Housebound

Snow covered trees, including one bent and twisted

New snow,
pure and white,
softly falls and
outlines every tree limb
with its sharp contrast.
Blizzards stick to windows,
narrowing the view.
Each flake whispers,
Stay at home; stay inside.
The wildwood looks halved,
dark below but the white above
merges with the sky.
Snow settles, white as wishes,
paler than low clouds,
whiter than frozen breath,
pale as goose down
clinging to puffy coats.
The world is muffled
by the whitewash.
Sounds are muted and
traffic has ceased.
Wind whips crystals
into snow devils,
spinning like memories
of childhood past.
Thunderous snowplows
transform white into
salty mounds.
Each frozen drop
feels like summer’s tears.
We’re frozen into place,
housebound and
remembering.

Copyright 2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Notes: Welcome to Poetry Friday, this week hosted thanks to Donna Smith at Mainely Write. She has posted a wonderful rhyming poem, perfectly setting out the in-between place today holds, adrift between holidays, seasons and weather. I hope you have a moment to visit her, even thought it means a jaunt out of WordPress and into the wilds of Blogspot.

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I recently realized that being housebound during a snowstorm is not a thing everyone has experienced, strange as that concept seems to me — having life-long experience of blizzards and hurricanes. I thought about what being housebound during a blizzard means to me, and this poem emerged. Maybe you can share your own memories of being housebound, if it’s a thing that’s happened to you.

87 thoughts on “Housebound

  1. I like the way it is incredibly beautiful when the immediate “world” is covered with snow. It does become quieter (unless noisy plow comes by) and wrapped like a sound-proof blanket. Footsteps no longer exist, as deer glide over branches, only their snorts or gusts of heat releasing out of their noses help detect their passing, Brenda.

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  2. There are definitely benefits to being housebound – this poem captures this perfectly, Brenda. I love the line “Wind whips crystals / into snow devils” – reminds me of the dust devils we have here in the desert. =)

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  3. Being housebound during a blizzard is an experience I’ve had often and, thankfully, have always been prepared for. But your question does bring back memories of being snowed in in 1969 that I may have to write about. Being snowed in is much scarier when you’re a child, I think. Thank you for sharing your lovely poem.

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  4. Brenda, I have been housebound by the snow several times in my life. You have captured the essence here in your poem filled with vivid images. The lines that resonated with me were:
    Snow settles, white as wishes,
    paler than low clouds,
    whiter than frozen breath,
    pale as goose down
    clinging to puffy coats.
    A winter extravaganza for my eyes…

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    • Thanks, Carol. I appreciate your words very much. I love looking out a snowy window at a blizzard, so long as I’m warm and content. 🙂 And it had come to my attention that one of my frequent readers never had and never would. So I tried to find the right words to explain how I feel, looking through that window. Knowing I captured it for someone who’s been through it, gives me a thrill of success. So thanks!

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  5. I feel that poem Brenda!♥ I remember those muted sounds, the snow causes all sound to change, it’s quite a unique experience that muffled sound. Rain causes sound to be sharper, at least that’s how my ears hear it anyway. I do totally get what you are saying in being housebound, I had a lot of that when seriously for several years when I was in my 20’s. But recently I experienced it again, at the end of the summer, I got a wicked head cold, that just seemed to cause chaos with my health. In the first five days I was so weak I could barely get in and out of the bath without my heart racing wildly, and going up and down stairs was tough too. In fact, I was so ill I continued to stay unwell for three months, I literally couldn’t go anywhere until Christmas Day – I just couldn’t manage to walk more than a few steps without my heart rate going through the roof!

    I never mentioned it my blog because I didn’t really want to – I found it frightening and depressing. I’m relieved to find I’m back to my normal self now *sigh of relief* 🙂 But having not experienced such confinement or chronic illness for so many years, it was a real education in what problems can occur, how vulnerable someone living alone can feel. All I can say is, thank goodness for the internet and home supermarket shopping, I had everything delivered to my door without the need to concern family or friends for help.

    I wrote a poem too inspired by those months of suffering – posted on my Tumblr blog. I hope you don’t mind me linking it here? http://suzyhazelwood.tumblr.com/post/132102301250/every-home-has-a-window-but-walls-can-hold-so-much#notes

    So how are you now with your shoulder problems? Are you getting any closer to improvement?

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  6. What a fabulous snow poem, Brenda. I love all the variations of white and pale. Many lovely lines like: “Each frozen drop
    feels like summer’s tears.”
    We’ve had a snowless winter here this year, but your poem has me shivering and expecting to open the shades to mounds of white.

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    • Thank you. Your words mean a lot to me. We were relieved here when it finally snowed. January was remarkably warm. The kids had two snow days in one long weekend, and it was like the universe righted itself. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

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  7. Such an exquisite poem… very well written and with powerful metaphors…
    These verses truly resonated with me.
    `softly falls and
    outlines every tree limb
    with its sharp contrast´….
    Very nice, Bren… Sending love and best wishes. Aquileana 🙂

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  8. ‘The wildwood looks halved,’

    A couple of weeks ago when it seemed everyone was writing snow poems, we were flood-bound. As the waters receded I took a photo of a riverside plant, it’s leaves frosted with a thin coating of powdery mud. I’d planned to write a ‘summer snow’ poem about it. You just reminded me…

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  9. There’s something magical and enchanting about being housebound during a snowstorm — as long as you’re inside warm and cozy and feel safe and don’t have any power outages :). Love all your gentle images and the nice ending. It’s good to be still and remember sometimes.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your stunning photo and captivating words….”narrowing our view”–that phrase jumped out at me. Ironically, at the same time that snow narrows our view, as you so beautifully described, it opens our view, as you also so beautifully described. Funny, in a miraculous sort of way, isn’t it? View points literally narrowed and viewpoints literally expanded by the forced restriction. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved the experience of being held captive, in a sense, by the storms; the physical restriction opens up spiritual, imaginative liberation to ponder, to dream, and to explore new ways of “spending” time that are less frivolous, since the freedom of movement, on one level, is reduced; is constricted. Thank you for offering the poetry and self-reflection question that has given me new insights about being housebound, after all the many years of stormy seclusion. God bless you! Thanks!

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    • Housebound is time to reflect and remember. All the times I’ve waited for a storm to pass come back in little bits through the day. I’m glad I captured some of the feeling you have when housebound, too. My kids love it! 🙂 Thanks for the time you take to think over another’s words and make the connection with your own. Blessings.

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      • It is a very special privilege to be accepted by part of the PF community–despite how little I have to offer. It is my joy to share my thoughts with those–like you–who welcome and invite that feedback. And, then, too, you always provide poems and photos that evoke thoughtful reactions. Thank you for all you say and do to promote poetry–art and craft– on your site and mine. God bless you!

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  11. You have so excelled yourself again my friend and I love so much of the imagery and description you use here…pale as goose down, muffled by white wash…to mention but a few and that warm safe feelng you feel when you are inside sitting by the fire looking out. Perfect! 🌁

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