Saskatchewan Screamer

Squirrel

The weatherman called it the “Saskatchewan Screamer”! A big weather front moved through the Carolinas today bringing deep snow to the mountains, but only ice and freezing rain to our area. I think it lost all of its scream by the time it got to us.  I filled the open bird feeder with lots of seeds and scattered some on the deck as well. The birds loved it and so did the squirrel. I counted at least ten different kinds of birds that came to eat lunch with us today.

Sleet and freezing rain

Squirrel stuffs himself with my seeds

Icicles hang // drip

*

Little birds dropped by for lunch

Crumbs from master squirrel’s table

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Climb…. three more segments

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On Tuesday we did prosery at d’Verse Poets Pub. We had to write a 144 prose piece using the word Cloud along with a line from a poem. I wrote this short story. Several bloggers mentioned they wanted the story to continue, so I am attempting to carry on… This is the first segment followed by three new segments.

The Climb

Dwight L. Roth

The old hunter slowly made his way up the rocky mountain side. He used his 30-30 more as a cane than a gun. It was a beautiful winter day with a cool brisk wind blowing up the hollow. He wrapped his coat tightly around his shoulders as he stopped to rest.

George enjoyed hunting for the past forty years. As he unwrapped a Hershey bar, he thought about his younger days and the thrill of getting his first deer on opening day. Now the thrill was just being able to make it to the high top. The view there was spectacular.

At the top of the ridge, he found trees bent from the wind. The clouds were different today. George wasn’t sure, “But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky” Distant snow clouds worried him.

The Story continues:

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***

He knew how fast the weather could change in early winter. George had hiked through the mountain laurel, almost to the high-top, the rise of rocks and scrub bushes that rose sharply before dropping down the backside of the mountain.

In the West he saw clouds were moving in more rapidly than he anticipated. He knew he must head back or he would be caught in a blizzard. In his younger days George could have easily stepped it off back toward the ravine in short order. But, his body would not cooperate like it once did. So, he slowly made his way through the laurel as best he could.

Reaching the head of the hollow, he looked out across the mountains and realized there was no way to make it down before the snow closed in on him. He had to find shelter and find it quickly!

*****

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It started as sleet and freezing rain, quickly turning into heavy snow. He remembered stories of hunters who got trapped in blizzards and did not make it home alive. George was determined that would not be his fate.

Having hunted the mountain many times, George remembered a large outcropping of rock on the other side of the hollow about half way down. If he could make it that far, a shallow cave at the base would provide shelter from the wind and snow.

Although going down was easier than coming up, one had to still be careful not to slip and fall, or step in between two rocks and sprain an ankle, or God forbid, break a leg. Carefully George made his way through the falling snow. In the distance he could see the large rocks, black against the white blanket of snow.

*****

As George reached the overhanging rocks, he could see his short breaths projecting like tiny steam clouds from a locomotive. He also felt an unusual tingling in his shoulder that radiated down his left arm. It concerned him, but he knew he had to find protection for the night so he pressed on.

He climbed up and peered into the shadows of the opening hoping not to find another animal taking shelter there. He breathed a sigh of relief when he realized it was empty except for a large pile of dead leaves that had blown in over time. The cave provided shelter against the wind and blowing snow.

With snow falling, covering everything, there was no way for George to build a fire or gather wood to keep it going. He knew it was going to be a long cold night. Would anyone miss him?

To be continued:

If you want more let me know…

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

This is where the story originated:

Today at d’Verse, Merril introduced our prosery prompt clouds. In prosery we are given a line from a poem of her choosing and it must be incorporated into the flash fiction story as given. The line she gave us was: “But these clouds are clearly foreign, such an exotic clutter against the blue cloth of the sky” from Clouds – by Constance Urdang

Chasing Beauty

I followed her as she floated in free fall,

admiring all those glittering points of light.

I reached out to touch her glistening face

only to find her cheeks cold to the touch.

Light reflected, not inborn.

Landing with all the others

she froze in place // frigid // unmoving;

unique glory lost in the masses.

Her cold cold frozen heart melted

in the early morning sunshine.

Sparkling one last time, she disappeared

right before my eyes…

Snowflake // so perfect // so unique;

One of a kind ephemeral beauty.

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Peter asked us to consider beginnings… the beginning line of our poem. He noted that the beginning line of a poem makes a person either want to continue reading or pass it by. I have reworked a poem that had a generic beginning and attempted to make it more enticing!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Awaiting Resurrection

October skies Covid-blue / clear as a bell

call for an end to summer’s heat

time for one last shinning / one last gasp.

Leaves present their colorful eulogy

leaving marks on flat smooth stones

lacking summer’s warmth.

As days close in, winter’s chilling bony finger

beckons us enter her icy sepulchral interment.

White snow blankets eulogies soon forgotten

as we rest / tucked in peaceful compost slumber,

awaiting life’s resurrection / sure to come.

Photos; Dwight L. Roth

First Snowfall

Out in the field

behind the chicken house

rows of asparagus

line the edge of the woods

kinked twisted…

bent over like a hundred old men.

Seed pods cling stubbornly to the tops.

In the woods,

bare foot paths

Disappear under a snowy blanket.

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Merril asked us to write a Quadrille of exactly 44 words, using the word blanket in any form we choose. It is still Fall here, but I immediately thought of snow in the winter where I grew up. It was such a beautiful sight to see that first snowfall blanketing everything outside.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com … then click the Mr. Linkey box to read other poets’ posts.

Haiku for a Winter Day

Winter
Darkness closes in
Winter comes softly creeping
Hiding in the shadows

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Snowflakes
Big wet snowflakes
Hold hands as they dance toward earth
Melting hearts are warm

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Cardinals
Red Cardinals arrive
Filling their gullets with seeds
For a long cold night

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Carolina Wren
Hyper little wren
Nervous always moving round
Chipper little friend

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Chickadee
Black-capped Chicakadee
Dressed in his gray and white tux
Eat seeds with abandon

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Catching Snowflakes

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We had a beautiful snow fall today with big flakes tumbling down. With 40 F temps it did not stick to the ground. It was great to see once again. I thought of this poem I had posted earlier. when the snow stayed around awhile.
Snowflake so perfect so unique
One of a kind ephemeral beauty
Dancing through the air, cold as ice.
I followed her as she floated in free fall
Admiring all those glittering points of light.
I reached out to touch her glistening face
Only to find her cheeks cold to the touch,
Her light being only reflected, not inborn.
Landing with all the others
She froze in place, frigid unmoving
Her individual glory lost in the masses.
Her cold cold frozen heart melted
In the early morning sunshine.
Sparkling once more she disappeared
Right before my eye

******

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Night Fliers

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Sixty years ago, when I was twelve, we loved to go sledding in the moonlight. The bright full moon shone down on us as we sailed down the hill, past the mail boxes, on our sleds. All the neighbor kids joined in for a fun evening in the cold. Those were great times.

Mem’ries of snowfall
Bright Wolf Moon shines down on us
Sliding down the hill

Photo: from our family album

Frank Tassone asked us to write a Haikai poem that alludes to the Wolf Moon in January.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2020/01/04/haikai-challenge-120-1-4-20-wolf-moon-okami-tsuki-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/