Poetry

By Richard Ellis Tice


The Significance of Snow

For want of this God used all:
Wind, water, absence of fire
And presence of sun, ice, earth.
Wrought, ribbed, patterned: reflected
In whole and part, His wisdom.
To fall like white stars, turning
Palely, each dying lustre
Foreseen, planned for chance, each new
Crystal folding light in, out,
Living through the ebbing pulse
Of fall, the stop, the single
Final iridescent change.

There Is Time

Who is so much on duty bent,
Who has so far to go
That he has no time
To be awed and pleased
By the glory of new-fallen snow?

Small Miracle

Saturday morning …
We planted six slender saplings,
Each as bare as Aaron’s rod—
Like willows are in winter.
And yet, we looked to greener days:
“The three shall bring forth fruit,” we said.
“The two shall be for shedding shade.”
“The last shall bear but beauty,
In the dawning and at dusk.”
That very night we heard the hail;
Hard gusts of ice in April bent
Our tiny trees back to the earth:
Six lashes flailing in the wind.
Sad eyes we closed in fitful sleep,
So certain of the wreckage
We would find on waking up.
But Sunday, early Sunday …
We woke to stumble out of sleep;
I pulled the window sash,
The windfall of untimely storm
Already in our sleep-filled eyes.
Yet there six supple saplings stood,
And each, as straight as Aaron’s rod,
Bore snow like promised blossoms, for
The planting had been good.

Tribulation: Remember. It Happens.

I still take offense
at snow.
How many cycles
make a know?
When will I
uncalendar
my perfumed dream
of Everspring?
Earthlife
isn’t
some gay fling.
Non-stop maypole dances
Give no chances
For advances.
Yes.
And fresh
the bud and burst
will come
when these dry leaves
are spent and blown.
I need to season through
the grow
and groan.
And maybe ice.

Painting by Lee Greene Richards