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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Winter (the season) (08/13/09)

TITLE: Top of the World
By JoAnne Potter
08/18/09


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Winter does not bring death.

Not the land's, even in Talkeetna.
Twenty-three hour night near the top of the world,
six month clamp turned down hard.
Greens and purples gathered into unbroken white and pale sun.
Sighs and twitters hushed within sharp crack and dry howl.
A stark scape simply waits the slow turn back to gentle day.
Winter does not bring death.

Not the loon's, gone each autumn equinox,
monkish in dove gray, but razor-striped and wary-eyed,
skidded on Susnitna's floes while the river moved free,
later graces kinder waters in higher suns.
Pierced cry lost to me, it calls to unhooded ears
carrying on a breeze where darkness does not reign.
Winter does not bring death.

Not the rose's, long past blown
and gone to hipped bud, pliant only in memory,
but hot yellow in youth, preempted in his offered hand.
I still drift to sleep thinking to remember soft perfume.
Buried now in iced drifts, black and bare-branched,
a flower recreates itself in deep earth where killing cold cannot reach.
Winter does not bring death.

Not his, spark just flown,
heartbeats from red life in well-worn skin stilled,
dressed in other clothes woven with glory and promise.
Gone suddenly as solstice fell in long, empty silence,
he knew renewal at the same time as the earth,
and wakes in summer country where laughter ascends unbroken.
Winter does not bring death.

Not mine, visible but delayed,
for if winter could deliver from life, time and will would carry it away,
but the bright path refuses to hide its golden light.
It leads over the icy river's mirror, past the rose's hidden root,
beyond the whisper of free souls in flight.
Though at its crown, the world's axis turns but slowly, it turns.
Winter does not bring death.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong08/25/09
I have to admit--much of this I didn't get, but I'm not a poet and I understand very little of it. I DID like the recurring line at the end of each stanza and the atmosphere and hope I felt within the piece. The last line emphasized that hope.