the sons of men filled the earth
with their evil deeds.
And God beheld the desolate wastes
the soiled streets
the bitter brown of barren fields
and the sin of the world
cut him to the heart.
“I will blot from the earth
the memory of these things.
Behold, I will make all things new!”
So he gathered up clouds
from the four corners of the sky,
billows pregnant with promise.
He gathered them in great, dark piles
on the horizon of hills
while the weathermen watched
schoolchildren pressed their noses against the glass.
And God said,
“Let there be snow.”
First, small white flakes
like lace, drifting.
driving snow before it, a blizzard
hiding hills from view
(and the tops of church steeples
and street lights, too).
For forty days
the land was covered in white,
the wretched lines of a wretched world
blurred soft overnight—
as God birthed grace upon the earth.
~Sara Arthur “Advent in Michigan”
I wish one
could press snowflakes
in a book
~James Schuyler from “February 13, 1975”
…Then how his muffled armies move in all night
And we wake and every road is blockaded
Every hill taken and every farm occupied
And the white glare of his tents is on the ceiling.
And all that dull blue day and on into the gloaming
We have to watch more coming.
Then everything in the rubbish-heaped world
Is a bridesmaid at her miracle.
Dunghills and crumbly dark old barns are bowed in the chapel of her sparkle.
The gruesome boggy cellars of the wood
Are a wedding of lace
Now taking place.
~Ted Hughes from “Snow and Snow”
Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels…
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow from “Snow-flakes”
I’m roused by faint glow
between closed slats
of window blinds
The bedroom suffused
in ethereal light
from a moonless sky
as a million tiny stars fall silent
The snow lights all that is broken,
settling gently while
tucking in the downy corners
of a snowflake comforter
as heaven comes down to
plump the pillows,
cushion the landscape,
soften the wretched,
illuminate the heart.