Wednesday, November 27, 2019

First Day of Snow 2

There was snow last Thursday. There was snow yesterday. Wind whips the snow crystals off the roof, scatters the juncoes at the birdseed out front. Four magpies in the trees above the compost bin prepare for the apocalypse. Or they're just gossiping. Impeachment hearings on the screen. The face of Trump omnipresent (for years) so that it makes me begin to believe - unconsciously - that he is omniscient.

But when I look away from that circus (quite often), there's the wind tearing snow crystals off the roof, the crystals breaking the intermittent sunlight into every color across the spectrum. 

What is going on outside the realm of Trump's omnipresence? There are wars the US is engaged in. Forever wars: Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Iraq, Syria, and one that has been going on since the fall of 2001 - 18 years - the longest war in US history, Afghanistan. 

Photo by Michaela Kahn
I wrote the poem below after our first snow two years ago, and posted an earlier version on that occasion -  juxtaposing the silence of the snow and the silence in the media on the wars, so many wars, the endless wars. 

Nothing has changed...

After the First Snow


A perfect sphere
of snow sits atop
the last standing post
of a fallen fence.
The wars go on. And
on. But there's
no more news. A snow-
covered pear branch
looks like a deer
femur. We go
to work, come home,
eat dinner, talk.
Magpie claw-prints
in snow-dust
across gutter ice. I
remark how
the moon and the snow
make the shadows –
of trees, stones, parked
cars, telephone poles –
more real than
the things


Bright moon, clear
sky, blue snow.
Something moves
beyond the bedroom window.
I turn, want it
to be a face,
a stranger's face, asking
sacrifice for all
the dead –
a finger bone, an eye,
the ecstatic part of me
that lives inside
a cholla thorn,
lit orange
by the setting sun –
but there is
nothing there,
never anything


From Voices for Creative Non-Violence:

A new publication by Maya Evans and Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK

"Stories and testimonies collected from some VCNV visits to Afghanistan, giving a voice to women and young people, the very voices recent peace negotiations have excluded. The booklet includes essays on women, mining, deportation, the peace process, Britain and the Great Game, the case for US reparations, and moreover, the voices of ordinary Afghans.

In the US, copies can be obtained for a donation to Voices for Creative Nonviolence ($10 suggested to cover costs and shipping) mailed to Voices for Creative Nonviolence, 1249 W Argyle Street #2, Chicago, Il. 60640.

In the UK, contact:"  

A pdf version can be downloaded at