Still Cold ~ solo renga

Still Cold

melting snow
in afternoon sun
nights still cold

breath in the crisp air
fogging my glasses

frosted panes
see only shadows
drifting by

waterfowl swimming
in ice-jammed river

dark shadows
stray geese overhead
seeking food

sparrows at feeder
still cold and hungry

This solo renga is my response to
Frank Tassone’s #Haikai Challenge #177: Still Cold.

Images ~ 18 February 2021
The Moreau River in Missouri (snow covered)
The Missouri River at Jefferson City, Missouri

Flow

Flow

Carried in a current
barely perceptible
beneath the ice,
yet beyond the limits
of these banks,
my thoughts flow.

Wider waters await,
as near as the next thought.

This poem is my response to Reena’s Exploration Challenge #173,
where the prompt is Flow.

Our recent subfreezing temperatures means local streams will be iced over and that I’ll have to paddle on the Missouri or the Osage River if I want to fulfill my ritual of a monthly kayak venture. Sunny and 56ºF is predicted for next Tuesday, so I’ll plan for a paddle on the Osage, which has a much milder current than the Missouri.

The Missouri River is currently witnessing a rare occurrence. Five miles upstream from Jefferson City, MO, an ice jam has reduced the flow of the river, so that the channel depth (not the overall river depth) at Jefferson City is at or near zero.

Also shared with Open Link #284 – Live Again at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Images (18 February 2021)
The snow-covered Moreau River
~~
The Missouri River at Jefferson City, at half its normal width
with the State Capitol in the background
and
Chris & Jason with the U.S. Geological Service
preparing to measure the river’s depth

Winter Blanket

Winter Blanket

It was a blanket, no more.
Just four inches of snow, but even less
has had my hands tightly gripping the steering wheel
as winds off the lake buffeted my trailer
at the crest of the Skyway crossing the Buffalo River.

Winter, always my least favorite season
for driving. For any reason, really.
The weight of snow on the shovel.
The wind chill while checking out my unit.
Kicking tires covered in slush. Driving.

But this was just a blanket of snow,
still waiting to be plowed at nine in the morning,
already packed down by morning traffic.
Traffic I navigated as I pulled a short trailer
into an intersection that was a glaze of ice.

Making a wide left turn, I watched the cars
that watched as I passed to their left, watched
the drivers’ already wide eyes widen further.
My gaze shifted from the road to my left mirror
to see my trailer jackknifing to meet me.

Heart in my mouth, I spun the wheel to the right,
felt my tractor straighten out, tugging the trailer pin
that had been pushing me around. The relief
in the eyes of those other drivers was palpable,
their cars spared for another day’s winter drive.

I pulled over a short way down the road,
did a walk-around, checked out my unit,
and kicked the tires, more out of frustration
than for any safety check. Safely back in the cab,
I drove off as I enjoyed a picturesque winter scene.

I may miss Buffalo, but I don’t miss Buffalo winters.

This poem is my second response to Poetics: Connections, the prompt from Merril at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is to about connecting or connections—in any sense. Merril cites the poetry of Mary Oliver as an example.

Before I retired, I drove for a trucking company in Buffalo, New York.  Buffalo is known for its winter weather, especially the lake effect storms that drop snow carried by the winds off of Lake Erie.  They made for some interesting experiences while driving a tractor/trailer (semi).

Shared with Open Link Night #282: LIVE Edition

March arrives ~ senryū

March arrives
denying winter
brings no change

I was well into my thirties before I accepted that my early March birthday is not in the spring.
I dislike winter that much, although I actually saw one budding tree while kayaking on Sunday, so Missouri does offer that over Western New York. (* click image *)

This short-form senryū is my response to Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka Tuesday
#Poetry Challenge No. 167, #Poet’sChoice
.

Winter’s Dark Blanket Awaits ~ collaboration poem


Winter’s Dark Blanket Awaits

On a fir tree dressed in snow
with a green-white brocade,
pine cones cast shadows in moonlight.
As the old year is put to sleep,
dreaming forevermore in silent night beauty,
its light germinates a New Year.

To create this poem, I’ve woven together my haiku response to Frank Tassone’s Christmas challenge with the tanka response by Lisa at Tao Talk to Frank’s New Year challenge.

Image source: unsplash.com / Aaron Burden
(edited here)