yearning for the scents
of summer: moths and sweat,
bees and clover.

© Sherri Brannon 2014

When the long, freezing days of January through March start dragging by, I always find myself writing poems about winter...and my strong yearning for spring. Never fails! I enjoy cold weather during the month of December - somehow it's more festive and bearable during the holidays. But once New Year's passes, I'm ready for the cold days to be over.

This week I have cabin fever - we got snow on Tuesday, followed by several days of subzero windchills. It was even more of a shock to the system because we had just gotten back from Florida and I still had fresh memories of sunshine and palm trees. These brutally low temperatures we're having are not the norm for Virginia. April, where are you?

I had fun playing with my winter tree image in Photoshop - I created the "pink horizon" for the purpose of my poem. I used the gradient effect to achieve that appearance, and I also put my image into Radlab and tweaked it further with filters.

How the gravity of Nature and the silence startle you, when you stand face to face with her, undistracted, before a barren ridge or in the desolation of ancient hills. ~Guy Sargent


  1. Sherri as always I love your poem! What a great idea to write poetry in Jan. It is a pretty bad month for me too... as is feb. Just begins to feel after Christmas that the winter is never going to end. UGH! You poem is lovely though, and i love how jan snaps its necklace, scattering the trrung stars across the sky like loose pearles.
    ls in a black velvet box. One of the things that I love about my cabin in the winter is the beauty of the stars at night. They are just gorgeous, and i love looking at them off of the deck. Have to thank you so much for sharing the beauty of your written words. Always amazing. Hugs and feb is coming soon.... closer to the spring.

  2. first, i like the writing in the margins...i love that...and finding those notes in books as well....
    winter/january...this one i would write of the cold...i think it is the coldest january i have felt...
    the skeletal trees, i actually think they can be quite beautiful....i def understand the cabin fever...ha

  3. Sherri, I would say that the narrator here would write kinder words than I would about winter. I wouldn't write about the 'gentle' snow but about the never-ending snow. And I would add some notes about extreme and dangerous cold. I would, however, take some notes while yearning for the scents of summer...which perhaps would come from plants buried somewhere under the snowbanks. Smiles.

  4. The stars would shiver and
    dance to keep warm,

    One does lots of things just waiting for summer to come. Some tends to forget the beauty of spring that precedes it. Nicely Sherri!


  5. I love that rosy pink hue that arrives sometimes in winter in the sky......that is a beautiful photo. LOVE the breath in the throat of the cardinal smelling of earth and branches. Must be extra cold for birds, in winter.

  6. Stunning Sherri and the photograph is a wonderful companion.

  7. I love that last stanza of January snapping its necklace and the stars as loose pearls in the sky.

  8. That's the beautiful poem! You are so gifted, Sherri.

  9. I commiserate!
    Loved the imagery especially pears scattered in a black velvet box to describe winter stars . . .

  10. beautiful words, sherri. ("the stars would shiver and dance to keep warm"--so good.) thanks for stopping by my blog. it's lovely to meet you.