Snow Angel Suite (for Paula Dawn)
I. Snow Angel (Prologue)
Up well before dawn, that light at break of day;
Snow ceased in the night, another round on the way;
Batteries fully charged, loaded; clean the lense,
Glance out window, too fogged to see the night sky;
Last night's apple crotata and coffee, on the fly;
Out she goes, her intent to shoot some old friends.
Making her way to the gate, gauging snow, ankle deep;
Scan shadows from front porch light, thorough sweep;
One deep breath for good measure, a dizzying effect.
Making a mental note, let that serve as a wake up call.
Pulling up her scarf, disguise serves to hide a scowl;
In untypical fashion, she's knowing not what to expect.
II. Snow Blind
Three hills and three valleys successfully trekked;
View crest of a pine ridge, sun rises at it own pace,
An old familiar place, but she's never felt so alone.
An arcade of animals is what she has come to expect;
Hillside barren, yields nary a track in snow to chase.
Where are her animals, she asks. Where have they gone?
She muses to herself, "Maybe I have gone snow blind?"
Resigning herself to make it up that hill, to the top;
If she spots no willing participants, she will recede.
Setting forth on a clear path, all the angles aligned;
In motion, all is symmetrical, toward a place to stop;
Hope is in sight, allowances vanish, that she concede.
III. Summit on the Ridge (Part One)
Black Bear, basking in the shadows, flat of his back,
Groundhog twitching, muttering to no one in particular;
Cougar says, "You cannot assume credit or take blame."
Marmot says, "He's not listening. He enjoys the flack."
Gray Fox concludes, "For all his predictions, I am sure
he is sincere, and not just about seeking the acclaim."
Squirrel and Chipmunk shadow boxing, to Stoat's delight;
Porcupine plays, off to the side. None will get near.
Gray Wolf circles, alone in near distance, by choice;
Rabbit runs about, proclaims "She's coming into sight."
Stoat flashes warning, "Be quiet, lest she might hear."
Within moments, she's close enough, they hear her voice.
IV. Snow Angel
Arctic winds appear, in a flash, swirling, as if on cue,
She resigns, she could leave empty handed. That won't do.
She feigns indifference and spins, falling on her back.
She will create an image in the snow, since others lack.
As the girl shimmies and twists and windmills all about,
The animals in hiding, curious, can not figure this out.
Once her perpetual motions subside, she's come to rest,
Knowing full well, her snow angel will be her very best.
Hearing a cracking sound, she looks to see a projectile;
A tree top gives up the ghost, descending like a missile!
Reflexes take charge, she rolls away from impending harm,
Ever thankful to her mother earth for sounding that alarm.
A treetop falls in the forest. Only she can hear the sound.
She takes her cue as time to be on her way, homeward bound.
Glancing down at her camera, she got nothing on this trip.
She pirouettes, takes single shot, no focus, from the hip.
As the blizzard intensifies, she searches for a landmark.
Any will do, but here at midmorning, it feels like dark.
She found a barbed fence, or it found her. Call it fate.
She was in too big a hurry to guess which way to the gate.
She grasped the strand, sliding down, cutting her arm.
Sliding under, tore her pants, certain cause for alarm.
To avoid sliding into the pond, last obstacle to defeat,
Which she did; Smelling wood smoke, her journey complete.
V. Sermon from The Mount
One by one, each animal emerged from its hiding station.
As the girl was making her way down the frozen grade,
Lynx proclaimed, "We were wrong." Do not create rumor,
when face to face; go that route with an apparition,
down a road, where truth and innuendo merge and fade.
"It was she who taught you to have a sense of humor."
One by one, each animal froze, looking at each other.
The voice that spoke, not one of their own, that tone
came from one that bore feather, one who looked down.
"She led you to a place you can't go back, don't bother
with the how and why, or dwell on a time that is gone,
when you cast glance of aspersion, in fear or frown."
A the voiced boomed, each looked up toward the skies
to see a Great Gray Owl secured, regnant, in a birch.
"Witnessing your transformation, you never noticed me;
She speaks, you gather her message and all it implies."
They all nod in approval, at the sermon from the perch.
His departing last words, "Sorry I broke your tree."
VI. Summit on the Ridge (Part Two)
Fox said, "Owl made some good points. She is sly as I,
and I am sure I can speak for us all, a collective,
we all owe her a debt of gratitude, we can't repay."
Rabbit said, "Sure, but that is no reason to not try.
What I learned from her, not to take more than I give."
He wished she was still here, and had not gone away.
Bear said it was best if he followed, to make sure
She was safe. "When she left, she seemed... shaken.
While I am gone, you all be on your best behavior."
Bear took notice of Wolf, eyeballing the mule deer.
"Harm that deer, Sir, it'll be your last step taken.
I will feed you to the fishes, to even that score."
VII. Hearth and Manor
Later, that very same evening, a chapter comes to close.
Sitting alone in the manor, a time to reflect, suppose;
One who many would proclaim to have been annointed,
Is dealing with a bout of melancholy, disappointed,
At the puzzling events of the day; only Heaven knows.
She walks about the room, gazing at paintings on display.
Stirring the blaze in the fireplace, poker keeping at bay,
Hand on a hearth that has stood one hundred years,
Resolve engaging, as her mind is shifting gears,
Recalling a potential visual clue, hidden in her cache.
She sits on the sofa, with a needle and thread, to sew
her demin disaster of the day, torn pants in the snow.
Her arm is a little tender, from a barbed wire scrape,
No major call to alarm, but it does impede her grip.
Turning them inside out, a good ruching, it won't show.
VIII. Shadows Blend
All of her chores of the day are done,
her focus now devoted to just one end.
Unsheathing the camera to look for one
image of the day, where shadows blend.
She peruses the picture taken in haste;
stroke of luck, not grainy or blurred.
Over shot her errant angel, a wasted
click; no disaster, and nothing furred.
She plays with the image, resolution,
snow and trees, ridge line inclined.
Still life bearing witness, confusion;
one last glance. What does she find?
A single set of eyes, the gaze intent.
Magnifying glass removed from drawer,
Maybe this wasted day, time well spent,
She confirms another set, then one more.
Why would they see her, choose to hide?
Thought of prank never crossed her mind;
For sure, each set of eyes was open wide.
She over zoomed the image, only to find,
The eyes melded with snowflakes, in pairs,
Wild ravages of winter mix, animals tame,
Whirling and tumbling ice, frozen stares,
Dispelling myth of no two flakes the same.
Too late to consort with brush and canvas,
she knows to not commence, fighting sleep;
hating to put it down, knowing she must;
Clenching her fist; hold images, to keep.
Calls it a night, laying head on a pillow,
Reasoning, not all she saw, is as it seems.
Likening to classic design, blue on willow,
she sees her painting, complete, in dreams.
Pairs of snow flakes in perfect unison,
all laid out on display, for us to see;
under auspice of science, art; as one.
Look at how they float, defying decree.
Are there skeptics? None are stating their case;
doubters among throng, concede, it is true;
absolute, symmetrical, points in place,
with nary a blemish in sight to view.
Never before witnessed by eyes of man,
leaving nothing to confound or dispute;
in plain sight here, no way to spin this plan;
each detail of tandems, found resolute.
Two snowflakes just alike, no room for doubt;
zeal yields for those who can't figure this out.
X. Snow Angel (Reprise)
First day of April, she steps out, no thought of risk.
Unseasonably cool this year, winds are up and brisk.
She sets out, in the direction she found a ploughshare,
in search of a new image capture, not a worry or care.
Turned around, (to look at the sun would be cheating),
taking advantage of opportunity, as these become fleeting.
It may take a little longer to get back, to traverse,
but you will always find her trusting in her universe.
She happens on a storm cellar, all that's left of a domain.
Stepping down, inside, curious as to what might remain.
Shining a light, seeing all four walls, forlorn and bare;
from where she is sits, see could see all of nothing there.
An epiphany falls, as epiphanies tend to do, if we wait.
She realizes she is sitting squarely atop a wooden crate.
Prying it open, she finds, in mint condition, dinner ware,
a full set of weeping willow dishes, packed with loving care.
She recalled her dream, on the evening she caught a vision,
when painting the snowflake eyes became her life's mission.
Mon espoir est la vôtre à part. Je vous attends pour commencer,
on a note that fell from between plates. When did this occur?
Translation, "Love is in the air. I feel it in my heart."
She concluded, "Seems someone was off to a pretty good start."
Packing the dishes, with care, she pressed the lid secure.
Climbing from the cellar, she mused, "This concludes the tour."
Making a bee line for her house (she was never really lost),
"Some discoveries are just not for sharing. Consider the cost."
For all the words and works of art she chose to put on display,
Countless more, only seen by her... She's just made that way.
Michael Todd (2014)
Written for Paula Dawn Lietz. Her Website is...