Kathleen’s Surprise

We have been so fortunate over the years to have been treated to Kathleen Henry’s talks on aspects of the music we’re learning, singing, and becoming oh so intimate with for several months each spring and fall. Tonight a group of us gathered at the library before rehearsal and, true to form, Kathleen expanded our knowledge of the Faure Requiem and Rutter’s “When Icicles Hang.” Then (surprise! Gulp!) she pulled out a stack of blank paper and pens and instructed us to write our own poems in sensory response to winter. The results are too wonderful not to share, so here are a few!


The Outer Cape Chorale in Winter by Julia Louise Perry

In winter we arrive in the dark
   and leave in the dark.
The darkness surrounds our small
   haven of light and music.
Our singing warms the room,
   and cares are left outside.
It is strange to sing of winter and
   cold amidst such friendship and harmony.
We must imagine cold to put it in
   our music.
Conjuring feeling and description
   with notes, rest, tempo and breath,
We are wizards of worlds unseen, but
Eventually we reach the end of our
   time together,
And carry the music and warmth
   with us out into the cold night.


Winter by Char

Sharp as the sting of last week’s flu shot,
   the unexpected morning air greeted me—when all I wanted
   was the paper.
Evening forecasts promised something milder— but then clear as mud
   were the words “upper level low.”
Must be time to unearth the hooded coat, so long it covers
   boot tops, ensuring milder temps inside garments than out.
A side-effect is head to toe incognito.



A haiku by M.A. Wells

Longing for sun’s warmth.
Dreaming…remembering joy
Gets me through winter.





Late November by Wendy Willard

The tiniest bird of all,
The golden crowned Kinglet
Searches for seeds in the
dried grasses in my driveway.
For company he has the
female Cardinal with her red
lipstick. Her mate poses
by the feeder.
The house is warm enough, but
I need several wool, cashmere, and
down layers when I venture
out to fill the suet and seed
Brave or uncaring Nuthatches
take sips from the bird bath
in spite of my proximity.


Storms by Karen Strauss

I feel the sharp tang of winter in my bones
A promise of storm yet to be
The wind, swaying the trees,
Sets up resonance in me
And I vibrate
As the air pressure
Pushes me, distracts me
Buries me.
As the snow flies covering the landscape
I focus on the white, the howling wind,
The swirling flakes that pelt the windows
I can almost taste their cold
As I will the storm past.
I revel in the beauty of icicles on the eves
The blue light bouncing off the snow
Setting a melancholy mood
As the wind settles, and sky clears
And quiet reigns, and I rejoice.