Friday, November 15, 2019

Poetry Friday: First Frost

Here in Haiti this fall of our discontent drags on. We are still not having school, still sitting at home smelling burning rubber as angry protestors man flaming barricades and demand that motorists pay for the privilege of passing. This week was a bit calmer in our area, but not in other parts of the city and the country.

Meanwhile, far north of here, winter seems to be getting an early start. A friend took some photos of the first frost and sent them to me, and it felt so good to think and write about something other than what's going on here (my largely stalled NaNoWriMo project, like my life, consisted of Haiti topics). I got permission to share the photos along with my poem.

First Frost

Into my tropical reality
comes a glimpse of another world,
a stillness before the day’s business begins,
first frost,
every surface edged with a fuzz of ice,
your mother’s tree outlined with a fringe of cold,
the garden hose lying idle,
the withered yellow flower that somehow still manages beauty
and you, crunching across the grass to document it,
following the visible puffs of your own breath,
taking dozens of pictures to freeze this moment
because, like all moments,
it will thaw and pass away.

Ruth, from

Another reminder that life goes on in spite of the stalled political, economic, and educational situation here in Haiti came this week with a transmission from Nokomis, the great blue heron banded in Maine who likes to spend her winters here in the sunny Caribbean. (Here's my post and poem about her from exactly a year ago today.) She hadn't been heard from in a while, but now they found out that she's in Cuba and on her way south.
Source: Heron Observation Network of Maine

And another thing happening the way it's supposed to: today's Poetry Friday roundup! Head over there to see what people are sharing today, and to join in the celebration of the arrival of The Best of Today's Little Ditty: 2017-2018!


Linda B said...

I look for Haiti news once in a while, Ruth, & see it remains in turmoil. I'm selfish & glad that it's a little better for you this week. We had a first frost one day when I was at Highlights this year & I took so many pictures, loved the look of it all, & especially the sparkle since it stayed for a while but the sun shone, too. I love your pictures and the part and that "fuzz of ice". Best wishes for better this next week, too.

jama said...

Lovely poem, Ruth. Glad you were able to write about something different to take your mind off the other troubling things happening over there. Sorry to hear it's continuing . . .

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

Your poem is gorgeous, Ruth. I was going to mention some lines I like, but then I'd just be just parroting the whole thing back to you! It's perfect in it's momentary breath of frosty brilliance. The photos, too, are lovely. Now, if only Haiti would settle down and take a few deep breaths.

Karen Eastlund said...

Lovely poem, Ruth. I hope things improve for you.

Linda Mitchell said...

oh do I love fringe of cold.

autumn's grasses fringe
fields growing children filled of
whispers now grown cold

Tara said...

Gorgeous poem - you captured first frost exactly, down to the garden hose. Troubles in Haiti rarely make the news in these dreadful times, as the US struggles to maintain conscience and principle in our government.

Michelle Kogan said...

I like your wordplay with frost in this line, "taking dozens of pictures to freeze this moment." I didn't know it would get cold enough in Haiti for a frost, is that common? Glad the Nokomis, made it back your way. Sending thoughts out your way to help calm the chaos, though i'm glad you were able to write and share these pics with us. Nice lighting on the trees and i like the semi frosted yellow flowering plant on the bottom, thanks Ruth!

Ruth said...

Michelle, the frost wasn't in Haiti.