Photo & Poem: Burning Snow


Nature swats at the pasty insects fussing with
watch stems, adjusting mechanical time. Taking
one hour, exactly sixty minutes, from one edge of
a day and self-importantly tacking it to the other,

a legal act lost on horses, who keep time by
the feel of the soil, bucking wild at the scent of
green just coming, watching as the Canada geese
return to the pond, skidding along the dirty-gray

ice toward a few inches of water shadowing the
shore. Please stay, claim this place for your young.
Two pair survey the flow to the trees, keep watch
back to the unsettled herd, as the reliable gray drops

and rolls, leaving a white hair outline on the ground,
his tense flank the truest barometer of the unsettled
changes ahead. Winds that howl through the barn,
sending hay scraps to cracked dry ground, teasing

the look of grass. Winds that pause at dawn, respecting
the gypsy sun making its way north, throwing colors
to burn the snow, wet the soil, and call out the task of
rebirth, as city bugs complain of mud on their shoes.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm
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Anna Blake

19 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Burning Snow”

  1. The beauty of this poem is lost on me. All I can think of is that I hope my horses think breakfast is now 6:30 a.m. while I worry we’re late because it’s “really” 7:30 a.m. and we haven’t made it to the barn yet!

  2. Here in the UK our clocks change at the end of March, and I always watch as the horses adjust.

    This poem has a sense of shift about it, like it swings on a seesaw of change both natural and man-made.

    Thanks Anna for creating the words

  3. As much a problem as the time change is for us – doesnt matter at all for the animals. Spring is easy – everybody eats sooner! Now in the fall? Not so much. Feeding at 4PM is FEEDING AT 4pm. Granted I only have a dog & cat who give NO leeway as to dinner – and the outside wildlife (deer) start lining up & staring about 3 – putting them all off for an hour just doesnt do it. Nag Nag Nag.

  4. Actually after reading that over – its exactly the opposite! Hows that for a long senior moment?? And I thought long & hard about it before hitting “post”. I guess I should have had that 3rd cup of coffee after all!

  5. I had to read this twice, so profound. Winter coats shedding. A late snowfall. I march these days mostly to the rising and setting of the sun, in a narrow valley with steep sides where the sun is gone two hours before dark, winter evening feeds are much bigger than morning feeds. Given a choice, I’d say no daylight saving. One cannot get a farmer in off the paddock for a meal before dark, or kids to bed before dark, ready for a country school bus at dawn. City bugs and mud? I have friends who visit, we walk about the farm as I do my twice daily rounds, and I’m always appalled at the lack of appropriate footwear, the “girly” shoes, never any socks, unaware they need to be both vigilant and protected. (I won’t use the S word). Thanks Anna, roll on your summer, as we move to winter.


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