Ottawa had its first significant snowfall of the season today, so I thought it was the perfect time to share this winter-themed poem I wrote in December of 2013.

The Glass Forest

There is a forest made of glass
Where ice hangs heavy
From every branch.
This land brought to a standstill;
Black and white picture,
A limited time only:
Dead of winter.

Inside is a village buried in white
From which all the villagers have fled;
Or else tunneled themselves even deeper below,
While the storm rages on overhead.

And the blizzards beat down and cover the ground;
The pathways are lost in the snow
And the creatures of the woods hear not a sound
Except for the lonely call of a crow.

What a treacherous, impenetrable place!
A wall blocking off one world;
From the next;
With bars that stretch to the darkness of space.

But within, what wonders exist!
Far beyond where humans pry;
If you fight your way through
The snow undergrowth,
And brave the cold winds that scream through the sky;
Advance through the trees
Shove the branches aside
Peer through and you’ll see –
Marvels long hidden from civilized eyes.

An abandoned log cabin, cringing against the cold
Where a fire burned once, flickered out at last
Over bygone generations who lived and prayed ,
Some Christmas Eve in days long past;

Creatures curled up in twisted root caves
Deep in their winter sleep
Mindless of the wind that shakes
And roughs around the tops of the trees;

Deer standing stock-still;
Frozen trees like totem poles, arranged in unsteady lines;
A world of crystal draped over black fingers;
Where gnarled roots and branches intertwine.

A world of crystal draped over black fingers –
And magic does linger
In this glass forest in the depths of winter.

Ottawa Winter