January Rain

First cousin to mud, soft-shouldered,
I turn to quagmire. Ou sont les neiges?

God’s rain on the roof. The house vibrates
from the washing machine’s dervish waltz.

Standing on the porch, I hear a winter wren’s
summertime song: thin boneless notes.

Trunks of locust trees at the edge of the field
have turned green from all the rain.

Green columns glowing in the dim light.
The gray-brown ruin of a woods beyond.

12 Comments


  1. I like this poem, dave. I like the winter sparseness, the view outside, and the boneless notes of the wren.

    Reply

  2. It’s pissing down here in the South-East too!

    I enjoyed the poem, Dave. ‘Thin boneless notes’ really does it.

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  3. Mud and rain, check. Washing machine’s dervish waltz, check. But we’ve also got more cold, apparently. Enjoyed this poem, Dave.

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  4. I turn to quagmire

    I too have found that life has been sticking to my boots lately. Been moving about restlessly in a solitary trudge…

    As viewed from over the hill and not very far away

    handdrummer

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  5. Dave, I blogged about “January mud” today, so we must be channeling one another…or maybe we’re just stuck in the same quagmire.

    Like Dick, I love the “thin boneless notes.” What a great assonance!

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  6. Assonance! Thanks Lorraine and Wikipedia which uses Dylan Thomas for a model. Therefore I read this in Mr. Thomas’ voice, “ou”, “o”, ” ee”. Then the washing machine comes in and shakes things up, though with a “washing, walzting assonance. But the mood is reopened in notes embedded in the green beyond. Fun. Dave were you practicing this in your microphone? Since the trip down the Mississip’ my ears have been cupped in mouthfuls of reed.

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  7. Assonance! Thanks Lorraine and Wikipedia which uses Dylan Thomas for a model. Therefore I read this in Mr. Thomas’ voice, “ou”, “o”, ” ee”. Then the washing machine comes in and shakes things up, though with a “washing, walzting assonance. But the mood is reopened with notes embedded in the green beyond. Fun. Dave were you practicing this in your microphone? Since the trip down the Mississip’ my ears have been cupped in mouthfuls of reed.

    Reply

  8. Thanks to all for these comments & generous reactions!

    Bill, forgive me but I’m not going to remove your duplicate comment, because I’m afraid that such a deletion might lead my over-zealous spam blocker (Akismet) to add you to the blacklist again.

    For the benefit of my British readers, I should point out that the bird we call “winter wren,” Troglodytes troglodytes, is the same as your “wren” (i think). But I don’t know if its song is the same. My parents heard winter wrens out in British Columbia last summer and reported that their songs were two or threee times longer out there. (Even here, they qualify as one of the longest birdsongs.)

    Tall Girl – Welcome! Thanks for stopping by.

    Lorianne – I noticed that similarity last night, but was too tired to leave a comment at your place. Interesting coincidence. Teju Cole and I have also been independently blogging on similar subjects lately. Draw whatever conclusions you will…

    Bill – Word music — alliteration, assonance, rhythm — has always been my chief guide in deciding which words to use and how many. I’m glad you’re enjoying the effects.

    Reply

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