Blustery day

The seasons change pretty quickly in Toronto. One moment, we are complaining about the heat and humidity; the next, we’ve swapped t-shirts for parkas and bathing suits for balaclavas.

Such was the case earlier this month when a windstorm rolled in over Lake Ontario and the beach near my home. I still have sand in my pockets.

Crème de Glace

So beautiful

So beautiful

Leaving the house to go to work,

I open my door to find

My world transformed.

Branches of the trees

Hang a little lower

In the cold morning air,

Suffering the burden

Of a coat transparent.

The rains of late evening

Have been transformed

As o’ernight mercury fell,

And the harsh rough bark

Gained a smooth icy coat,

Glimmers in the early light of day.

 

Droplets that formed

On branch tips and boughs

Are caught in tableaux,

Diamonds reaching out

To cut glace.

In the modest light of morn,

An explosion of stars

As branches dance

On the breeze,

And the horizon is littered

With silvers and golds

Of ice and leaves yet true.

 

An image in transition.

The day is a busy one.

As the run rises higher

And the ebon bark

Absorbs Helios’ glow,

The ice will melt;

Diamonds lost forever,

Stars fallen to earth.

And we’ll await

Another day,

Other magical illusions.

(Written 17 years ago, this seems appropriate today.)

Ice in Toronto

I am one of the lucky ones because I still have power, and I know the storm has been even more impactful east of Toronto (toward Kingston), but here are a few images from my house.

Rainy night

Background lights reflect off watery pavement

Watery applause

filters through my window;

an atmospheric

stream of consciousness,

rafting my mind

to memories thought lost,

of friends, of love,

of pain, of loss.

Flushing rivulets

clear out the old

to make space for

sunnier days ahead.

Heavy rains make for sodden cycling

Heavy rains make for sodden cycling

Rain drops in such profusion that ripples annihilate ripples

Rain drops in such profusion that ripples annihilate ripples

Highway 401

Snowflakes hit the windshield / Like a swarm of angry bees

And are swept away as quickly / To make room for their brethren.

 

Clouds of frozen heaven / Scurry across the highway;

Riders on chaotic steeds / Dancing in a winter rodeo.

 

The car is buffeted / By the ever-changing winds,

And Zephyr’s howling wolves / Keep back all possible speech.

 

Ahead in the gloom, / Angry red eyes of devils

Waiver to and fro / Across sheets of black ice.

 

They slide into earthly clouds / Following well-worn lines,

The desperate marks of earlier travellers / In the uncertainty of the storm.

 

The normally limitless universe / Is bound on this night

By the visible few feet ahead.

The pathetic beams of headlights / Are white canes for blind drivers

Reaching cautiously into the unknown.