I climbed the steep gully,
A cathedral of blue
Winter sky above me,
The sound of the hidden
Stream rilling and gurgling in my ears.

My footsteps criss-crossed
The busy pathways
Of mink and weasel—
Soft divets scooped
Where they belly slid
Down the banks,
Tracks suddenly disappearing
Into a perfect O of snow.

I paused to catch my breath
And listen to the sparse oak leaves,
Rattling ineffectually
At the wonderful clear silence.
How gratifying to be
In such a pure and simple landscape.

I could feel the earth slumbering
Under her coverlet of snow,
And see her graceful, full curved hip
Thrown carelessly across the valley.
Her languid, dimpled arm
Draped over the ridge,
Head resting, forehead kissing
The bank of the stream
As though peering through
Marbled ice at the
Rivulet of bubbles
Slipping along below.
And there before me
Her wide smooth rump
Thrust skyward
For a flock of glossy black crows
To perch upon.



24 thoughts on “EARTH SLUMBER

  1. charissagrace

    What a delicious, savory mug of homemade stew, Mel…so enjoyable to stretch out in and wriggle into and snuggle down to be regaled in rilling gurgling streams and careless graceful hips thrown

    Really liked this

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      It is an amazing experience, made all the more so because of the effort you need to put in to getting out there when it’s minus 15 degrees! T.G. for smartwool!

  2. Roger Baker-Utah

    I really enjoyed the closing image of the birds perching upon the sleeping mother’s bottom. Humorous yet respectful and charming. I also like the description of the winter predators belly sliding in the snow.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      You’ve got to think that those mink and weasels are having a blast, sledding on their furry bellies. Would love to watch them some day.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Ha! Yes, she was looking particularly fetching and Rubenesque that day. Thank you for reading, Sunshine.

    1. Melissa Shaw-Smith Post author

      Pearl, thank you for your continued support. Much appreciated. All the best to you. Melissa


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