Winter’s Breathing Lesson


My driveway, about a winter ago. Perhaps two winters ago?

Winter’s Breathing Lesson

wolves thrive in winter
a matter of attrition
as their prey weakens

though her canines are not fanged
her biting air stirs my lungs

this winter is tamed
El Nino tempers her howl
flurries become rain

I’m steeled for a land of white
the mist still chills our pack’s trail

weather-guessers clash
none know what tomorrow brings
I embrace the void

cooler, darker than last moon’s
I keep my howls to myself

Written for Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Winter, Posted by Sumana Roy.

NOAA predicts a warm, wet winter for the Seattle area this time (so no snow days), but Farmer’s Almanac says batten down the hatches for unseasonably cold weather.

I was going to write a satire about the two conflicting predictions from the dual weather sages, but mindful presence moved me in a different direction. 

I haven’t looked at the data for myself, but meh, I’m genuinely good with either outcome. 🙂

And because I love BOTH versions…

4 thoughts on “Winter’s Breathing Lesson

  1. It’s certainly best to keep your howls to yourself as humanity by their actions are affecting the planet and the weather by their abuse of their only viable home. Sadly they never see their own actions in the heating of the planet and the trashing of the oceans and have no intention of correcting that behavious while money can stil be made from their greedy blindness.


  2. I’d forgotten about this song! Thanks for both versions. And this poem! I read again and again to trace the changing narrator, ending by being grateful to feel the merge of winter, wolf, wolf pack and human(ity). I especially like the howl–While El Nino tempers hers, “I keep my howls to myself.” Breathe!


  3. So nice to see you, Barry. I love this poem, with its wise winter wolves and you embracing the void. I’m good with whatever weather comes, too. I love indoor weather, good books and taking it slow…….


  4. I am keeping my howls to myself…don’t know why …this gave me a giggle. Perhaps it’s because I imagine you doing the dishes practising your wolf howls to the moon:)
    Your driveway looks beautiful. Snow is beautiful and I am glad you love your seasons. Moi…I am strictly a sun kissed white sandy beach palm tree person who has not seen snow for twenty years and plan to keep it that way. Good to see you posting here.


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