An Essay by Stacy Dianne Salmon

“There are places in this world that aren’t made out of stone.”
-Shawshank Redemption

My eyes flew open. I felt the overwhelming desire to look out my window and see ten inches of snow. Which is weird because it’s summer. When I say it was overwhelming, I mean it. The desire was so strong I was almost disoriented and couldn’t remember what day it was. There is nothing like a snow day. For me, it means staying home warm, cozy, counting snow flakes falling from the sky, worrying that the sun is shining too brightly and the snow may melt. Melting snow is the sad realization that the real world now has a clear, safe path back to it. And I just didn’t want to face the real world that day.

It took me few seconds to convince myself that I wouldn’t see any snow, find the snooze on my alarm, and talk myself out of the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. letting something go isn’t easy… especially for me because don’t let much of anything go.

There is a problem with me. I’m a Dave Matthews’ song sometimes… most of the time… I do everything just a little too much. the main thing being think. oh. and ruin things. I do that a lot, too.

I guess that’s being human. We always want something that we can’t have… want mountains to move just because we don’t want to climb them…. want snow in the middle of summer.

I went to visit a friend the other day. I walked into her beautiful house and sat down in the midst of the American Dream with 2.5 kids. .5 kept running up and down the stairs. We talked, I left, and I was sad. She has a house full of memories and stuff and love and dreams and kids and hope… and now a body full of cancer. And I really just think that sucks.

I guess that’s life. Always handing out little surprises that turn out to be exactly the opposite of what we want… taking away the things that we desire… or never letting us have them in the first place. Ruining everyone’s lives and eating all of our steak.

I think I am growing more cynical as each day passes. The disgust clouds my thoughts sometimes and I forget to do things like… well, look at the clouds. Instead I look at friends behind bars, people hurting, and that damn animal shelter commercial.

Do we never get what we want? Don’t the good guys win? Won’t anyone adopt that poor kitten?

I don’t know. I just know that think I am losing faith and hope has gone looking for it. I just know that I want winter here to cover me with it’s blanket and wrap me up tight in my safe place. I want to stomp my feet and cry and demand that it come. Until it does, I will go on.

Poetry by Jennie Maynard Tilton

A Winter of Grief

Grief happens in a myriad of different ways.
Some days it comes like falling winter’s snow,
Going on and on, it seems that
Tears are all you will ever know.

And then, it comes like a blizzard,
With its harshness, burying you;
Leaving you trying to make sense
of everything you thought you knew.

There are days it is a quiet sadness,
Much like a numbing cold,
It can be so disorienting
As new emotions continue to unfold.

Grieving can be very lonely
Like a cold, dark winter’s night.
But many insights can be gained
As you wait for morning’s light.

Eventually, sadness does subside,
You find your joy has returned
With the beautiful snowflakes of happy memories,
As the lessons of grief have been learned.

The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens



The Snow Man

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

– Wallace Stevens

Snow by Loreena McKennit

White are the far-off plains, and white
The fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height,
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree,
Falls down scarce audibly.

(The road before me smooths and fills
Apace, and all about
The fences dwindle, and the hills
Are blotted slowly out;
The naked trees loom spectrally
Into the dim white sky.)

The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound;
Like some soft minister of dreams
The snow-fall hoods me round;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence everywhere.

Save when at lonely intervals
Some farmer’s sleigh, urged on,
With rustling runners and sharp bells,
Swings by me and is gone;
Or from the empty waste I hear
A sound remote and clear;

The barking of a dog, or call
To cattle, sharply pealed,
Borne echoing from some wayside stall
Or barnyard far afield;

Then all is silent and the snow falls
Settling soft and slow
The evening deepens and the grey
Folds closer earth and sky
The world seems shrouded, far away.

Its noises sleep, and I secret as
Yon buried streams plod dumbly on and dream.

A Season in Hell by Arthur Rimbaud

Rimbaudtranslated by Bertrand Mathieu

A while back, if I remember right, my life was one long party where all hearts were open wide, where all wines kept flowing.

One night, I sat Beauty down on my lap.—And I found her galling.—And I roughed her up.

I armed myself against justice.

I ran away. O witches, O misery, O hatred, my treasure’s been turned over to you!

I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.

I called for executioners so that, while dying, I could bite the butts of their rifles. I called for plagues to choke me with sand, with blood. Bad luck was my god. I stretched out in the muck. I dried myself in the air of crime. And I played tricks on insanity.

And Spring brought me the frightening laugh of the idiot.

So, just recently, when I found myself on the brink of the final squawk! it dawned on me to look again for the key to that ancient party where I might find my appetite once more.

Charity is that key.—This inspiration proves I was dreaming!

“You’ll always be a hyena etc. . . ,” yells the devil, who’d crowned me with such pretty poppies. “Deserve death with all your appetites, your selfishness, and all the capital sins!”

Ah! I’ve been through too much:-But, sweet Satan, I beg of you, a less blazing eye! and while waiting for the new little cowardly gestures yet to come, since you like an absence of descriptive or didactic skills in a writer, let me rip out these few ghastly pages from my notebook of the damned.

Saponification by Brooke Stant

1476534_10202145088096238_896157885_nThis is something I wanted to add, to me it is quintessential winter. I don’t like the emphasis on warm/cozy/cinnamon this time of year – I’d prefer to emphasise the cold and stark. The only thing that slowed me down is that this soap is not currently avail, although I’ll have some made for early January. I used to do a blue/white icey floral called Frostbite, but I far prefer this one for winter. Sometimes I even make it during the hottest days of summer.

“Siberian fir and stately pines dusted with powder-soft layers of sweet snow.”‘

Photography by Julie Sims at

Poetry by Victor Morgado

Journey towards Winter

During the after math of the great massacre by Yantuno, great grand father of the first emperor of the civilization known today as the Mayans, a group of survivors gathered their strength and headed North following the stars. The leader of the group, a tall long hair warrior known as Wantani, son of the village story teller, remembered the tales that his father used to tell them by the fire during moonless nights.

Tales of a valley beyond the painted mountains, where the echo of a Puma’s growl would reverberate endlessly through the wind in circles; as the white fields of snow swept to the yonder, oceans and lakes pushing ice like a moving white quilt .

Wantani took a gander at their equatorial belt attire, and wondered what skins would they need to survive the other side of the painted mountains. Loose weeds called Enaguas was what they wore until then, and vis a vis the cold breeze of the morning, what they knew until then was no longer enough to feel oneness with the Earth.

One night, as the braves and their wives had entered the dream world, Wantani struggled with his decisions with anxious yearning, sitting on a moon lit hill facing the valley which no one before him had ever ventured to cross. The reflection on the moon on the distant ice..

Anxiety grew in him the anticipation of numerous performances in the unfolding drama of life, in a way in which only a warrior with story teller genes , could feel it coming..

Their language was warm and paced, fairly stated like a jungle Latin, the ancestor tongues of the first Mayans.

it was known that the great great grand father of Yantuno, had known the land of birth of he Sun…it was said that one time, the entire Earth was one chunk of land and the continents and islands we know today.

In a sudden burst, Wantani stood up with his eyes fixed on the starry night, and in his Jungle Latin he spoke to the Great Spirit of Life and destinies.

” it is the voice of my angel That which I no longer hear..the merciful one, the guidance of my solitude. The angel architecs of worlds and the sudden peace I ferl when rhythm abides and a message is conciled…O dear Angel, come.. I feel your presence and must I believe thatI never was?

must I believe that this is it?…along forever guide us survivors of Yantuno’s wrath..and lead us into the Winter which we know only moonlit night stories by my own father….but no real life, huntings nor dance in the great lake of crystal…


Winter in The Heart by Leigh Charles

The blizzards of change are coming
Bees and sounds of life have stopped humming

Ice swirls its dance spiraling downward
Teasingly touching faces
Before melting away

Just like the heart
Melting away

Rain splatters down on the pavement
Making surface things slippery
Just like the heart

Rain splatters down panes of glass
Running rivulets
Like tears in the heart

Frost, frost coming
Freezing things over
Just like the heart

Don’t tap my soul
For surely shards of ice will splinter in my heart
Gone, it will be gone, just like the melting snow
When the morning sun glows

Poetry by Michael Simon

winter (n.)
Old English, “fourth season of the year,” from Proto-Germanic *wentruz (cf. Old Frisian, Dutch winter, Old Saxon, Old High German wintar, German winter, Danish and Swedish vinter, Gothic wintrus, Old Norse vetr “winter”), possibly from PIE *wed-/*wod-/*ud- “wet” (see water), or from *wind- “white” (cf. Celtic vindo- “white”).

The Anglo-Saxons counted years in “winters,” cf. Old English ænetre “one-year-old.” Old Norse Vetrardag, first day of winter, was the Saturday that fell between Oct. 10 and 16.
winter (v.)
“to pass the winter (in some place),” late 14c., from winter (n.). Related: Wintered; wintering.


White Out

There may or may not be snow. But we say
it’s here, this time, and we cover ourselves
in layers, like onions, hoping to stay
the tears we think shouldn’t be there, and that

we want to hide, but not just from others.
Families may congregate, feeling safe
like churches, like herds, welcoming the new
members, imagining those lambs we lost.

And so we celebrate. We distract us
with ritual, with love, because we want
to be happy – that gift we can never
get – or give – enough of. There may be snow.

How would we live without expectation?
A man in the street shivers. He may be at home.