Three poets, Jeff Saslow, Rich Kessler, and Christina Gregory try to find light and balance during the darkness of winter and the stress of everyday life. Join them, as they express their connection to Nature through the written word.
Unless noted, all photos by Old Naturalist
The river otter’s homes are the joy of open holes,
Usually a foot in diameter,
and dot snowy Minnehaha Creek
On a cold, February afternoon.
The dark icy water of blackness houses a secret under the white world beneath my feet.
The otters enter the abyss to fish,
But then use the snowy creek to slide along as a game and a ritual,
Much like us who walk, ski
and pull children’s sleds on the surface.
The dogs sniff around the half open holes,
Their nose in touch with an otter or two
That danced, slid and fished eight to twelve hours earlier.
Now there are no otters in sight.
No smells that we, of course, can decipher.
But the open holes, the icy slides,
The dog’s attention are a testament
To something much deeper and unknown on the Creek,
Inside our bodies and just inside the walls of our world.
J. Saslow – Feb. 2015
Low winter angle of sunlight
Brown grasses through white frosting
I ski through my cake
Past twilight into the night
Tucked in dark woods
I push and slide
Toward marshmallow prairies
My insides are sucking on sweets
While my winded face meets my self again.
ice cracks underfoot
alone silence broken
by my racing heart
bare cold icy branch
closed buds huddle together
long for spring’s warm sun
I fall asleep between seconds.
My body shudders
I’m on the upward side of time
Sliding on a frozen, glass creek
My heart is all that is warm.
J. Saslow March ‘09
In the mist of mystery
In the spheres of frozen longing
You are born
Quickened by the rise and fall of wind
The mystical design of old.
Pure vapor is the womb
Tossed about the riding tide of streaming air
Agitated, perplexed, driven to create and birth your wonder for our viewing.
You trick us into thinking you are unique
Yet you follow the manual; dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s
Always 6 branches
Always following your crystal destiny.
Condensing cold upon the nascent flake
You grow tihe frenetic energy into branches, fern like and precious.
Stretched beyond the imagination
And in the chemical bond you join to others like yourself
Lining up, marching as it were, into the form within your knowing
And deep within you assemble
Fresh baby snow
Christina Gregory, January 2015