Poetry by Gail Murray – 1/18

Toronto Ice Storm 2013

Ice laden branches knock out power
all over the city
dead of winter
No heat, no light
Fallen trees block streets
cut power lines, damage cars.

Green flash, cannon boom
transformer down
I am in the dark,
Vulnerable.
Where’s my flashlight, candles?
Tea lights – three make a nice glow
a few tapers for romantic dinners
I lock my cat in the bedroom
to keep her safe
Walk slowly so as not to set the house on fire.

With Christmas three days away
I think of Scrooge in his nightshirt
When thunderstorms hit our rural home in the fifties
we had a cook stove and coal oil lanterns.

With gas fireplaces and barbeques people manage
boil water for tea, cook burgers, warm soup,
Stop lights down, no matter
last minute gift shopping goes on in plazas not hit.
We can’t let a disaster spoil Christmas.

I feel like one of the von Trapp’s
leg warmers under my jeans
wear gloves and fur coat indoors
How long before the heat in my house drops?
I see my frosty breath
My older home, not well insulated.

After twenty-three hours
Bang its back, furnace starts to purr
Power restored – soft golden light
I’ve survived this technology crisis.

Snow in Woods – a canvas by Tom Thomson

Sienna and amber-skinned
immigrants from war torn lands
speak in mother tongues,
feel no intimidation
by Canada’s frigid clime.

In his canvas
the artist welcomes wily winter
extolling its power and beauty
as clear woodland streams gurgle
beneath thin glass ice
branches laden with lacy ermine
reach skyward searching heaven.

gail's 2nd photoLike Keats, Gail seeks to capture the essence of the moment. Gail’s writing is a response to her natural and emotional environment. Her poems have been published in Blank Spaces, Wordscape, Arborealis and on CommuterLit.com. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Trellis, Heartbeats, Renaissance, NOW Magazine, Blank Spaces, Our Canada and More of Our Canada.