The wind was driving the wet, sleety snow into his feathers with some force, so Algy quickly decided to move to a less exposed and better-drained spot, away from the open moor. He found a good, solid clump of heather on a bank of mossy grass, and tucked himself down on the lee side, with his back pressed tightly against the bush. Just a wee bit of shelter makes all the difference in such conditions, so Algy felt almost comfortable, once he had settled down out of the wind. As he watched the snow whizzing past, he was reminded of a lovely snow poem by Mary Oliver:

          In winter
              all the singing is in
                   the tops of the trees
                       where the wind-bird

          with its white eyes
              shoves and pushes
                   among the branches.
                       Like any of us

          he wants to go to sleep,
              but he’s restless—
                   he has an idea,
                       and slowly it unfolds

          from under his beating wings
              as long as he stays awake.
                   But his big, round music, after all,
                       is too breathy to last.

          So, it’s over.
              In the pine-crown
                   he makes his nest,
                       he’s done all he can.

          I don’t know the name of this bird,
              I only imagine his glittering beak
                   tucked in a white wing
                       while the clouds—

          which he has summoned
              from the north—
                   which he has taught
                       to be mild, and silent—

          thicken, and begin to fall
              into the world below
                   like stars, or the feathers
                        of some unimaginable bird

          that loves us,
              that is asleep now, and silent—
                   that has turned itself
                       into snow.

[Algy is quoting the poem White-Eyes by the contemporary American poet Mary Oliver.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s