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December Storms

With shorter days and longer nights
came winter’s bleakness all-too soon.
Dark water gleams with thin ice floes
reflecting the cold winter moon.

Lake Michigan has many moods;
now, waves pile up and soon begin
to pummel piers, then breach the shore.
Today those heavy gales came in

from northern lakes; they send stout ships
in search of harbor, heeding shoals.
This is the time that does depress
all land-bound, small-craft sailors’ souls.

I watch the swarm of fussing gulls;
they wheel about, then dive and soar.
Now, heavy snowfall dims my view,
brought in by raging storms that roar

toward the shore. I fight their force
at every step with heaving lungs.
The angry lake--her leaping waves—
those gusts now shriek in hellish tongues,

then rush the dunes, brown grassy slopes
and bend my poplars in assault
with force eight on the Beaumont scale.
I turn toward our house, then halt—

Although still safe from water’s reach,
it’s well within the grasp of storm
that tears away the boat house roof;
lights go off, yet the house is warm,

but May is far away. I dream
of sails filled with a springtime breeze
on calm Lake Michigan, without
bleak clouds and winter’s mental freeze.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content


This piece is a galore of images lushly woven to strike up imaginative hunger and take readers on a journey of nature's endowment. Nice one. Look forward to seeing more of it. Thanks.

Bathe yourself with poetry and let the world go to pieces.

have never been to the great lakes but now feel as if I have seen them them in winter's fury

thanks for the comment. Yeah, Lake Michigan can be bad, and Superior is worse, as many a saltwater sailors would tell you, but they are great for sailing--during the summer. Thanks very much. Van

author comment

I've been to Buffalo in the deep of a winter storm; and it's as bad as they say. I don't know what persuades people to live there, other than the desire to prove themselves to be one most stubborn people in the Noreastern hemi-sphere. A very good description of a tempest on the Great Lakes. ~ Geez.

It seems that the days and hours that people
are available for chatroom are staggered and
not a good match for most everyone. How about
if everyone just shows up at the door, whenever
they have a few free minutes?

right you are. Buffalo is about as cold as it gets here in the States. Still, it's nearness to Niagara Falls (some 21 to 28 miles depend on whether you go to the US or Canadian side of the falls) makes living there desirable, for some of us. Thanks for the nice comment, sir. Van

author comment

I'm so glad you like the picture of a winter storm over the lake I have painted. Thank you my friend. Van

author comment

This poem is simply gorgeous, and I can see why you label it as a polished draft, for in spite of all my pickiness, I cannot find a flaw in it. It feels like Longfellow, but modern. Beautifully done. Everything - and especially your rhythm/language use - has been excellently executed in this work.

"To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's true aim." Oscar Wilde

Just about to shut the computer down for the night, I should have missed reading your wonderful comment before my bedtime. Longfellow, huh? Well, thank you, dear lady, and bless your generous heart. Happy Holidays to you. Van

author comment
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