Footprints in the Snow

Claude Monet, Red Houses at Bjornegaard in the Snow, Norway

Footprints in the Snow

Now the hounds of winter come, shake the trees
with frosty breath, blow sharp cold weather blues
across the fallow fields, the wings of crow
write black legends, to say below the freeze.
No map is needed, no map, and no news
no travelers, merely footprints in the snow
left by whom? And when? Not feathered friend. Strange
to see bold tracks in white, some silent clues
of presence, of life, of some thing to show
I’m not alone. Now more snow, footprints change–
and go.

For the dVerse prompt using winter song titles, I attempted a curtal sonnet, which was Paul Brookes’ challenge form last week that I’m just getting to. It’s a form invented by Gerard Manley Hopkins. I don’t have the meter right.

41 thoughts on “Footprints in the Snow

  1. The painting goes well with this poem! Your words paint the picture…you captured the ‘blue’, frost and cold. I love the ending!!! (You help us imagine our own footprints…and although the snow covers them up again, it still matters that we have been there.)

  2. That’s some stark imagery… and very well written. ‘The wings of crow write black legends,’ is an epic line. It set a whole new fantastical tone to the poem, for me. ‘Now more snow, footprints change–
    and go.’ Lovely last lines.

  3. I hadn’t this Monet painting before; I like it very much. I, too, appreciate your poem’s final lines. In real life, I’m always disappointed by footprints in the snow. I wish the smooth, unbroken snow would just stay as it is.

  4. Love the image and use of the song titles here. I like the repetition of the word “no” and then the shift to the positive at the end…the footprints come and go….and “I’m not alone”.

  5. When I lived in Northern Manitoba is an isolated mining town growing up, we lived with snow most of the year. Snow would come in September. One year we had a huge snowstorm the last week of June. While I live in a milder climate now, there is a longing to feel the frigid cold, the hounds of winter, and walk in a snowfall that would cover my footsteps even as I moved a step further along. I love your thought that we are not alone.

  6. This is absolutely stellar writing, Merril! I especially admire; “the wings of crow write black legends, to say below the freeze.” ❤❤

  7. The crows stole the show but I like it from start to finish and the way those footprints could be taken literally, bringing in a mystery or metaphorically. In that sense, it made me think of the way our lives can easily change with the wind.

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