April 12, 2016

Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Sound Poem Project Day 22: Footsteps in Snow

It’s Day 22 of Author Amok's 2015 poem-a-day project. We are spending February writing in response to sounds.  

For a full description of the project and how to participate, please read this post. I hope you'll join us. I'll continue posting poems from Day 22 as they come in. Thanks to everyone who has sent in poems so far.

I apologize for today's sound. When I took suggestions and chose the sounds a month ago, I had no idea central Maryland would get a foot of snow and ice on 2/21/15, just in time for my birthday. Before we begin, have a slice of cake. You need to build up your strength before we head outside.

First ever cake baked
by Mr. Poems and the Resident Teen.
Our Day 22 prompt is footsteps in snow.

Patricia VanAmburg has been playing in the snow with her granddaughter.

Six-Year-Old Beat-Box
by Patricia VanAmburg

chrich chrich chrich chrich
chrichty chrich achrich chrich
bootsa cutsa bootsa cutsa
bootsa cutsa crich
stepping snow with
the hip hop mouth

The steady beat of the footsteps reminded me of a heartbeat's rhythm.

by Laura Shovan

Footsteps in snow:
a static heartbeat
approaches spring

Many of us get nostalgic for the winters of our childhoods when it snows -- perhaps even more so when it doesn't. Mike Ratcliffe's poem remembers the deep snows of childhood.

Childhood Snows
by Mike Ratcliffe

Galoshes over plastic bags over shoes,
we crunch through the snow,
pull our sleds up the street,
candles in pockets to wax runners
so we could fly back down.
Throw snow balls at the plow
as it ruins our course,
run into the woods
when the driver stops.
Stomp down the snow,
make a new run--
watch out for trees,
turn fast at the creek.
Spend the whole day outside,
only go in when our mothers call.
Fingers and toes tingle and sting.
Hot chocolate after warm bath.
Hope that the snow doesn’t melt away.

Look at the way Margaret Simon breaks the lines in this poem to mimic the caution we feel when stepping on slippery, icy ground.


Walking in the snow,
I take it slow

splay my arms wide
Flakes swirl in the air
            land on my tongue,
                                    my nose,
                                                my hair

makes the world solid white
facsimile of purity—
                        that’s why
                                    I step

--Margaret Simon

Today is also George Washington's birthday.

Linda Baie's poem is connected to Washington and winter. 

She writes "On Poetry Friday, the 20thone blogger shared how the tough winter in the east would help students understand the plight of General Washington and his troops at Valley Forge. He jokingly wrote that students in San Diego would only be able to imagine that plight. When I heard those crunching footsteps, my thoughts went immediately to Washington’s army. The facts say about 12,000 were there and about a third of them died of cold and starvation."

A Thought for Valley Forge

Soldier, soldier, marching onward,
the cold and snow - unjust reward.
Bundled rags your only dress,
yet Patriot, on you must press,
in hunger, frozen at the core,
ever feeling at death’s door.
Do not forsake the cause you’ve taken.
We’re thankful that you have forsaken
your comfort for our freedom saved.
Those February days were grave;
we grieve your fight of long ago,
those crunching footsteps in the snow

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

Charles Waters is also thinking of those who suffer in the cold, often unnoticed.

Muffled crunches of human hooves
Head home for shelter as strays silently
Suffer in frosted splendor. 

(c) Charles Waters 2015 all rights reserved.

I like how Diane Mayr captures the meditative quiet of a walk in the snow. If you got outside just after sunset on a very cold Friday night, you may have seen Venus and Mars clustering around a crescent moon, low in the sky.

Nearly Midnight
by Diane Mayr

A patent leather sky,
every star a cliche.
No wind.
No one.
Only the squeak
of subzero snow
and the clarity
of my thoughts.

We're almost at the finish line, poets!

Here are all of the sound prompts for the last week of February. Remember, there will be a prize for our most prolific poet.

Footsteps in snow

Recommended by Heidi of My Juicy Little Universe. Sort of.

Choose a train sound. Thanks to Myra of Gathering Books for the suggestion!

Suggested by Jennifer Lewis.

Sunday, March 1: Project Wrap-up

If you'd like some poem-starters to wake up your muse, you'll find them at the bottom of this post. Drop in any time with a poem. I’ll continue to post your work throughout the month, no matter which sound you are writing in response to.

Would you like to read what we’ve written so far? Here are links to the week 3 poems. Each of these posts links to the week 1 and 2 poems.

Santa Fe Church Bells Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, and Charles Waters.

Quaking Aspen Poems by Diane Mayr, Charles Waters, Laura Shovan, Patricia VanAmburg, Mike Ratcliffe, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Tuesday, February 17 -- new poem!
Laughing Child Poems by Charles Waters, Diane Mayr, Laura Shovan, Michael Ratcliffe, Linda Baie, Margaret Simon, and Heidi Mordhorst.

Mysterious Space Sound Poems by Patricia VanAmburg, Charles Waters, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Linda Baie, Michelle Heidenrich Barnes, and Margaret Simon.

Museum Stairwell Poems by Linda Baie, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Charles Waters, Margaret Simon, Diane Mayr, Patricia VanAmburg, and Karin Fisher-Golton.

Friday, February 20 -- new poems!
Reptile Poems by Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Margaret Simon, Laura Shovan, Mike Ratcliffe, Donna Smith, Robyn Hood Black, Buffy Silverman, and Charles Waters.

Traditional Chinese Music Poems by Diane Mayr, Mike Ratcliffe, Laura Shovan, Robyn Hood Black, Linda Baie, Patricia VanAmburg, Carol Varsalona, Charles Waters, and Margaret Simon.


Diane Mayr said...

So much to like here! I would have to say, though, that Linda has grabbed me with her contemplation of Washington and his long-suffering troops. And, she did it in rhyme!

Author Amok said...

I know, Diane. Impressive work from Linda.

Since I grew up in northern NJ and remember big snows from childhood, Mike Ratcliffe's poem also spoke to me today.

Michael Ratcliffe said...

So glad to hear my poem spoke to you, Laura. I still love a good snow and getting out in it.

Linda B said...

Thank you, Diane. Again, all the poems speak to special connections. Charles, I tried a poem about the homeless too for I think of them all these awful winter nights. Patricia, I was out in the snow last weekend with my granddaughter (5), love your capturing of that time. Laura, the word 'static' says it just right-waiting... Mike, I'm old enough that we also used the plastic bags, and wore pajamas for long underwear. I don't remember being cold! And Margaret, I'm not sure I should send it, but a friend here in town just fell & broke her wrist, out shoveling. Perhaps she should have read your poem first! Diane, I go out each night for a minute to see Orion's Belt-quite beautiful. Your poem reminds me that cold and stars are not bad things at all. Thanks All, and for that piece of cake, too, Laura. Hope your birthday was warm and wonderful despite the cold.

Tabatha said...

What a splendid array of poems! I liked them all. Charles' and Linda's were both moving in their own ways.

Anonymous said...

A moving memory in every poem. My son just reminded me of the bread bags under leaky boots Mike. Thanks all for helping me get through the snow...