poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘snowdrift


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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

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