Friday, January 5, 2018

Poetry Friday: Bomb Cyclones - Say What?

What a bomb cyclone looks like from the sky...

 Out here on the Left Coast, we've heard about the winter storms hitting New England. One day last week the high temperature in Montpelier, VT, was -1. That was the HIGH temperature. Low was  -17!! And this week we're hearing about hurricane force winds combining with those freezing temperatures. Weathermen are talking about bomb cyclone conditions. "Bomb cyclones"?

...and from below!

I'm going to try to remember not to complain about the Pacific Northwest's relatively mild winters. For now, I send warm wishes, along with wishes for warmth, to all my friends and colleagues at Vermont College of Fine Arts who are meeting for their Winter Residency. Warm hugs to, to my daughter and her family in gobsmacked Boston. Bundle up, sweet people, and have a few cups of cocoa!!

VCFA in the snow....

Here is a poem for Poetry Friday, written by Mary Oliver.


In winter
   all the singing is in
       the tops of trees
           where the wind bird

with its white eyes
   shoves and pushes
       among the branches.
            Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep
   but he's restless---
       he has an idea,
            and slowly it unfolds
from under his beating wing
    as long as he stays awake.
        But his big, round music, after all,
             is too breathy to last.

So, it's over.
     In the pine-crown,
         he makes his nest,
             he's done all he can.

I don't know the name of this bird,
     I only imagine his glittering beak
          tucked in a white wing
               while the clouds---

which he has summoned
     from the north---
          which he has taught
               to be mild, and silent---

thicken, and begin to fall
     into the world below
         like stars, or the feathers
              of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,
    that is asleep now, and silent---
         that has turned itself
              into snow.

Bird Print in Snow (photograph by Joe Sebastiani)

Mary Oliver 

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted this week by Catherine at Reading to the Core. Head over there to see what other people have posted. And, since we're still only four days in, I wish you a happy, healthy and creative new year. 2018!!!


  1. It it truly epic what you all are in the middle of! Stay safe, warm and dry -- and enjoy this perfect excuse to read by the fire!

  2. Gorgeous poem!! We are shivering this morning. I need to take the dog out and take my daughter to school and I would rather hear the wind from afar!

  3. Oh my goodness, bomb cyclones... how I needed your post to end with that bird waiting... thank you!

  4. This poem is such a gift. All day I have been listening to chickadees and juncos sing above the howling wind bird as they feasted at our feeders. They are "asleep now, and silent" but I hope they're not turning into more snow! Happy New Year, Julie!

  5. It does seem as if the poem was written just for this storm, finally staying still, the implication of steady downpour. It's beautiful, Julia. Thanks!

  6. Ahh...a new-to-me Mary Oliver poem! Thank you!

  7. Greetings from snow-covered Boston. Our poor feeder birds are swirling around with the gusty winds. You are the second Mary Oliver posting this Poetry Friday. Love this one. HNY!

  8. I LOVE that poem, Julie. Thanks so much for sharing it. Hope you are staying warm. I went out and ran errands this morning and that was quite enough outdoorsness for me.

  9. I like the poem, and take solace in this:

    But his big, round music, after all,
    is too breathy to last.

    But, I love that photo of the bird print in the snow! Amazing!

  10. Mary Oliver has just the words for us no matter the season. We are finally warming up to freezing here in the Midwest. Fortunately, we haven't had to deal with much snow yet. I hope there is not too much ice coming tonight.

  11. A beautiful poem. I hope some warmth comes your way soon.