Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Snow

©  2016 Steve King
All rights reserved


We walked an autumn much in ease,
beneath the careless beeches, kicked their
discard fruits along the narrow hillside path,
and followed ‘til the lake rose up to meet us
through the trees. 
    And our silence pleased us so.
We passed the ancient fieldstone gate,
imagining some world that once had been;
all shadow and the hiss of falling leaves,
old lilac boughs in twilight nodding slow.

Caring little then for other things—
enough to feel the sunset at our backs,
to circle ‘round along a vanished path,
and brush our hands by happy circumstance.
No, nothing left to wonder of,
a surety to spare;
and we’d return by starlight if we could.


You laughed aloud when,
in a moment that remains
all out of sense and time,
you described the fallen orchard grove
embracing its old earth.

I said you’d writ a poem there.
You fled the instant,
said you needed song instead;
but clamorous spirits gathered to the air,
intoning in another sort,
and only cold winds moved to answer you.


We hurried, but the shades
of every autumn caught us up.
We held ourselves within a shield of vines,
listening for winds to end
as well I knew each moment must.
I strained for every incomplete echo,
the thread of any harmony at all,
a chorus to the gabble of disjoining thoughts
in search of quieter comfort.
I knew that shadows never could complete,
nor ever would the riddling wind,
become that song for you.

I shivered only when I saw your eyes,
still blue in fallen moonlight,
and white as a new snow,
as distant from all wanting
as yesterday’s desire.
You told me any pathway back would do.


Were I to hold a moment long in mind
it would be something like an autumn walk,
the sunlight and the shadow all as one.
Before a thousand sunrises
had shaken us from dreams.
Before the cast of season’s end
could color all we’d seen.
Before the dark ecliptic track
had run to course
and left our days undone.

A new poem for the Poetry Pantry


  1. luv the transitioning from Autumn. your poem takes us on a deeply pondered walk

    Happy Sunday

    much love...

  2. Steve what an incredible walk along an autumn if life were speaking here and telling its story!

  3. There is such strong metaphors in this autumn walk.. there is the painful sting of nostalgia.. of paths we never can walk again.. Like those parts that are too distant now...

    To me the pivot point of the poem is:

    I said you’d writ a poem there.
    You fled the instant,
    said you needed song instead;

    Something changed there... A wonderful read Steve.

  4. I agree, this is a breathtaking poem :D

  5. Such glorious imagery and beautiful writing. I loved this, Steve.

  6. What to say of such a superb piece of writing? The melancholy of Autumn and loss is palpable, yet to the sweet remembrance of times shared with a loved one. The final movement is brilliantly executed.
    This could stand beside any piece of literature I've read.

    1. Thank you for the very kind words, Kerry. SK

  7. A great story told here. I can see the different parts, and the love of the outside that inspired it all. Nicely done.

  8. A melancholy walk into the inevitable of autumn....each detail taking the reader deeper into the season in a superb and sensory way.

    1. I'm glad you were able to stop by, Mary. Thanks for the positive words.

  9. What a glorious piece! Love the cascade of images and metaphors. What a splendid canvas you have painted with your words. Your writing is layered and nuanced - and you're an awesome storyteller, to boot. I enjoyed reading this.

  10. Such vivid imagery throughout, but it was these lines that gripped my heart the most: "listening for winds to end
    as well I knew each moment must." Such a sad wistfulness there.

  11. Agree with Kerry--this is such a wonderful piece. You know, I've not read Nabokov very much, and yet I think of him at times when I read your work--(that yours could stand alongside easily)--first, the move from past to present, season to season and the undercurrents of a moment are so wonderful here--phrases that especially jump out at me--the loving of the seemingly (youthful) silence--the surety to spare (fantastic)--of course the careless beeches and discard fruits kicked to the side-- the fleeing of the instant (rather than in an instant)--so terrific! -- the different autumn shades later and the moonlit and seemingly wintry eyes--really really lovely and so beautifully stitched together. (I note that I think there may be a typo in the last stanza? Not sure--colored--I was thinking maybe you switched out could for had?--and maybe it's right, with an "ed" almost accented--but wasn't sure.)

    Thanks for the beautiful poem. I am "following" now so will see if that works. Also re trip to NYC--I am only there a few days a week now, usually, and then so much in my office--but one thing I saw that I strongly recommend if you have time is the Met Breuer's show called "Unfinished Work." The Met Breuer is the new building of the Met, situated in the old Whitney on Madison and 74 or 75--it is by donation. The show "Unfinished Work" is so great--at least I just adored it. I've only been once too briefly but hope to go back. It's open till September-- Anyway, have a great visit. k.

  12. This read so well. What a beautiful nostalgic feel it has.

  13. There is something in this piece and the way you have written it, that is a bit reminiscent of Frost. He would write similar: feelings and emotions woven into familiar settings and seasons. I so love this style of writing. Truly classic. Beautiful, Steve.