Friday, January 1, 2021

New Word, New Season, New Year— and a Winter Love Poem

 Hello and Happy Poetry Friday! Be sure to visit Ruth at there is no such thing as a godforsaken town for Roundup.

How wonderful to find ourselves entering this brand-new year! I'm excited to share with you my 2021 One Little Word:

I've selected this word because I can easily get caught up in cleverness, which keeps me in my head, when the way I want to experience the world is through my senses, fully engaged in the awe and mystery each moment offers... (reminds me of a quote I love: "You're either in your life or in your head." You can't be in both at the same time!)

Plus I'm turning 50 this year, and that seems like a good time to question everything. Simply selecting this word feels like spiritual growth for me — it's not neatly packaged like some of my other One Little Words... I look forward to discovering all it will come to mean in my life during the coming months.

...and I have a new ArtSpeak theme, too! While I enjoyed my "red" color study very much, I wanted something a bit more structured this year, which brought me to this:

So I'll be exploring all four seasons in art — as I experience the season we're in. I'm excited, and also aware that this may present a grand challenge... I mean, how many fresh and original poems can one write about snow? Eep! This practice pushes and grows me every year, and I expect this year especially so. We shall see... 

You can read the poems here each Friday and also at my new ARTSPEAK: Four Seasons padlet gallery.

Today's poem is a love poem, and a dream poem, and a poem more for adults. Pink evening (or morning) light on snow is especially dreamy, isn't it?

A Dream of Winter

up the curved path
between steadfast trees

yellow house holds
a dazzle of winters

we fold ourselves
into sinking pink light
into each other

at first cold cool
soon warm warm

as the windows
swallow January's
shy sun

and winter
strips us bare
of all the glittering
meaningless things

and brings us
back to the miracle
of drift

- Irene Latham


  1. Love your self-challenges. I'm betting that Bewilderment will not let you down if you try to balance between life and inside your head. That fiftieth birthday really does present a bump in the road. Not necessarily a bad bump or a good bump. But, you'll notice it for sure. I hope you celebrate it surrounded by love and...bewilderment!
    Oh, my...ALL four seasons? Good on you. I have taken after your practice for the first time this year. I'm excited about what I will learn with my friend, Ox. I'm not sure I'll do a padlet gallery. Still thinking on that one. But, a poem a week for sure. Happy New Year, Irene!

  2. What a great word choice for 2021! I can't wait to see where it takes you. What a delightful start!

    I have been full of energy so far this morning, starting with my first three Morning Pages, then hosting duties, then birding, then breakfast, then more hosting...wonderful beginning to the new year! Wishing you a beautiful year. And you know I won't forget your birthday. :-)

  3. "Drift, flurry, Melt" may be about winter and snow, yet sometimes it seems about my life and perhaps you meant it that way, also connecting to your OLW. How will our year be? I am hopeful and wishing you a grand one in all four seasons, Irene.

  4. I happen to be a big fan of pink, especially the pink in Kandinsky's painting–and I love the yellow in the house and sky and in your lines: "yellow house holds
    a dazzle of winters" your poem and the painting may sweep me away in their colors till spring. Challenging OLW you picked–makes me think of Piglet and Eeyore, not sure why… Ah, 50… it lets you begin again–thanks Irene I look forward to your season poems.

  5. I'm excited to watch the seasons unfold in new and unexpected ways through your ArtSpeak poetry series, Irene. Your poems are a masterclass. And regarding turning 50, no worries. Having crossed that threshold 4 years ago, I believe it is the best decade by far. :)

  6. "I've selected this word because I can easily get caught up in cleverness, which keeps me in my head, when the way I want to experience the world is through my senses, fully engaged in the awe and mystery each moment offers... " This so resonated with me in my own writing struggles right now, Irene. Thank you for summing it up so wonderfully for me! And for your beautiful poem and beautiful you.

  7. Hooo-ey! (Fans self after reading your poem...) You are a gem of many facets, my friend. LOVE your new word, and I had some similar thoughts about reclaiming the wonder of the moment on a walk to downtown a couple of days ago. Here's to being bewildered and wrapped up in wonder!
    Thanks for sharing the Kandinsky painting, too, which I didn't know... HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and yours!! XO

  8. Awe and bewilderment make a beautiful pairing, Irene. Of course, I love your new ArtSpeak challenge. it brings the splendor of nature full of poetic goodness. If you have a winter poem offering for my #WintersEmbrace 2021 Gallery collection, I would love it. These lines are golden in your usual magical way:
    and winter
    strips us bare
    of all the glittering
    meaningless things
    Happy New Year and may bewilderment take you on an amazing journey.

  9. Irene, bewilderment seems like an interesting word choice. I completely understand and agree with "when the way I want to experience the world is through my senses, fully engaged in the awe and mystery each moment offers..." Being outside in nature, petting my cats, working with children... helps me to experience the world through my senses with awe. I love your four seasons Artspeak theme! I'm looking forward to reading your poems and seeing how you match them up to art. I love the imagery and personification in a Dream of Winter! Beautiful pairing with the painting. My favorite lines are
    "between steadfast trees", and
    "fold ourselves
    into sinking pink light
    into each other", which makes me think of snuggling my husband and cats feeling grateful I have them to touch and hold during this time of not touching. It also make me feel cozy and warm. I also resonate with "brings us/back to the miracle/of drift/flurry/melt because I love cross-country skiing in snow, walking with my tongue out catching snowflakes, watching and feeling unique snowflakes melt in my hands, looking for animal tracks in the snow, observing the birds who love to eat the beef suet and seeds we put out, observing kids playing in the snow... When I read your poem aloud I love the sounds of your alliteration, repetition, assonance and rhythm. Great way of using dazzle and swallow, too. Such a beautiful poem. Thank you! Happy New and Healthy 2021.

  10. What a fine quote, and what a word to draw from it. May you be wildered by winter, spring, summer and fall all year, which we all hope will be cooler, brighter, gentler.


Your thoughts?