Thursday, January 03, 2008

The poem below was written by my longtime friend, Gwen Gould. In addition to writing moving poetry, Gwen is a professional musician -- a gifted conductor who has enriched our little upstate New York area for many years with her community sings, recitals, and concerts with the Columbia Festival Orchestra.
Ice Storm
a seasonal sestina

On a day when all is gray
at the cusp of winter,
tears of the sunless sky
freeze the pace of life.
A gentle but treacherous rain
clothes my world in icy crystals.

In the scant light of early morn, freezing crystals
form on the filagre of branches, gray
and darkened from the rain.
This harbinger of winter
suggests the coming season of my life;
I can conjure it clearly in the foreboding sky.

A hawk swoops by, alone in the sky.
No hint of light illuminates the crystals
in the stiff branches devoid of life.
The sky is still a gloomy gray.
Unrelenting is the approach of winter
I long for a warm spring rain.

But this treacherous winter rain
thickens the darkness of the sky,
chilled in the stillness of winter.
My eyes are the dim crystals
and my memory the sky's dull gray,
slipping down the icy spine of life.

A slender beam of light parts the dull sky, life
is nourished by warming showers of new rain,
that do not wash away the gray
in my hair, but clear the sky
of its thickness and melt the crystals,
thawing my life for another winter.

Now shine the muted colors of early winter.
Slanting rays of light affim new life.
Gleams of wisdom are the crystals
that wash over me like the rain.
Light now beams from a luminous sky.
Russet and beige glow against the gray.

The surface of my life, made shiny by the rain
and toughened by the winter's frozen crystals,
glistens gray and hopeful in the bright winter sky.