The Snowbound City by John Haines

The Snowbound City

By John Haines

I believe in this stalled magnificence,

this churning chaos of traffic,

a beast with broken spine,

its hoarse voice hooded in feathers

and mist; the baffled eyes

wink amber and slowly darken.

Of men and women suddenly walking,

stumbling with little sleighs

in search of Tibetan houses —

dust from a far-off mountain

already whitens their shoulders.

When evening falls in blurred heaps,

a man losing his way among churches

and schoolyards feels under his cold hand

the stone thoughts of that city,

impassable to all but a few children

who went on into the hidden life

of caves and winter fires,

their faces glowing with disaster.

From The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer

* * * * * * * * * *

I was saddened to learn that John Haines died at the end of February.  He was one of my favorite Northwest poets.


1 Comment

Filed under Poetry

One response to “The Snowbound City by John Haines

  1. What a shame! And what a lovely poem.

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