Snow Flies

IMG_0030

You hear it all the time: “we’ll do it before the snow flies,” let’s wait until the snow flies,” “when the snow flies.” Warning … Freudian Slip … I wrote “sow flies” and the spell check didn’t catch it. Maybe it was thinking “pigs on the wing”, pink pigs from Pink Floyd, or maybe pigs really do have wings. Why shouldn’t they? The hart does.

Anyway: I have spent a long time in Canada, more than half a century, much more than a teenager or a kid in kindergarten: horse flies, black flies, mosquitoes, hornets, green hornets, bud worm, butter flies, lard flies, yard flies, dragon flies, no-see-ums (felt but rarely seen), and many other types of flies, but I’ve never seen snow flies, though everybody talks about them. So  what do they look like? Alas, when I Googled them, I found nothing.

So, I imagined what they might look like and there, in the cartoon above, after close observation, you see a multiplicity of the Canadian snow flies I found in the garden during the first snowfall of winter. They are gorgeous, and only a scratch upon the surface. You’ll recognize many of them, of course, but a few may be new to you. But then, perhaps you’ve never thought about it: I know what a snow fly is, you say, and I’ve seen a no-see-um, and it’s only in Ontario that you die with the black fly playing an angel’s harp upon your ribs, and we live in the Maritimes, not Upper Canada.

Down here, in New Brunswick, it’s all dulse and dulcimer, and we know exactly what a snow fly is, don’t we? Well, make this an entry in Wikipedia, and everyone who follows this blog will know what a snow fly looks like, won’t they? But if we do nothing, nobody will know, and then when the snow flies, or when the snow flies hit the fan … nobody will know what’s happening … think about it!

Crow

IMG_0003

“What is this life, if full of care, / we have no time to stand and stare,” W. H. Davies wrote, expressing our need for solitude and silence. Sometimes we must just walk in the woods and be alone with our spirits. Too much excitement, too much Brexit, too much mid-terms, too much suspense, too much controversy, too much shallow thinking, too much knee-jerk reaction, too much emotion = too little time to be alone, to sit and think, to work things out for oneself … so, let the snow fall, let the drifts deepen, let the snowflakes accumulate.

There are so many things I want to do that I am not doing any of them. I must take some, make some, time to sit back and relax, I guess. The well is empty. It’s time to be on my own, to meditate, and to allow those inner springs to fill up and flow again. That may not take long. Woods, crows, cardinals, and the hushed whisper of falling snow will do the trick.

It’s been a long time since I last posted. I guess life gets in the way. A beautiful cardinal sat on my feeder this morning, but by the time I had found the camera, our family of crows had frightened him away. Here’s the last (of five) just arriving in the tree. He’s not as pretty as the cardinal, but he’s very stark against the falling snow, speckled too, in places. Vade mecum. I will be back.

 

 

Thursday Thoughts: An Old Song

Chaos

Thursday Thoughts
8 March 2018

An old song

… an old song, words and tune wrapping themselves around your neck, a loose scarf, brilliant in the sunshine, and oh so warm, flapping as you walk the streets, and people see the scarf’s frayed ends waving in the wind, so they wave back at you, and then they see those same ends tucked back in your jacket, hugging you tight, a pair of arms borrowed from your lover, and oh the light in your eyes, and the sun picking out the gold spots in your hair, and all’s well with the world …

… or left, left, left, right, left … it’s a marching song and the world falls away as you walk to work or to play and every day is a new day with blood stirring and this call to arms, to alarms, to alarums, and everything up for grabs, and you, marching in tune to the tunes in your head and the words wrapped around you, warming you, comforting, as you sing and stride along …

… or maybe it’s a sad song, and there’s rain in the sky, small drops gathering, a heavy mist, or a light mizzle, and you walk as if through a cloud, and yet you are still dry and warm and comforted and the words wrap themselves round and round you, and yes, you are sad, but you are comforted, as if in a verbal comforter, and the sun breaks through and hugs you and the raindrops radiate the brilliance of that sunlight, winking off your tears, as they gather at leaf’s end and spread sun’s twinkle from the radiance of flowers …

… and today it’s a Nor’Easter … snow in the air … on the trees … on the ground … a steady accumulation … you know how its is … and a fire in the fireplace … warm heart … warm heart … no travel today … books and the computer beckon … a time to read and write … to remember the old ways … the old days … those memories … a warm scarf wrapped around the neck … and the comforter … comforted … and comforting … so much to wrap around you … so much to wrap your head around …

Phoenix

IMG_0158

Phoenix

The wool shop has gone.
It survived the winter storms
that whipped the bay ice
into waves of mashed potatoes
that hardened and crashed
against the quay, splintering
its timbers, tearing it down.

It survived the spring time
freeze and thaw that cracked
the sea wall, split foundations,
and wobbled the shop
as if it were yellow jelly.

It survived the carpenters,
the stonemasons, the police,
the insurers that came
with their cameras and their
oh-so awkward observations.

It survived everything
except the lightning bolt
that lit the fire that reduced
the old shop to dust and ashes
from which, unlike the phoenix,
it would never be born again.

Spring

img_0344

Spring

Winter whiteness slowing now,
and the tide that full bore crashed
white waves against our house
receding to garden’s foot where
warm roots wait their waking.

But winter still stalks the land
and April brings snow, more snow,
as if there will never be an end
to these waves of whiteness,
thinner, trimmer, true, but
unwelcome as spring days grow
longer and sunrise beckons
ever more early with crow
and Blue Jay breaking the morning’s peace
into raucous pieces
as they bounce from branch to branch …

.. and brown the earth, and barren,
and bare, the robins finding no food
and flying on, while the passerines
just call and pass us by, finches at the feeder,
purple and gold, yet singing no songs,
and the robins, hop-along casualties
of this long delayed spring that promises,
but never comes …

Daffodils

img_0146

Daffodils

Winter’s chill lingers
well into spring.
I buy daffodils
to encourage the sun
to return
and shine in the kitchen.

Tight-clenched
fists their buds,
they sit on the table
and I wait for them
to open.

Grey clouds fill the sky.
A distant sun
lights up the land
but doesn’t warm the earth
nor melt the snow.

The north wind
chills the mind,
driving dry snow
across our drive
to settle in the garden.

Our red squirrels
spark at the feeder.
The daffodils
promise warmth,
foretell the sun,
predicting
bright days to come.

Comment: Another ‘very raw’ poem, just less than a day old. We bought two bunches of daffodils in the supermarket yesterday. There were none about on Dewi Sant / St. David’s Day (March 1), so we made up for it yesterday by buying two bunches. They bring a brightness and a lightness to the house and ease the winter gray that besieges the mind when winter lingers and spring seems so far away. Here is a link to two more poems on Daffodils. There are some photos here, too. https://rogermoorepoet.com/2016/05/29/daffodils/

White Wolf

img_0407

White Wolf

The white wolf of winter
exits her den-warmth and
shakes cold from her coat. Snow
flies, whitening the world.

She points her nose skywards,
clears her throat until
cold winds howl a chorus:
crystals, crunchy crisp.

We cower behind wood
walls, peer out through steamed
up glass. The white wolf draws
near. She huffs and she puffs.

The snow drifts climb higher,
blotting out the light. Night
falls, an all-embracing
Arctic night of endless

snow snakes slithering on
ice-bound, frost glass highways,
side roads and city streets.
Outside, in the street lights’

flicker, snow flies gather.
Thicker than summer moths,
they drop to the ground, form
ever-deepening drifts.

Our dreams become nightmares:
endless, sleepless nights, filled
with the white wolf’s winter
call for even more snow.