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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Saturday, February 04, 2006

A House in Winter's Hold

There’s a house on a hill in a woods somewhere,
in a woods where no one sees
(save those who pass with a lasting stare
at its glimmer of light through the trees).
In winter it’s a shadow of black
half-hidden by trees of gray,
and an arm of smoke

gropes from its stack
and waves with a lonely sway.

Then comes a whistling winter wind.
The house shuts tight

with a shoulder pinned
against a threatening door
and waits for what’s in store.

A blizzard is coming;

windows are humming;
to the wind’s tune

the shutters are drumming.
The house is clenched in Winter’s hold—
freezing, frosting, frightening cold,
bare tress bending to and fro
in the pageantry of snow:
sifting, blowing, drifting, growing,
Autumn’s reaped and Winter’s sowing—
sowing seeds of icy white;
snow sifts through the moonless night;
falling thick with crystal frills
skirting ‘round the timbered hills;
lacing lace on dry leaves curled,
still clung to branches bare;
and covering softly all the world
that the house on the hill

in the woods somewhere
will ever, ever know.

© Copyright March, 1978, TK, Patterns of Ink

This was one of the first poems I ever wrote. (The title never seemed right but I left it all unrevised.) It was an experiment in rhythms. The setting was inspired in part by Frost's "An Old Man's Winter Night" and the knowledge that a part of my father could happily live that life... but the linew were based mostly on that fine but foreboding feeling that comes when a family is snowbound in a winter storm as we were more than once in our house on a hill deep in the woods (which, by the way, is not in the first picture. Also, our house never did get shutters, but they were part of Dad's original plan.)


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