In the North....it All Depends, a Poem


at night in the winter the air is tangible

a living friend that holds your breath

like a soft caress if you're on your deck

warm brandy icing up in its snifter

the amber light from the kitchen

holding promise and succor

behind you


at night in the winter the air is a thin knife

slashing your tortured breath in frozen strips

from your spotted face and cracked lips

alone on the trail

wet coat

wet matches

the nearest light the yellow bulb

of Mikey's tavern

alive only

in your fading

fantasies


at night in the winter the air is


© clark cook

Comments 22 comments

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Am I first? Such a wonderful piece! Visual and evocative--and with an emotional overlay--for me, one of yearning--and I love the ending--beautifully, beautifully written--


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

You're the first with me in all sorts of ways, incl. the first to comment on my little moment here. If a piece like this can get a response from a friend in the Southern US, well, maybe its worth keeping. Thanks for your kind words.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Again, just have to say, one of the best written pieces I've read here


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Thank you, Audrey. I'll treasure that comment.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Now, you know I like this. Your pacing made it feel like you were reciting. Thank you


Valleypoet 3 years ago

I was looking for someone to say something wonderfully poetic about the winter air...which is very much still with us here in the north...I found it...thank you Moonfroth:-))


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

VALLEY--glad to have been of service. Thank you


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

It felt like Spring here last week, then the cold, frosty nights and mornings returned, and that air, "tangible," "like a thin knife," a knife even more tangible where you are, I'm sure, described so well here.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Thank you Sikr!


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 3 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Ah, this one breathes for me... the air is.... yes, it's everything.. it's odd to see snow in the lower 48 right now, and we just got five inches yesterday... how about you? Love yaz, lily


Darrylmdavis profile image

Darrylmdavis 3 years ago from Brussels, Belgium

Really, really enjoyed this. Having grown up in something of a "northern" place myself, it really captured a perfect and telling snapshot, conveying a single, clear message. As a poet, you cannot ask for more. Well done :-)


moon 3 years ago

Darryl--

Thank you, and welcome to my site. As a young man, I served with the RCAF in Canada's North. One night I will never forget, we had to scramble fighter jets at 53 degrees below zero C! Yes, the air was "tangible"!. I intend to read some of your work in the next few days.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

I think I could learn something by reading your poetry, Clark. Not to mention the gleaning of inspiration.

Wonderful piece, and I will vote up and share.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

What a compliment Wayne! Thank you. I just shooed a black bear out of my wife's veggie garden, came inside heart a-pounding (bear wanted to stay.....), then to be greeted by your kind words. Calmed me right down. We live to Hell and gone out in the woods (20 km from the nearest store/highway) and bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes...you name it...are our (at times unwelcome) co-tenants of the land. Usually, we get along without incident!


brownella profile image

brownella 3 years ago from New England

Lovely poem, it made me think of how one memory just slides into another. How in the moment we lose today and find yesterday. Beautifully written :)


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Brownella--thank you, Your sense of the poem and its potential is very much a part of my intent (I think...I often feel my poetry writes itself and permits me to tag along)


savvydating profile image

savvydating 3 years ago

What a gorgeous use of imagery. In reading this, I can feel myself there, wrapped in my warmest coat, watching my cold breath, "slashing your tortured breath." Except in my case, I'd stay at home with the brandy, so as not to encounter bears on the trail. ;)

Up & awesome.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Many thanks Savvy--I'm pleased you felt the cold. And I agree about the brandy...


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 2 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

I love the energy! I love the palpable cold air- are we talking rich souls? A snifter of brandy is a touch of elegance rarely seen in Alaska- you must be speaking of your own home, BC...

I suppose one here would just take a slug of whiskey, wipe their mouth, and say skookum! I love your grace and ardor of the written word Moon, and I've been looking for a way to e-mail you, but the choice is not presented anymore.... where the heck is it? Love you much! lily


moon 2 years ago

Myemail is pretty much public, Lily------

moonfroth@gmail.com\\Love to hear from you!


rdsparrowriter profile image

rdsparrowriter 2 years ago

Beautifully written. Voted up and awesome :)


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 2 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) Author

Sparrow --

WELL! you are a welcome surprise! I'm very pleased you enjoyed this poem. if you have some time and are interested have a look at my site (HP forbids websites in comments, so I have to code it) where there are various poems about the north, as well as a fact-based short story, "Murder in. . .". And, for a great Alaskan poet, check out lilyfly (substitute that for moonfroth). She captures the North wonderfully in so many of her poems. Thanks again for dropping by.

1] begin with the 4-letter H-thing

2] then moonfroth

3] a period

4]then hubpages

5] another period

6] then round it off with good ol' com

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