Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shades of March (revised)

[Hi folks.  I posted a version of this poem on Saturday, but really wasn't satisfied with it.  So here's a revised version for your viewing pleasure!] 

Shades of March

the snow: incoherent on the hill’s south face scraped
raw to sagebrush & barbed wire fencing by rain

a string of white UP reefers on the Ontario, Oregon siding a
bicycle ditched in gravel ballast by the tracks

say goodbye

standing water in a pasture reflecting a dishwater
gray sky a pile of corrugated tin & 2x4s under a tarp

a yellow building collapsed under snowload on a
flat roof the street closed down by concrete barriers

say goodbye

in incoherent snowdrifts a horse head's painted on
a satellite dish beside a derelict white homestead

say goodbye

a redwinged blackbird's feral trill in bare limbed willows a
Greyhound bus churning north along a black glass highway

the snow can’t keep its coherence the
bitterbush black in thick rain under a long gone sky

say goodbye

Jack Hayes
© 2011


  1. So many images in those few lines : images that reflect the season whether it be in the mid-West or West Yorkshire.

  2. Hi Alan: Thanks! Glad you liked it & that you can see some of your own landscape there!

  3. More often than not you come across poems about the onset of spring that are cheerful and full of promise, while this is more complex and also bleak. As if winter has a beauty of its own that's crumbling (the snow losing its coherence for instance), and what's left is a muddle, at least for the time being.

  4. Hi HKatz: March in this part of the world is its own season--some old & tired snow--down at our elevation increasingly less, still a lot in the mountains--& down where we live lots of gray skies & mud. Still good to see ground, but an "in between" time--unsettled. Glad the poem conveys this for you, & thanks so much for commenting!

  5. You cast the mood entirely of the symbolism of winter, endings, waiting, and impending transition.

    It flows like a song with the chorus in between: Say Goodbye.

    brought tears to my eyes, and reminded me of the train song "City of New Orleans"...

  6. Hi Dianne: What a wonderful comment--thanks! I'm quite fond of that song myself. So glad you liked the poem.

  7. Hi Tomm: Thanks! That's cool--just the effect one would hope for any poem.


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