Snow Clouds for Children on a January Dawn

A collection by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall (Rated G)


Snow Clouds for Children on a January Dawn

There could be snow later, and that would be nice
Children can grow up here and never see snow
Today they might go out and play in it
While we old folks tut-tut, “You’ll catch your death…”

But they are asleep, the snow is asleep
Only the rain is awake, drip, drip, drip
Making last summer’s leaves speak one last time
As they crumble into their winter sleep

There could be snow later, and that would be nice
For the children: a happy new year twice


Ice Storm: Darwin Needs to Re-Think His Errors

The electrics flicker off then on, all night long
Which wakes me, and my wake then wakes the dogs
Who protest and blanket-burrow even deeper
While angry sleet rattles the window panes

When the weather is foul and the power fails
We are left with a flashlight and a book
Staticky noises from the radio
A bottle of cold coffee, and our thoughts

When the night is cold and the wind is strong
One comes to understand that Darwin was wrong


Not This Cardinal, Not This Snow

Men have written of cardinals before
(Both ecclesiastical and avian)
And men have written of fresh snow before
But not this cardinal and not this snow

And so we visit Plato’s obscure cave
To cast our vision around the shadowing flames
Plato will not tell us what we must think
And so we think out all things for ourselves

Men have written of cardinals before –
But not this cardinal, and not this snow

Author’s Note: In this context “men” is inclusive. “Honi soit qui mal y pense,” as Fat Henry said.


“What’s Holding us Back!?”
(On a video clip from Natuashish)

Two little children on a snowmobile
Which smokes and sputters, going nowhere
“What’s holding us back!?” is their merry squeal
Frozen-breath frosty in the springtime air

Two little children both ready for a ride
Realize they are held back by a third
But only for a moment (at least he tried!)
Three little children, each a happy snowbird

And off they go, following their own chosen track –
Dear little children, nothing will ever hold you back!


The Understated Joys of Crows and Bedroom Slippers

The morning lawn is white with frost and mist
And speckled black with a claque of sneaky crows
Bullying the little birds aside for the seeds
Before the squirrels are up to contend for them

Into my Christmas slippers I push my feet
Slowly so as not to startle the birds
But they spy me through the window and rustle off
In insolent protest against all men

Because their feet are cold and mine are hot
Since I have slippers, and the crows have not!


The Retiring of Old Snow

Clinging to blue shadows and shades and trees
Stained ice and sleet and snow from days ago
Silently steams away as vapour, as mist
Beneath today’s yellow and slanting sun

On Monday eve the skies were low and grey
And Tuesday morn soft flakes began to float
And then the rattle of indelicate sleet
Sent every creature to its appointed burrow

And now the little that’s left hides from the breeze
Clinging to blue shadows and shades and trees


Saint Valentine’s Day Snow

Pale, wintery-grey and cold, diffuse and pale
Light falls upon the pages of a book
Its words unread – the snow may come this hour
Between a noun and verb, a glance, a look

Pale, wintery-grey and cold, diffuse and pale
The figures of our story now pause for us
Impatient for their journey to proceed
But through the window waits another tale

Pale, wintery-grey and cold, diffuse and pale
Light falls upon the pages of our lives


The Presentation of the Rodent
“The Feast of Candlemas…is perhaps the most ancient festival of Our Lady.”
-Missale Romanum

The Catholic funeral home calendar
Prints “GROUNDHOG DAY (USA)” in generous type
“The Presentation of the Lord,” well, not so much
And “________” 1 not at all

Perhaps one day we faithful will look out
From our dark-tunneled burrows of lost time
And gaze upon the morning shadows to ask
If there will be 2,000 more years of civilization

Because in the Temple

Our Lady presents unto our Lord the Child
But we present unto ourselves – a rat

1 The Purification of Our Lady

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