Snow angel echoes


Porch roof dripping
Snow hills rolling,
Huge sticky mounds,
Weigh down shovel,
Strain and pant,
Stop, I need no plow,
Moving mountains,
Of sticky snow.

Push, slide, release,
Legs plunge in to knees,
Moment to fall,
Angel wings rise then fall,
Childhood games echo,
Heart beats strong,
Of blood and breath,
Gaze into winter sky.

Closed eyes savour red light,
Ice cold seeps,
Into aching sinews,
And white massage,
Of snowy berth,
Sending strength from below,
Joy of rest,
When heaving snow.

Lying down, taking a break while clearing snow

Snow Angel
If you reached this far in the post, you get to read about the story behind this poem. On Tuesday, there was a huge blizzard that dumped a winter’s worth of snow all in one day. When I stepped out my door Tuesday evening, I fell into the snow up to my knees and I am not a short person.  I did some minimal clearing that night, but the real work began next day and unfortunately,  I had to work for two hours with heavy sticky snow. That evening I put in some more time–by then, the temperature had dropped, making the snow easier to handle.

My reference to blue in the poem is not a flight of fancy. When I gazed into holes in the snow, I observed blue light. I looked up the phenomena and learned that deep snow absorbs the red end of the spectrum, thus emitting blue light. Surface snow reflects all light and thus appears white.  I never noticed that before!

For those who did not grow up in a snowy place, children (and sometimes, adults) make snow angels by lying in the snow, moving arms up and down; and legs in and out. My skirt in the picture was a bit messed up because the snow was deep and I had to lean forward to get up.

My odd little poem is an Echo Verse attempt in response to Jane Dougherty’s Poetry Challenge #18. The form originated centuries ago, in the 1600’s I believe. Every second line provides an echo of the last syllable of the previous line. I may have ‘cheated’ because I didn’t close each stanza with an echo.  Jane provided this reference as an introduction to the form: Echo Verse.

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20 thoughts on “Snow angel echoes

  1. A fascinating collection Janice, poetry, images and story. We can only envy the excess of potential water sitting around as snow. The occasional quick drop of rain is all we see week after week. However at the same time the cold must make it difficult to go about your daily lives/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems that there is either a lot of rain or snow or very little. This winter has been quite dry up until now..but I realize you are dealing with very dry weather. The cold isn’t too bad usually– the worst times are below negative 10 or 15 (C) with a wind. I’ve been lucky over the past few days as the cold hasn’t been painful when I’ve been outside clearing the driveway and around the house.


  2. What a beautiful poem and I thoroughly enjoyed the echo style – I wonder will it make a comeback? I’ve often noticed the blue in snow and thought I was just a bit odd so thank you for providing an explanation. I can now impress all my friends! Oh, snow angels, perfect moments of joy! Especially after all your hard work. Hope your muscles don’t ache too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed my efforts. I can’t believe I ‘ve never really noticed the blue before. It looks almost supernatural. So far my muscles ache in a pleasant way (let’s hope that continues to be true).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I know shoveling snow is hard work, your descriptions in the poem made me chuckle. I love the rhythm–the stop and go of shoveling, dumping the snow, shoveling, repeat, and rest. 🙂 I remember my girls making snow angels. I don’t remember where you are. Here in southern NJ, we got a couple inches of snow on Monday, but then the temperatures rose, and we had heavy rain on Tuesday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in Ontario, Canada. I wondered where you were when I read your echo poem. We’ll get rain tomorrow but I am not sure what the impact will be and more snow is predicted for next week. It’s quite a weather roller coaster!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. These are the posts that make me miss snow. I always enjoyed making snow angels. Sad that my children will not have the same memories of it as I did– snow forts, skiing, snowball fights, angels, no-school snow days… I never knew that about ‘blue’ light in the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often think of the joy of making snow forts while eyeing up potential locations. The blue light is surprising to me as I thought I noticed things as a child–that I never saw it as an adult in a dirty city doesn’t surprise me. Maybe your children will have the joy of discovering some of these things later on — meanwhile they have the ocean, gardens, rocks and much more I’m imagining. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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