New Year snow

For the dverse prompt. Rarely have I wrangled a more difficult form.

New Year snow

The green of winter fields has gone,
no gleams, no sun-bright beams
in muddy puddles, pewter wan,
this new year seems

Only ice-breath from this sky
freezes trees below
Beneath the flakes, I wonder why
the purity of snow’s so
ghastly dark.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

37 thoughts on “New Year snow”

  1. Ai consider this to be a strong critique of what is happening in the world today, when cold it is and even the lightness of intellect is blurred. Certainly, one must be alert. 🌷 (Ai understand it you master the form perfectly well.)

    1. Thank you! Winter and its darkness can be a metaphor for many of our human doubts and disasters.
      Just an aside, your English is so good, I was wondering if you used ‘Ai’ as the first personal pronoun intentionally, instead of ‘I’?

    1. It still sounds wonky to me. I think the description of 8 6 and 2-beat lines corresponding to 8 6 and 2 syllables is weird. It must be possible, but I’m not sure it would sound very good.

    1. Thanks Grace. I had real trouble with this form. The Shadow Poetry description seems to mix up syllables and beats. I went for 4 3 2 beats but that doesn’t match the syllable count so I haven’t got it right.

  2. This is exquisitely done, Jane! I resonate with; “Only ice-breath from this sky freezes trees below winter-stark.” ❤️❤️

  3. Rarely have I wrangled a more difficult form.

    Really, Jane? I would never have thought so – your piece flows beautifully (and conveys emotion very effectively)!


    1. It’s true, and I’m sure what I ended up with isn’t strictly what was intended, but I’m glad you like it xxx
      Since you’re here, I can tell you that your poem made me smile. Yes, start with the sauvignon and pursue with the merlot. Your poem stuck to the syllable count better than mine did 🙂

  4. Your comment about how difficult it was made me want to try it. And it is difficult! 🙂
    But yours flows. “ice-breath from the sky” sounds like an Oracle phrase

    1. Thank you 🙂 I gave up trying to work out the syllable/beat thing, which doesn’t make sense to me. I’m glad you think the result flows though. I’ll blame the Oracle of the number of syllables is out 🙂

      1. Your poem is heartbreaking. It makes me upset and furious that there are more and more ugly people coming out of the woodwork and denying it ever happened. And if it did, they deserved it.

  5. I read this less about literal snow, but on more on the human condition, especially the stanza closings…

    “this new year seems


    “the purity of snow’s so
    ghastly dark.”

    Covid has really done a number on a lot of us mentally. There’s this somberness and surliness of mood that in not going to recover from any time soon.

    1. I can’t say Covid has affected me or the people round me much. I never resented the measures taken to slow down a pandemic, still wear a mask in crowded places because people are so slap-happy about turning their head away to sneeze or cough etc. But I agree with your point about the bleakness of mid-winter reflecting the desperate condition of much of the world.

    1. Snow would be interesting to show the animal prints around the house, but it would only make it easier for the hunters to track down creatures that have a hard enough time surviving as it is. So, I’ll pass on the delights of snow and keep on complaining about the gloom 🙂

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