Tag Archives: winter

Seasonal Complaints

A few haiku and tanka that I was working on while watching Monday’s snow and ice. I prefer cool weather, but even I’m tired of winter at this point!

Snowflakes plop, ice tings.
The disgruntled molting of
a sullen season.

snow falls like feathers
dances like cherry blossoms
and coldly mocks spring

Inky sky, bright moon,
the luminous fields of snow-
ice on black branches.
Light and dark hold winter fast,
spring brings shades and is welcome

rain taps in Morse code
trees shiver and robins fluff
green willow whispers
the crocus pokes through dead leaves,
saffron anthers sniff for spring

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Woods in Winter

It’s at that point where winter just feels loooong. We’ve had snow. Lots of it. Not refreshing pretty white relax and enjoy after the shovels are finally put away but quickly tarnished with rain and capped with gray skies and general BLAH! I feel cheated by not getting those snowy vistas with brilliant blue skies that make you need sunglasses.


So even though it’s nigh on Spring (oh please oh please some sunlight please), a snippet of winter beauty by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (also in honor of his birthday):


Woods in Winter

When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O’er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river’s gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater’s iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.

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Make Your Own Snowflake

The snow’s slowly melting. I’m of two minds about missing the snow. I like dry roads thank you very much, but snow is certainly prettier scenery than dead grass…and ice makes branches sparkle like magical things.


So, in lieu of snow, here’s a project I found for making a crystal snowflake. Full disclosure, I haven’t tried this yet, I would like to.



Make Your Own Snowflake Project

(adapted from Kathleen M Reilly’s Explore Weather and Climate)



-pipe cleaners


-wide mouth glass jar

-borax from laundry detergent section of store (20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster)

-boiling water


-a child (if you feel like you need an excuse!)


1. Cut pipe cleaners into 3 equal pieces, twist them together and spread out end to form a snowflake shape. (Make sure it will fit in the jar!)

2. Cut a piece of string, tie one end to snowflake, the other to the pencil. The string needs to be long enough to hang from a pencil into the jar, but short enough not to touch the bottom. Put the snowflake skeleton aside.

3. Mix borax and boiling water in the jar, use 3 tablespoons of borax per cup of water. Stir well. (Don’t worry if a little is left un-dissolved.)

4. Hang snowflake skeleton in jar, suspended from the pencil and leave it overnight for the crystals to form.

There’s an alternate glowing (!) version on about.com.


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Winter Nights


Now Winter Nights Enlarge

Thomas Campion (1617)


 Now winter nights enlarge

 The number of their hours,

 And clouds their storms discharge

 Upon the airy towers.

 Let now the chimneys blaze,

 And cups o’erflow with wine;

 Let well-tuned words amaze

 With harmony divine.

 Now yellow waxen lights

 Shall wait on honey love,

 While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights

 Sleep’s leaden spells remove.


 This time doth well dispense

 With lovers’ long discourse;

 Much speech hath some defence,

 Though beauty no remorse.

 All do not all things well;

 Some measures comely tread,

 Some knotted riddles tell,

 Some poems smoothly read.

 The summer hath his joys

 And winter his delights;

 Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,

 They shorten tedious nights.

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Early snowfall

boiled frosting on chilled

pumpkins, covering red and

blue signs. on tired steps

huddled newspapers wait and

watch cars turn into mountains.


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