The heavens draped in sackcloth sigh
And, heavy-hearted, say goodbye
To closest family, dearest kin,
As frozen tears well up within.
Then gazing at the barren earth,
The skies release with mingled mirth
Their very own to journey down
And wreath the world with winter’s crown.
Created part of nature’s flow,
Yet always new creations grow
Where snow descends from clouds above—
A quiet word, an artist’s love—
And, painting with a single hue,
It colors in the world anew:
The rocks on plains are summits high,
Now peaking through a cloudy sky,
And dark-barked craggy lifeless trees
Are bursting forth with brightest leaves,
And down below, the silent sea:
A blanket of serenity,
Yet welcoming the playful sounds
Of footsteps laughing through the mounds
Of playful powder—hills and plains
Where children bound and angels deign
To leave their evanescent marks
In snow unmelted by the sparks
Of nascent creativity
And brushes of divinity.
While gazing from a windowsill,
A wizened man can wonder still:
Rain, fog, and hail—but why this snow?
For beauty such, who do we owe
Our gratitude, our silent awe,
Our disappointment when it thaws?
Who ever could have thought up snow?
And could it offer hints to know?
By Michael Stalcup
Missionary & Poet
Photograph by Sho Niimura