Tag Archives: spring

The screened door

6 Apr




The screened door

by L. Stewart Marsden


The old screened door screens nothing more than
flies, mosquitoes — an errant moth,
although the flies find ways to get around
and buzz their intermittent sound —
and rub their grubby forepaws in anticipation.

The odors and sounds and echoes of the last life
move through and past the meshed, rusting wires,
and flood the out-of-doors with human touch,
and flood the in-of-doors with honeysuckle and so much more.

The door which creeks on olding hinge, and stretching spring
brings back those days when blowing breeze found ease of life
without the stress and strife of these diminished, modern ways.

Those days are gone, gone, gone.
But not forgotten.



Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 6 April, 2014

Winter Beast

6 Apr

Winter Beast

by L. Stewart Marsden


The Winter Beast came howling over the Blue Ridge mountains, snarling and slashing at everything in its path.

It was the  season’s matchless last fury. No one could remember one worse.

It would linger, the weather reporters said, with sub-zero temperatures that froze pipes and bit flesh. Ice and sleet that cracked limbs and felled trees, snapped power lines and exploded transformers throughout the mountain countryside.

To that add two feet of heavy snow, with more to come.

You can make it,” I heard my father say as I trudged awkwardly along what I hoped was the right road.

The Jeep was useless. Besides snow making driving impossible, the cold had frozen the radiator of the vintage car, and the battery was dead.

I was covered with snow. My ski hat crusted over with chunks of ice, as were my jacket and pants and boots.

You can make it.

I thought of tales I heard as a kid of people being stranded in snow. How their body temperature dropped so low they become lethargic and disoriented. Their extremities − fingers and toes − died, and some actually cracked and broke off. Like carrots quick-frozen in liquid nitrogen, then dropped to the floor where it shattered into a thousand shards.

You can make it.

I thought of the cable reality shows − how I’d much rather be naked and afraid right now than bundled and slowly freezing to death.

You can make it.

Sure I can. I think I can. I’m not so sure. I sure don’t know.

They’ll find me in the spring when the snow melts. Maybe.

Wait. Spring was three days ago! That damn − what is it? What’s the animal? Hamster? Otter? Saw his shadow? If I had an otter I could slit its belly open and shove my hands inside for the warmth. Some guy did that with his dog. He was freezing, too. Famous story. What was that story? Was it London? Can’t remember.

You can make it.

My lips − cracked and needing balm. Where’s my lip balm? My inside pocket? Yeah. I can feel it from the outside. If I could get my fingers to move, I could get my lip balm and smooth my cracked lips.

God, I’m thirsty. The snow’s too cold to eat. Watch out − the yellow snow! There is no yellow snow. There’s nothing alive out here to pee in the snow to make it yellow.

How many miles? Why the eff did we have to buy that cabin? Miles from nowhere?

“Great view, huh? You can see down into the valley, and at night, when the slopes are lit up, it’s like Christmas!”

Seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fire. I wonder if the fire is still going? I wonder how Dad is doing?

“Want some popcorn? I’m gonna to cook it right over the fire!” When I was a kid we had those Jiffy Pop aluminum popcorn pans we used over the fire. But it always burned. Black widows is what you call burned popcorn.

Yeah. Burned popcorn. I can smell the butter and the salt. If I could smell anything. It’s in my head − in my brain, which is getting colder and colder. Remember brain freezes? I hate when that happens!

God, I’m tired. My legs feel like tree trunks. My feet − I can’t feel my feet at all. I don’t care. Actually feeling kind of warm right now. Maybe I should take my jacket off for a few minutes. I could move better. And find my lip balm and smooth my cracked lips.

What was that song? Pretend that he is parse and brown? Parson Brown. I always thought that what it said. But maybe it meant a brown snowman that parses. Clinton? He parses. But he’s not brown. Later on, we’ll perspire, as we dream by the fire. Jenny hit me in the arm when I sang it like that. As we sweat by the fire. Hit.

Jenny!  What’re you doing right now? Not freezing. Not trying to save your dad. Not out in the middle of God only knows − with your fingers and toes . . . that rhymes! Fingers and toes . . . God only knows!

You can make it.

Right, Dad. I can do ALL things! Hot. Is it hot to you? ‘Cause I’m feeling very warm. That’s ironic! If I just could get my fingers to bend, I could unzip . . .

Good thing I don’t have to pee. I’d wet myself. And then the pee would freeze and I would freeze and my dad would just have to get himself out of his own mess.

How far? Which effing way? I’m so tired. So tired.

I’ll just sit down for a moment. Not long, just for a moment. Don’t worry, Dad, I’m not giving up on you. I’m just sitting down in the snow for a moment. A little rest. Maybe take my jacket off. Get my lip balm.

It’s so soft, the snow. Like a fluffy, soft cold blanket. I like it cold when I sleep. Can’t stand it hot. Ah, that’s better. Like a bed. And the snow coming down again.

Quiet. Lighting softly and quietly on my face, and on my eye lashes, and on my lips. My cracked lips.

Hey, Jenny! Snuggle close, will you? Hold me. I’m just a bit too cold. Just a bit . . . too . . .


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 6 April, 2014

Winter’s last bite

3 Apr


Winter’s last bite

by L. Stewart Marsden

The winter’s last bite I know
is but the waning throe of that icy king
who flings his frozen warnings
to all that stop and listen;
upon the glistning, slickened ground
he hurls insults at coming spring,
a thing he much detests,
that comes to wrest away his rule
with foolish openings;
challenges to bring low his might
and frighten him away until the half-year’s spent
and he comes back again to rent
the season from the fall and all
returns to normal once again.


Copyright © by Lawrence S. Marsden, 3 April, 2014


9 Apr

OMG! the pollen is everywhere,
In my eyes
In my nose
In my lungs
In my hair.

A yellow-green dust
coats my world, near and far —
on the balcony rail
on the top of my car.

Yes, I know that it’s the harbinger
of spring
and the earth will ring in
delightfully warm days–

the haze that precedes it
has clogged all my senses
as I gather armloads of
prescriptive defenses

It’s something, I guess
I’ve got to go through
and at some point in the future
I’ll sigh with relief
But for now
until then
I’ll stew  in my grief,


‘Cause the pollen
is truly everywhere . . .
In my eyes,
In my nose,
In my lungs
and my hair.

Be it resolved

27 Dec

Be it resolved
by L. Stewart Marsden

hopes and dreams;
it seems we live from year to year,
looking back at one,
turning round to hear
or see
or, hopefully
a renewing grace
and walk afresh into a place
much improv-ed.

The last long day
has bent its back,
and deep beneath the earth
new seedlings stir –
abundance that will know no lack
and spring out gloriously!

Be it resolved.
Be it determined.
Be it hoped and dreamed
till all that seemed so daunting –
has been o’ercome by arisen newness.

The Bust-Out

3 Jun

The Bust-Out
by L. Stewart Marsden

Now I knowed when I used that word “bust”
thet somma you poem readers must
sink to a place that is just a disgrace
and waller like pigs in your lust!

But this ain’t what you think, I decree
thet “bust” in this poem ain’t slee-zee,
but refers to a break thet ever year takes
place in my yard, dontcha see?

A miracle happens, ’bout now —
and I ain’t ‘zactly figgered out how —
but it’s like an esploshun deep down in a dungeon
and the pris’ners escape out th’ hoosegow!

Then they bust out all over my yard:
pinks, yallers and blues — no re-gard
to the hard winter cells that had held them so well,
but no match for their flow’ry pe-tards.*

I reckon it’s kinda a omen,
fer alla us menfolk and women,
thet life will prevail, in spite of the jails
an we each kin git outta our dungeons!

*Okay. I ain’t one o’ them ivery tow’r pro-fessers! I hadda look up this word, jes like you had to, I bet!