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The Marsh in Winter
by
Timothy Walsh


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If you stand and listen,
you will hear the voice.
Reeds sharp as rapiers rasp the wind.
Frost creaks in the trees.
Sunlight, ice-bright, falls from the sky.
Scattered cedars and junipers loom like shadows.
Sheathed in ice, a willow droops heavily
     across the path.
Driven snow packs the creviced bark of cottonwoods.
Once-hidden bird nests now plainly marked
     by a white cap of snow….
 
Out on the marsh, blue water shows through shifting ice.
Tall brown reeds, slim as dancers, bend in the breeze.
A hundred thousand cattails, each one lit
     by the low-angled light of a westering sun,
each brown seed head blazing
     like the head of a saint.
 
From Wild Apples (Parallel Press, 2004).
Used here with the author’s permission.

 

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Timothy Walsh grew up in New Jersey but has spent the past three decades in Wisconsin. He currently directs the Cross-College Advising Service at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Timothy’s latest collection of poetry is When the World Was Rear-Wheel Drive: New Jersey Poems (Main Street Rag Publishing). His inspiration comes from walking or bicycling whenever he can, and being on or near the water whenever possible—­canoeing, kayaking, sailing, or sitting by the shore. He also enjoys tending a garden of roses, climbing vines, and fruit trees while the garden tends to him. Learn more about Timothy at http://timothyawalsh.com/.

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New comments are closed for now.
Sharon Urdahl:
How exquisitely written...thank you.
Posted 04/01/2014 05:34 PM
Dorcas:
How lovely to be within this reflection of yours. It transports me to where I am not.
Posted 02/28/2014 09:12 AM
Jo:
Beautiful poem. I agree with Donna about saying it out loud. It's late that I'm reading this, but I'm so glad it was still here. Wisconsin is beautiful-- As is your writing.
Posted 02/26/2014 10:00 PM
tannerlynne:
I really like this, especially the last few lines...
Posted 02/26/2014 08:29 PM
Ginny C.:
Thanks for sharing this beautiful poem.
Posted 02/26/2014 04:31 PM
Donna Pflueger:
Your poem is as lovely to read as it is to say outloud. Incredible use of assonance and alliteration. Thank you for the stunning images!
Posted 02/26/2014 03:42 PM
mimi:
the last stanza will stay with me for a long time...achingly beautiful. thank you! Sharon Auberle
Posted 02/26/2014 11:01 AM
CamilleBalla:
I meant unique, but I just might coin "sunique". :)
Posted 02/26/2014 09:59 AM
CamilleBalla:
I especially like the last lines-- sunique, surprise. Thanh you!
Posted 02/26/2014 09:57 AM
Charly:
What a truly lovely poem, the images and uses of the senses is spot on. I love to walk and poems from nature inspirations are some of my very favorites.
Posted 02/26/2014 07:55 AM
JanetruthMartin:
What a gorgeous painting...love the ending!
Posted 02/26/2014 07:24 AM
jeanie:
each brown seed head blazing like the head of a saint. !! love that. winter landscapes have a beauty all their own. thanks, tim
Posted 02/26/2014 06:58 AM
Maryann Hurtt:
So absolutely describes the reason I love (and survive) snowshoeing in winter. Thank you.
Posted 02/26/2014 06:04 AM


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