Cold, Colder, Even Colder

A cold wind comes creeping along the ridgeline

Listen as it whistles through the ice covered branchy trees

A powerful force which only nature can possess

Silvery birches bending far but never breaking

Russian olives desperately hanging on to their frozen fruit

Towering oaks and maples surrendering scaffold limbs

A roaring crack and they crash to the ground

Hard-packed snow unmercifully awaits their landing

Sounds of the shattering sticks echoing across the landscape

A cloud of frozen white, and then nothingness

The breath of the gods rolls past, looking for another victim

Elemental cold plays the role of ally

Plummeting temperatures drink up ambient moisture

And dryness creeps into the abandoned spaces

Weakening the elders, beeches, and blackthorns

Tempting the elms and sycamores to bend or break

All those which tower high in jeopardy

The moon stares down on the fruit trees, keeping watch

As the greyness above bleeds into blackness

Apples and plums nestled close together in their groves

They’ve traded a towering stature for security

Gnarled branch collars of past broken limbs

Constant reminders that winter will have its payment

White accents against the darkened trunks

Delicate and beautiful artworks of frozen fog

And the magestic pines, anchored across the ridge line

Noble fir trees, aspen, and spruce

Refusing to shed their needles or color

Staring defiantly in the face of the storm

Roots deep and spread wide for stability

And as the grey relinquishes totally

The land is shadowed in a frozen nightscape

Tall sentinels braced for the next icy blast

Facing off again and again until morning comes







Latest posts by R J Schwartz (see all)

R J Schwartz

I write about everything and sometimes nothing at all. I'm fascinated by old things, rusty things, abandoned places, or anywhere that a secret might be unearthed. I'm passionate about history and many of my pieces are anchored in one concept of time or another. I've always been a writer, dating back to my youth, but the last decade has been a time of growth for me. I'm continually pushing the limitations of vocabulary, syntax, and descriptive phrasing.

5 thoughts on “Cold, Colder, Even Colder

  • January 2, 2017 at 5:10 PM

    Nicely written with rich detail and imagery Ralph, makes you cold just reading it. And here am I in heat waves; go figure. Some great phrasing and so well expressed, we experience all you see. Great work my friend.

  • January 3, 2017 at 1:04 AM

    Nicely penned and great imagery. Felt colder with each line. Your poem I read as I was looking out my window at the snow piled outside and more flakes coming down.

  • January 3, 2017 at 5:05 AM

    Oh so vividly do your poetic phrase paint a marvelous yet treacherous nightscape, Ralph. So cold, I can almost feel the icy winds.

  • January 3, 2017 at 4:42 PM

    I’m finding this Idaho winter to be one of the coldest I can remember – instead of complaining, I’m going to find the interesting wrinkles in it and write about them.

  • January 4, 2017 at 9:33 AM

    Excellent imagery in this piece, perfect title for this as I felt the temperature drop with each line. Tall sentinels bracing…and some inevitably breaking. We have had a more milder winter in the northeast so far. Nothing crazy for snow and the temps are mild at best. I do despise cold, but the majesty of snow cannot be denied. Great work Ralph~Paul


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