Linda Beeman: 2013 Co-Winner Bill Holm Poetry Contest

 

Linda Beeman is one of the co-winners of the Winter in Variations: Bill Holm Poetry Contest with her collection "Hibernal Songs." She  is an award-winning poet living on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. Her first chapbook, Wallace, Idaho, is a lyric tribute to her gritty hometown. Beeman’s poems have appeared in Raven Chronicles andWindfall and won awards from the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and Split This Rock.

 

 

 

 

 

Aftersnow

 

that blistering bright morning

after five inches of new snow

I drank a ruby zinfandel

and watched Wild Strawberries

 

from quilted comfort I savored

pristine white marred only by

tracks of black-tail deer

 

the aftersnow offered glorious

reassurance from yesterday’s

big flakes     glass roads     diminishing light

 

melting comets from high limbs fell

illuminating trails of ice particles

like spent fireworks

in the green and blue of day

 

December Light

 

early December light

falls hard and horizontal

casts shadow dense

as the object that shapes it

 

slender green breaks

ice shard muck

pliant hope for

that distant thaw

 

tracings of frost

lace puddle geometry

etch branches against

milk winter skies

betray last spring’s nest

 

winter light precious as joy

spent wisely before

the long dark

buries us

 

 

December Truths

 

an oblique glance

of light on bare

winter branches

 

brightness edged

down south trunks of

grey alder

 

late afternoon’s

burnishing of

cedar boughs

 

redemption etched

in crystalline frost

 

 

Frost

 

etches dead leaf edge

sparkles afternoon light

chills my neck and feet

just gazing into it

 

crow caw     eagle mew

 

on the deck rail

its angled white glistens

leers on walks and roads

skids me across twinkle

 

broken hip     dented fender

 

foot crunch on frozen moss

across to the well house

low heater setting keeps

pump from freezing

 

kitchen sink drip     moving moisture

 

iced microcosms underfoot

my anxious heart

hears water moving

I drive out in the morning

 

 

January Reprieve

 

clarity of bright

winter light etching

iced graffiti through tree limbs

lambent across snow slopes

stings like antiseptic

 

pristine beauty

January benediction

ruby-crowned kinglets flit

scour spores hiding under

sword fern fronds

 

You just got lucky

said the propane man

who relit my pilot

You were lucky

said the tree man

who surveyed the overturned hemlock

horizontal by my house

 

I wondered how potent

those prayer flags were

that wind horse

those cardinal markers

trapped now in undergrowth

 

but still there

hidden in the bracken

 

 

Pin Pricks of Snow

 

pin pricks of snow

minute ice atoms

visible only against

cedar frond     hemlock bark

float lazily this morning

in our silent universe

 

ganglia of limbs

each etched white or

plumped with coverlets

reveal unimagined complexities

snow x-rays of nature’s skeletons

 

tracks tell of comings     goings

brave neighbors on foot

courageous drivers daring Roseberry’s hill

deer and dogs bounding

ecstatic in pristine possibilities

 

blackberries arc vine

over vine under their white

weight like beaver dams

igloos hugging chickadees

and ruby-crowned kinglets

against the cold