winter walk
winter walk

My pen has been still these last few days, though my mind has not.  Words and ideas float around and play out during my commute to and from work, and when I arrive at my destination ready to write, I instead log into my computer at work or walk into a cozy yurt at night and embrace Waylon and catch up with Edge.

So this morning, while we are still in the middle of what meteorologists are calling the polar vortex, but what we simply call winter, here is a poem to warm the day:

Ode to Fire, Ode to Heat, by David Budbill

Half my wintertime life, or so it seems,
I spend standing beside our old
wood-burning stove–which stands at the center
of our house–hands behind my back,
resting on my butt, palms out, warmth
of the fire in the woodstove working its
way into my body.  Then turn around and
bake the other side.  Too hot?  Just move
a step or two away.  It’s so simple, easy.
And all you’ve got to do is work
all year, sweat and heave and groan
to make this little moment happen.
Now I praise primordial fire, I praise
heat in its most basic form:
this blessed warmth that comes from our old,
wood-burning Round Oak stove.
Now I sing the praises of a wood fire,
of the heat this smoky burning liberates,
this dry heat that keeps us warm all winter,
even when it’s 35 below.