Iced

Rain freezes on my umbrella,
a dome of ice. Branches bend
low into the path.
Crunch, crunch — it’s like walking on eggs,
or doing an archaelogical dig
with a bulldozer.

A sudden shattering
& my own shell drops away.
I stand still at the center
of a ring of shards,
contributing to the fog
in small installments.

13 Comments


  1. I love the closing image.

    The poem reminds me of “In the Ice Forest,” one of my favorites.

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  2. You call to mind the best part of ice in winter – the shards, the crunch, the unexpected moments. I like to eat ice I find outside.

    Thanks for putting the Alex poem on your smorgasblog!

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  3. “contributing to the fog / in small installments.” I love that. Of course, Peter beat me to saying it, but I love it, too, so I am saying so. Humpfh.

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  4. I really like that poem. It’s really good written, and it makes me think how I like winter.

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  5. Thanks for the comments. I don’t think this quite rises to the level of “In the Ice Forest” (thanks for remembering and linking to that one, Peter) but there’s definitely something magical – and frightening – about ice storms that keeps me trying to capture them in words. I remember writing a long, would-be-prophetic poem sparked by an ice storm when I was a kid, around age 14 or 15 I think.

    Dana, I’m glad to hear you liked that particular combination of words. I was a little unsure of the sound effect – seemed like it could be an “awe” overload.

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  6. Love your blog. I would like to post one of your tree stand photos (with appropriate credit) to accompany a poem I recently posted…would that be ok? I would link it back to here…

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  7. KGT – Go for it. Please download and host the image on your own site, then link back to the original post if you don’t mind. Feel free to crop, resize or otherwise alter the image. (I have a copyleft license on all my work here, though the notice is rather unhelpfully hidden at the very bottom of the page.) Thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Another of your lovely poems among many which,in the Xmas pressure I have neglected to ‘get back there and comment’ on. It’s just before ice store season here. Usually hits around early December. It is beautiful. It always reminds me of the fairy tale of the Snow Queen. Ice cold, beautiful, and deadly. When I was a child, it was a wondeful excuse to stay home from school. Now, it’s a beautiful opportunity for photos, and a constant fear that the next ‘glaze’ will finally do in that towering Sweetgum and maybe a couple houses to boot. Our area had a 5 to 7 day ceasing of electricity about this time last year due to ice. (shudder)
    But enough of that. Your ‘contributing’ to the fog, line was priceless. Thanks for a very good one.

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  9. Thanks for commenting. I did wander around with a camera this morning, but as usual when I got home and took the pictures out of the camera, most of the magic was gone.

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  10. I’m usually a fan of egg imagery, but neither egg-related line worked for me, and in fact felt like the weak links. The line in the first stanza because it’s too colloquial, the line in the second stanza because of the ear-feel of “shell”. Too soft. “Crust” would make the beginning of the line iambic, but doesn’t have the same depth of meaning for the context.

    Excuse me for picking nits. On the upside, I really like how both stanzas end, and the situational feelings invoked.

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  11. Hey, thanks for the critique. I’ll give it some thought.

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  12. I don’t read much poetry, Dave; I’m a prose reader primarily. But I do like your stuff! These last two poems of yours feature some really evocative phrases, imagery which is particularly effective as several inches of snow fall on Hannibal. A friend of mine just returned from the Gulf Coast — he said “I might just go right back!”

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  13. Thanks for saying that. It’s always gratifying to hear that folks who aren’t as immersed in poetry as I am are still getting something out of my poems. As for the Gulf, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive the summers there – even here in PA, the humidity can make me long for the Yukon sometimes!

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