2013 Bill Holm Poetry Contest Co-Winner, Linda Beeman

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.



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





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