Monday, May 7, 2012

Cold Snap

Stephen Morath - Placita Nevada Outdoor

I am a fan of Stephen Morath's work and wrote small series of poems using his paintings and the lyrics from songs as inspiration.  This one uses his work Placita Nevada Outdoor and Simon and Garfunkel .

A Winters day 
In a deep and dark December

If the snow covered last seasons blisters
Cooling and calming autumns blazing cacophony
With a hint of death and dormant vagrancy
Then the cold is the blackest tango partner, stepping brusquely

I've built walls
A fortress deep and Mighty

The luminaries make palaces of our adobe hovels
Burning crowns topping castle walls made for storing love and light
Stepping lightly on soft and insulating Indian weave
A tempting lilt for sensitive toes tapping

Don't talk of love
Well, I've heard the word before

She could be seen through the thin veil of warbled glass window, backlit
Busying herself in the kitchen, warm, yellow
Looking from my window I could feel the shelter
Of her heavy bosom and gentle hand easing fears

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me

The biscuits ready and crisped to a golden hue
Custom built for the addition of sweet cream butter and raspberry jam
She motions to me to come over and share, soulful brown eyes glitter
Boots already on, I trip on the laces and forget to grab my jacket

I am a rock
I am an Island

A cold, morning trip home is a small price to pay


  1. I love this song, but never hear the titular lines without John Donne' swords leaping to mind: No man is an island...

    You have woven a tale of comfort, reliability and a sense of home-coming such as those lost to adulthood could only hope to experience again.

  2. This is an interesting juxtaposition between the familiar song and your writing. I love the scene that you've created with your vivid descriptions.

  3. this is quite different from your usual dose of edgy and gritty stuff.but undoubtedly very good as well.a sign of your versatility.and as always, a series of fascinating lines.

  4. great take and combination of the two inspirations, good stuff.

  5. I could SEE those biscuits.......and love the view of her through the window in the warm yellow kitchen.....

  6. Love that song. You worked it in so well with your prose. What a lovely dish of biscuits and a warm welcome to her home. Hope no-one was injured in the trip over those boot laces ;)

  7. Interesting poem. ..the juxtaposition between the song of I dont need anyone to the warmth and security of a loving relationship..heavy bosom'd with delicious biscuits:)

  8. I like the soft voice today. Though you started with the cold and black tango partner, you ended this with a warm smell of biscuits and jam ~ I will keep your warm words until your next post ~

  9. I remember when you first posted this at the WC. Reading it again, I am reminded of your talents with setting a place and then taking your audience through that place to a new emotion. here, you play with my childhood memories of cold winter mornings (stocking feet held out toward an open oven, waiting for the courage to dress in layers and go out into the world. You have also grabbed at my stomach...golden biscuits, cream butter and raspberry jam (yes please!).

    The weaving of lyric also provided a great juxtaposition...framing internal strife of how we abhor comfort because its impermanence. Well done, Rowley!

  10. Lovely! I especially like-

    I have my books
    And my poetry to protect me

    -because with those two essential, what else do you need?

  11. These are my favorite sections, especially that ending:

    "the cold is the blackest tango partner"

    "sweet cream butter and raspberry jam"

    "soulful brown eyes glitter
    Boots already on, I trip on the laces and forget to grab my jacket"

    There's a lot of magic in a strong pair of eyes.

  12. This is just beautiful. I especially loved:
    "The luminaries make palaces of our adobe hovels
    Burning crowns topping castle walls made for storing love and light"
    Gorgeous. It's all in the perspective, isn't it?


  13. Very nice. The subtle gentle words describing and building the scene, vivid imagery with good details, how he watches her as she goes about baking the cookies -- really enjoyed this poem. :)

  14. ya know, I feel that way as well, having one's books, ones poetry and even one's personal hobbies and space, to protect, never quite thought of it those terms before, but ya, definitely do feel that way. You really captured the essence of the painting, which is very cool, animation meets painting. And a side note, after reading hours of poetry today, the font and color scheme here is quite, quite refreshing. Thanks. Great piece.

  15. There is a wonderful warmth in this poem, an intense comforting glow. Bravo.