Monthly Archives: February 2012

In the Bleak Midwinter

This winter has not been as bleak as some.  The lack of snow was getting me down there for awhile, but now I set my sights toward spring.  A long time ago I heard someone refer to Itasca State Park in winter as “the cathedral.”  That idea stuck with me, and I was pleased to be able to work some cathedral vocabulary into an ode , of sorts.  So often it is easier to write from a distance.  In a different winter I would ski.  This winter, I’ll write about skiing.

Cathedral

Under the lancet arch of pines
we follow snow’s tracery
between dripstones,
across transept paths,
as jays cry from corbelled branches
at the finial-perched hawk.

We ski the apse,
enter the nave,
where embattlements fade
in the tree-mullioned light
and our gargoyles smile
for this one cloistered breath.

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