The Sounds of Winter

Winter has its own alphabet,
its own vowel sounds.
Sorry Vanna, it is a whole new game,
a vocabulary that one can’t understand
in stilettos.

For instance, take ‘crunch’.
The hint that you get from saying it
is no match for the joyful act
of boots breaking the crust
of frozen snow.

The sound of biting
into a potato chip is entirely different,
a mere shadow of the sound.
It is all a matter of syntax
and experience.

And then there is ‘swish’…
The uninformed might think
that’s the sound of a taffeta skirt
leaving the room, but winter
knows that’s not so.

‘Swish’ is the sound
of tires, safe with thick tread,
in bumper to bumper traffic
displacing the slush of winter
while turning the corner with a ‘swish’.

And, those who think
a wolf’s call is a howl must never have heard
February wind announcing an impending blizzard.
The wolf’s call is certainly eerie, but
the wind makes a statement of intent.

The sounds of winter
are many and distinct, but difficult
to hear from the comfort of your car
with the radio blaring and a cell phone
glued to your ear.

12 thoughts on “The Sounds of Winter

  1. On another note, I am not able to open the piece that begins “The snow flocked art”. I get an error message. I know you have had some technical WordPress challenges. I want to read the poem!

  2. BoardFlak

    “There’s a sign on the wall
    But she wants to be sure
    ‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings”
    – – Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin

    Thus can Winter have its own vocabulary using words which also apply to other creatures, objects, and experiences. Even so, I like your definitions which call to mind many memories.

    1. Michael,

      We had a light snow here during the night and the roads are slushy. The swish of the tires turning the corner is almost a lullaby.
      That led me to thinking about winter sounds…then the doggone phone rang.

  3. Thank you for sharing your perspective of winter. Winters in Florida are not described in that manner. We do have the howl of wind during hurricanes. The howl so loud it comes through the walls. We had damaging winds like that on Thursday night that destroyed one of our porcelain fountains for the birds to birch. Luckily it didn’t’ damage the pump. We had gusts 50-70mph. Howling winds! Great post!

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