Lisa Mednick Powell

Snow Daze and Cold Feet

We woke up Monday to a whited-out world. This week has seen subnormal temps here in the valley and beyond. Ice still on the driveway. Cold house in the morning. Scraping off the windshield. Stomping our feet when we come inside. Shrubs draped with strangely-shaped icicles. It looked so pretty the first day...and reminded me of when we fist moved to Rochester. We used to go out and walk in the deep sparkling snow on East Avenue. I was ill-equipped for the cold in a thrift-shop coat, leather gloves, and totes--ending up with frozen toes and fingers...After about a week of that, the wonder wore off. But now, here we are in the winter again! The mountains look beautiful--as long as I am standing on the right (correct) side of the window... So I started thinking about warmer climes, and Australia came to mind. It is summer there now, right? Perhaps my friend there could send me a couple of poems by poets yet unknown to me. I inquired, and he came through--and I am grateful. These poems are all good, and, by pure coincidence, one of the poems is about snow. And it is not just about snow; it’s about being surprised & mystified by snow. Also, a song by Little Feat. Vintage Feat, 1976 with the late great Lowell George. One of the greatest live bands of all time. (A few of you will remember that every high school party ended with "Tripe Face Boogie...") ONCE IN A LIFETIME, SNOW (for Chris and Mary Shara) By Les Murray Winters at home brought wind, black frost and raw grey rain in barbed-wire fields, but never more until the day my uncle rose at dawn and stepped outside - to find his paddocks gone, his cattle to their hocks in ghostly ground and unaccustomed light for miles around. And he stopped short, and gazed lit from below, and half his wrinkles vanished murmuring Snow. A man of farm and fact he stared to see the facts of weather raised to a mystery white on the world he knew and all he owned. Snow? Here? he mused. I see. High time I learned. Here, guessing what he meant had much to do with that black earth dread old men are given to, he stooped to break the sheer crust with delight at finding the cold unknown so deeply bright, at feeling his prints so softly deep, as if it thought he knew enough to sleep, or else so little he might seek to shift its weight of wintry light by a single drift, perceiving this much, he scuffed his slippered feet and scooped a handful up to taste, and eat in memory of the fact that even he might not have seen the end of reality… Then, turning, he tiptoed in to a bedroom, smiled, and wakened a murmuring child and another child Ladies and gentlemen, Lowell George: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyQTtAm8yrA