The Hermit Poet

November 3, 2005

Missing Winter

Filed under: General — Neil Aitken @ 6:15 pm

Evidently I’m not the only one who misses the cold, Alison at awfully serious just posted earlier about missing winter and snow — something I can relate to as a Canadian living in southern California.

Counting Winters in Los Angeles

I no longer mark what falls in passing,
iron stones blazing through the night sky,
leaves turning dry in the autumn breeze,
or old men curled around fires
watching yesterday’s news offered up
as ashes to the dark.

Hiding in the concrete-celled city,
my head is full of another country’s snow,
a loose wind blowing through my room
at night, when I cannot sleep
and lie to myself in dreams
I’ve committed to memory.

I am a stranger to the city that burns
with too much neon. Each night
I wind my sun-burnt car
through towers of glass and steel,
listen to the radiant hum of static,
the muted signal of an invisible sun,
the slow ticking questions keeping time.

What winter will take me home
down an ice-covered road
past the gray boarded shacks,
beyond the bending river’s spine,
then plant me low
beneath the white-haired trees?

What wind will wrap itself
around my waist, and lower me down
to sleep and distant rain?

first published online at Poetic Diversity, Nov 2004

4 Responses to “Missing Winter”

  1. Kenneth G. Aitken Says:

    Snowed today.
    Not that serious snow we associate with winter in Saskatchewan, but rather that frosty threat, flakes in a breeze.
    The flocks of geese that once honked and swepted over the city, like teenagers cruising Albert Street, have thinned as the less hardy have moved on for Texas.
    Bought our first Christmas presents.
    Winter is setting in again.
    I’ve saved one winter glove for you.
    Keep the other hand in your pocket!
    Hurry home before the frosty boughs on the trees are drowned in the white world.

  2. mparker38 Says:

    This is a beautiful poem! The opening line is a classic; it gives me the chills. Also, Neil, I can see you get some of your beautiful sense of the world from your father, whose reply was equally poetic. Wonderful post, this. Touching.

  3. Michelle e o Says:

    That was lovely!

  4. Gein Says:

    Miss the cold and snow?!? That’s something I hope I never say. It’s snowing and really cold right now in Toronto (well cold for a Torontonian!) and since I’m usually out-of-town so much, it’s actually the first time I been around snow in Toronto for a few years (And I never missed it for a second) Hope you’re doing well Neil!

Leave a Reply