what just the mention of a scent can do to me

today is a million freckles, melting
on my face, an ice queen bloWs
with berry-red lips sharp, clear crystals
‘cross the land
&cars slip like boozed elephants,

get swallowed
by fog behind the next bend,
two guys buried in an avalanche,

time ticks

a useless snow plug//way too many cars
blocking the road,
my colleague’s back from cuba

“hey, i thought of you” he says
“you have to go, you gonna love it”
&the colors dance wild in his irises
a thick, carribbean wind sways
from the tanned crease of his neck

“p. is sick” i say
“can you do the tour for him?”
he looks up from an excel labyrinth
“on sat. i’m flying to japan– but yeah”

&i smell cherries ripening against the ice
that covered everything

the morning i took my skates
slid across the frozen mainstreet of my home town
&wished the ride would extend endless

like that one kiss

with no equivalent
out front a stable in a little village
while cows with velvet eyes
chewed tuneless syllables

my doctor said the other day
i’m too receptive//probably for most things i think

with a sigh untie the skates
&wish for spring//&snow
or both

or everything


over at dVerse, Marina has us writing seasonal poetry, about snow, being snowed in, iced in….literal or metaphorical


39 responses to “what just the mention of a scent can do to me

  1. some wildflowers are the temptation of memory – lovely poem. When I ice-skate I always recall how natural it is to hold hands, even for little girls who are too big to hold hands in public.

  2. When it’s snowing we become so much more perceptive… Love your images here, the spring would enter my thoughts when I want to have skates instead of wet boots. The boozed elephants is exactly how the cars and buses are too.

  3. really nice rhythm, especially up front…and love the comparison of that first kiss to riding skates across the road…which i am sure was a thrill…too receptive…pshh…..what does that mean? smiles. hard to know what to wish for, at times….

  4. Your poem floats like the snow and skates across the main street of my mind as I read it; the colors dance wild, almost like watercolor. And the yearning for spring, yes, I can identify! And yes, I think Cuba WOULD be interesting…smiles.

  5. Skating across the street – my, what a Brueghel-like image there! I love the contrast between the colours and the monochrome snow. Describing snowflakes as freckles melting on your face – love that image. And the doozy elephantine buses and cars…

  6. I enjoyed the contrast between the experience in the snowy fog and the colorful freedom Cuba seems to offer. Judging from photos, it seems it is a great place for painting or sketching.

  7. Here it is snowing still….so I really admire the opening verses –

    today is a million freckles, melting
    on my face, an ice queen bloWs
    with berry-red lips sharp, clear crystals
    ‘cross the land
    &cars slip like boozed elephants,

    wish for spring (not for snow), smiles ~

  8. I stand in the line of seven who were fascinated with the inebriated behemoth vehicles, another fabulous poetic, that lurches from past to present to past back to present, from girlhood to womanhood, from play to work, with the lightness & skill of an Olympic skater, dancing, twizzling, stopping time to worship winter, to usurp sliding on ice with jumps, twirls, & brilliant phrasing.

  9. Cherries with ice, snow – were refreshing, all this talk with man with tan – very contrasting to snow, whites….and not boring…so good for you expecting whatever if other fun things close by too…

  10. Wonderful imagery. I think of the Winter Queen in the Harry Dresden books – berry lips blowing ice crystals, beautiful and deadly. And another vote on the inebriated vehicles. Perfect! So many contrasts here…the poem slips and slides from one image to the next, Cuba and ice skates…spring, snow – everything. Oh yes!

  11. Another drunken pachyderm fan- I laughed out loud. You captured that particular essence of winter, a sense of holding on, waiting, perhaps envying those monotone cows a bit, content to just chew their cuds and be.

  12. I admire you for being a receptive person. A wonderful cascade of an image after image. Beautifully written.
    My favorite bit is, “i smell cherries ripening against the ice/that covered everything”.

  13. Oh my… Too receptive works so well for your poetry though, you never miss a detail. (Though I suppose in life it can become too much). So many great lines here, so sensual and sensory… Love the tuneless syllables.

  14. Ha. That opening stanza is great. It’s been a few months since I went ice skating (August, indoor, ha) and you make me want to go. Spring/or snow?…I identify with that question, too…

  15. Love the first line ‘today is a million freckles, melting’, great description, it puts you in mind of summer though that’s the last thing the poem is about, as the second line proves ‘on my face’ – I like that juxtaposition very much.

  16. I always wished I had learned to ice skate. I think the snow is beautiful but I’ve had enough and can’t wait for winter to be over. Really enjoyed your poem.

  17. So much to savor in this. You weave together so many threads from the fabric of your life. Your workday, the doctor, the cars/drunken elephants (;0) And I have to believe most of us who write poetry/paint–whatever, do, indeed, soak in everything. Both to our detriment and for the gifts of creativity, empathy and dedication. Not all bad but can be…well, you fill in the blanks.

  18. To skate on through worries.. through snow..spring.. and even down under Cuba is to receive more.. to smell..to see.. to touch.. to hear.. to taste most importantly to feel.. here..:)