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arno-senoner-iFexyDmGr58-unsplashPicture courtesy: Mountains of the South Tyrolean Dolomites by Arno Senoner, Unsplash.

Remember, OLN LIVE is this Thursday from 3 to 4 PM EST . . . AND on Saturday, January 21 from 10 to 11 AM, EST. Come read a poem or just listen. Hope to see you at one or both! 💕

Hello dVerse Poets!

Sanaa here (aka adashofsunny) to stir your muses once again. Can you believe it’s 2023? Wishing you all Happy New Year and much joy in the days to come!

January is my utmost favorite time, as it marks the beginning and sets the tone for the year. The atmosphere is absolutely to die for as Angela Abraham so aptly describes; “When the trees have almost cried their last golden tears, for the passing of warmer season, glossy upon the rain-washed street, winter is at hand. In the morning half-light, the evergreens are silhouettes of a darker hue and the snow-capped mountains behind them are every Poet’s dream.”

For today’s Poetics, let us contemplate “The Blizzard of the Self.”


for Ros Krauss

Tell yourself
as it gets cold and gray falls from the air
that you will go on
walking, hearing
the same tune no matter where
you find yourself—
inside the dome of dark
or under the cracking white
of the moon’s gaze in a valley of snow.
Tonight, as it gets cold
tell yourself
what you know which is nothing
but the tune your bones play
as you keep going. And you will be able
for once to lie down under the small fire
of winter stars.
And if it happens that you cannot
go on or turn back
and you find yourself
where you will be at the end,
tell yourself
in that final flowing of cold through your limbs
that you love what you are.


They are a gift I have wanted again.
Wanted: One moment in mountains
when winter got so cold
the oil froze before it could burn.
I chopped ferns of hoarfrost from all the windows
and peered up at pines, a wedding cake
by a baker gone mad. Swirls by the thousand
shimmered above me until a cloud
lumbered over a ridge,
bringing the heavier white of more flurries.

I believed, I believed, I believed
it would last, that when you went out
to test the black ice or to dig out a Volkswagon
filled with rich women, you’d return
and we’d sputter like oil,
match after match, warm in the making.
Wisconsin’s flat farmland never approved:
I hid in cornfields far into October,
listening to music that whirled from my thumbprint.
When sunset played havoc with bright leaves of alders,

I never mentioned longing or fear.
I crouched like a good refugee in brown creeks
and forgot why Autumn is harder than Spring.
But snug on the western slope of that mountain
I’d accept every terror, break open seals
to release love’s headwaters to unhurried sunlight.
Weren’t we Big Hearts? Through some trick of silver
we held one another, believing each motion the real one,
ah, lover, why were dark sources bundled up
in our eyes? Each owned an agate,

marbled with anguish, a heart or its echo,
we hardly knew. Lips touching lips,
did that break my horizon
as much as those horses broke my belief?
You drove off and I walked the old road,
scolding the doubles that wanted so much.
The chestnut mare whinnied a cloud into scrub pine.
In a windless corner of a corral,
four horses fit like puzzle pieces.
Their dark eyes and lashes defined by the white.

The colt kicked his hind, loped from the fence.
The mares and a stallion galloped behind,
lifting and leaping, finding each other
in full accord with the earth and their bodies.
No harm ever touched them once they cut loose,
snorting at flurries falling again.
How little our chances for feeling ourselves.
They vanished so quickly—one flick of a tail.
Where do their mountains and moments begin?
I stood a long time in sharpening wind.

Winter. It is the most difficult and testing time of the year. The air has a leaf loam tincture, one which is absent at other times, in turn giving the season a perfume of her own.

For me, the poem of winter lies locked inside one’s eyes; the way they withhold beauty and harshness of the cold weather, all the while, silently dreaming of Spring.


Picture courtesy: Red cherry on white surface by Sixteen miles out, Unsplash.

When winter comes, loneliness seeks to envelop even the most persevering of us. Strand’s poem “Lines for winter,” not only highlights this but also links winter metaphorically to human emotion.

I personally love the use of personification and imagery here, which is used to portray the significance of moving on and learning to love who we are.

On the other hand, “Horses in snow,” uses language, voice, structure and tone to create a story. A story that goes on to tell the readers of the Poet’s belief to keep pushing through.

Whiteman uses first person to deepen the personal struggle that the poem conveys, for instance, “I crouched like a good refugee in brown creeks… but snug on the western slope of that mountain I’d accept every terror.”

The way in which the Poet ties the geography of the area and the human will to survive for better things, together, is nothing short of incredible.

For Today’s Poetics, I want you to become the embodiment of winter. Tell us what you feel during this season. Describe a typical day in January. Feel free to go dark and philosophical or perhaps even write a story poem like Whiteman. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

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