poetry and prose about place


with 8 comments

Wind is not visible, yet we can describe the shape of the wind.  Along the shores of our lakes, White Pines are wind-blown into irregular forms to show the direction of the prevailing wind.  In my poem ‘Clear Lake’ (see the post for August 26, 2011, ‘deep waters – Clear Lake’ under the category ‘waterways’), I describe these as “group of seven trees/ flung southward”.  Artists from the Group of Seven were famous for their depiction of this symbol of the Canadian wilderness.   A good example is the painting ‘White Pine’ by A.J. Casson.

'White Pine' by A.J. Casson, from the book 'Images of Nature: Canadian Poets and the Group of Seven' compiled by David Booth, Kids Can Press, Toronto, 1995.

In winter, the shape of the snow also captures the three dimensional form of the wind.  The easiest manifestation of this is the way horizontal surfaces record the direction of blowing snow. 

Snowdrifts form as the wind blows quantities of snow into shapes resembling dunes of sand.   As kids on the prairie, we loved these snowdrifts since we could tunnel in them and build fantastic snow shelters.   Today, I can watch the drifts build across our lawn and transform its flat surface into the artistry of the wind.





after the storm

                        snow heaps

                        high against the wall

fingers of the wind sculpt

                        etch shadows

                        into vacant white


sunshine flashes

                        summons prisms

                        from hollows of snow

warmth shivers through the drift


                        into cataract


a tendril of snow


                        damply to the wall 

a lingering winter ivy



Published as: ‘Drift’, 1994, The Cormorant (Fall 1994) XI (1)


©  Jane Tims   2011

Written by jane tims

January 4, 2012 at 6:42 am

8 Responses

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  1. Tunneling into snowdrifts sounds like so much fun!
    Love the bench among the pines – it reminds me of the way some evergreen branches, heavy with snow, used to touch the ground, and create tiny patches of bare earth under the branch, closer to the tree…


    Barbara Rodgers

    January 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    • Hi Barbara. Today that same branch has only a little snow and is back up where it should be. However, I agree, snow-laden branches make charming spaces! Jane


      jane tims

      January 7, 2012 at 8:23 am

  2. Very true your first sentence – & you can see it in the clouds of A.J.Casson’s painting too. I always love the look of pine trees that have been sculpted by the prevailing winds. I’m painting clouds recently! I don’t know how you find the time to write so many interesting posts aside from making the content for them !


    Sonya Chasey

    January 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    • Hi. Good observation on the clouds! I always find them difficult to paint. It is true, this takes a while to do. However, I am finding it a wonderful way to practice my writing and to acquire some discipline. The drawing is just fun! Jane


      jane tims

      January 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

  3. Everything is wonderful here!


    df barker

    January 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm

  4. Beautiful, Jane. The different forms of weathered trees strengthen my soul!


    Ellen Grace Olinger

    January 4, 2012 at 7:07 am

    • Hi Ellen. What a nice way to look at it. They all have the essence of ‘tree’ but they express their individuality. Jane


      jane tims

      January 4, 2012 at 7:37 am

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