Poem in Progress: ‘WEATHER WARNING’


Context perhaps? We’re getting some weather here in Halifax this weekend.  Snow and wind and more snow.  Typical February. (Also: earlier this week, I was saddened to learn of the passing of a former student / staff member of mine.)

So then: here’s an early version of a storm poem. It’s a substantially re-worked version (or spawn, or re-imagining) of a much earlier poem. Myself, I like to think of it as something entirely different. Enjoy.



       february.       & the city? it seems abashed, its face gone

near purely white, with the knowledge of what we think we might know,

its drifts. each street’s a just-laundered sheet, flung. the sky, too,

is heavy with this, with all of us, with lazy mornings & those late, languid

moments before the eyes give in, finally, to a sleep.

       the word blizzard’s been bandied about. shroud, as well,

mouthed. accumulation a poorly-staged whisper.    

       know this: each ticker-taping flake that falls – that worries its way to what

the best guesses posit as hard ground – is simply a moment gone crystal, a line

held briefly stock-static in near-zeroed air.       in this way the snow is

a fleeting warning; a sudden crisp augury: the season’s vertiginous manner of telling us,

now, to steel ourselves against the siren-sung harmony of some future

promise, that cool elemental; & rather, to starch each & every

concise, fissile beauty, each newly lost now (& now, & now, & – perhaps –

then) against the wrinkling rip of the wind as we puzzle

our way down or through.       each gust is a simple request: to both

splay the arms as wide as they stretch & then, vice-like, to hold – hold dear

what we have, what we’ve taken in. what we’ve been.


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