It's January 3, and my year list is still 0. It snowed again last night. The temperature outside is 8 degrees F. I have not yet been outside this year. When I look out of the window, all that I see is snow.

It's time for poetry. I offer two of my own to fit the day. Both have been published in an on-line journal called "Present Magazine." The first poem reflects a true evening birding excursion in Quebec in December, during which I listed as many birds as I have listed so far this year. The second speaks for itself.


On a clear, calm moonlit night
I stop on a remote forest road
to listen for owls and wolves.

At 38 below, nothing moves.
Stars are frozen in blackness.
Whiteness immobilizes all else.

Heavy snow burdens the spruces.
The lake endures heavy ice
as Atlas shoulders the earth.

No owl or wolf is calling,
but trees crack from intense cold.
Flawed lake ice growns in reply.

I have reached a zone
of infinite patience
lit only by moon and stars.


Christ said he would return
like a thief in the night,
but I aaken to find snow
has crept up on me instead.

Whiteness obscures detail.
Lumpy mounds replace
lawn furniture.
Spruce limbs sag
under heavy loads.

Wisps of steam
escaping from chimneys
are the only signs of life.

Snow has stolen the future
I had planned
for this day.

It's too deep,
and the air's too cold
for a heart patient
to shovel out.

What of my resolve never to grow old
in mind or spirit,
always to live in the present,
looking forward, not back?

For today, at least,
it's buried
under heaps of snow.

So I'll stay inside
and write a poem
about a warm spring day
back in Connecticut
when I was a boy.

Peace and Good Will to all.

Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
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The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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