Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Beauty And The Ice...

Click on the photos to enlarge - © 2006 jim otterstrom
Lakeside Decembers
December tilts toward the longest night
as ice and wind transform fluid surfaces
into fancy heaps of shattered crystal
where, upon the shore
slumbering 'neath the frozen bones of summer's garden
seminal marrow lies, dreaming
in rhythms slowed by time and place
of warmth, and song
of birds and bees
and butterflies
© 2006 - jim otterstrom
This morning, Peggy, Dallas, and I, were out walking by the marsh where we were treated to this very cool (indeed) early winter ice display.
The temperatures have been up and down for several days causing the lake to freeze and thaw.
What you see in the first three pictures is the result of a thin layer of ice being windblown to the eastern shores of the marsh where it piled up and re-froze.
The bottom one was taken in a sheltered area, out of the wind.
There's snow forecast here for tonight, tomorrow morning, and next weekend too, so I'm off to clean out the raingutters again and put some things away.
addendum (a), December 13th, 2006
The above poem has been edited at least 20 times since I posted it and it's probably not finished yet.
I may just delete it.
I'm never happy with my poetry but I keep trying to write it anyway.
There's something about writing poetry that I simply don't get.
It seems to me that it's not what you put in a poem, but what you leave out, that gives it wings.
Mine usually fly like like lead balloons.
I was hoping for some comments, tips, or criticism on this one, but all eleven commentors politely avoided the poem.
addendum (b) January 1st, 2007
Thank you for your thoughts and observations and I have edited one more time to smooth the flow of words, and to try and clarify meaning. By the way, it's not minnows dreaming, but seminal, as in seed, and marrow, as in bone. I assume the minnows are still swimming and eating in their cold liquid depths.

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Blogger SimplyTim said...

One of my favorite early morning sounds in the tinkling coming from wind and shore ice and water playing together.
Delicate and often unexpected.

2:28 PM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

love the photographs of the ice. fabulous patterns in nature.
we havent had any snow here yet. I wonder if we'll have a 'white christmas' or if it will just keep on raining.

2:33 PM  
Blogger BurdockBoy said...

Like simplytim I love the sound of the waves playing with the ice. Today we sat by the lake listening to the tinkling ice.

I love the photos on your blog. Thanks.

3:38 PM  
Blogger dragonfly183 said...

you know, I have never heard that tinkling sound. Sigh. The pictures are really beautiful

7:27 AM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Beautiful photos!

9:53 AM  
Blogger stella said...

that is absolutely gorgeous!

4:37 PM  
Blogger Tree said...

So beautiful!! The second photo reminds me of a Modernist painting, maybe Cubist or by a Russian :-)

5:47 AM  
Blogger Madcap said...

Morning, Jim, it's amazing what the freeze/thaw cycle can generate. I remember in my teens we had an unusual combination of light, wettish snow followed by a strong wind, and when we got up in the morning the entire countryside was covered with eight inch snowballs.

The ice refreezing makes a wonderful pattern, lovely and wild. Nice catch.

6:44 AM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

Hey madcap, I remember those snowballs too!

9:35 AM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

And wonderful ice images, Jim.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Madcap said...

Really? Did you have them in southern SK as well?! I thought it was just a local thing up north.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those pictures are so incredible. I've never seen anything like that before.

I respect you for writing poetry and being so open and honest to display it in public. I have attempted to write poetry before but I never felt comfortable enough with what I wrote. Like you, I would write and re-write dozens of times before setting it aside for a period of time. Coming back to it with "fresh" eyes never seemed to help much. Oh well. I'm happy enough reading other people's poetry.

I enjoyed Lakeside December. It was original and picturesque. You definitely suceeded in creating powerful and vivid images. After reading it I felt there with you experiencing Lakeside December.

You lost me, however, with the last passage. I had to go back and re-read it a few times before I understood that the minnows were dreaming of spring. I think the placement of "in rhythms slowed by time and place" was what threw me but after a few more read throughs, I really like it there. Poems like this - that encourage people to read and re-read - are good poems.

Warm Regards, Crystal

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There I go again! My brother has severe (debilatating) dislexia and I think I must have inherited some of those genes as well. Coupled with the fact that I read too fast, I often mistake things I read. It's terrible and I try to slow down but often don't even realize I'm doing it. Were there ever minnows or did I just mistake marrow?

You know what I thought when I read your poem originally?

Seminal - as in "having the power to originate" and "influencing the development of future events."

I know it's a leap but I thought that the "seminal minnows dreaming" were ironic. The minnows, a SMALL fish (minnow is also slang for an INSIGNIFICANT person and either would have worked), would be the SIGNIFICANT influence required to change the future course of our world.

Regardless, I like the way it reads now. And it makes much more sense now that I understand it!!! :)

8:38 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Dear V.V.

No, there were never minnows, but the marrow became seminal marrow in one of the edits.

Same idea really, the marrow (or sap) in semi-dormant roots "having the power to originate" whole new generations in concert with the countless evolutionary Springs to come.

And thanks again for your critique, it made me think further about clarification, and the poem has evolved a bit more.

Happy New Year!

11:09 AM  

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