Bad Poetry Thursday: Winter’s Gentle Touch (Along With Personal Thoughts)

Winter’s Gentle Touch

The colder air creeps in slowly
Moving from the North to the South
The beginnings of Winter have arrived
Arctic air taking small bites within the season

I recall Winters in Germany from my past
Snow drifts halfway up my driver’s door
Arriving over the length of a twelve-hour shift
Burying everything in a quiet blanket of white

The turn of the Wheel is the same every year
But the weather never truly cooperates
Warm temperatures one year, deep snow in another
Gentle reminders that each day is truly unique


Here in December, my thoughts always turn to the winters I have had in the past. December of 1993 provided a deep, heavy, and wet snow in Kaiserslautern, Germany. One afternoon, I left my apartment in Vogelweh Housing and went walking in the wooded area behind Kapaun Air Station. I followed the cleared area underneath the power lines that went through the woods into the rear area of the Air Station. The snow was eighteen inches deep. Not quite as deep in some places, and heavy snow drifts in others. Apparently the weather had warmed slightly, so there was also a deep, thick fog. A fog that reminded me of England. My footsteps sounded like an army tromping through the woods instead of a single individual. I could hear my breathing as I climbed the hill. Everything that I did just felt so intrusive to that tranquil peace.

When I reached the top of the hill, I found the walking path I always used in the warmer Summer days. Well, sort of. It was completely obliviated by its new white covering. But I could see the stone bench just in the distance. Once I arrived there, I pushed off the wet snow and sat down. Everything was so quiet. No bid sounds. No traffic sounds in the distance. A few moments later, the loudspeaker from the Air Station blared the retreat followed by the United States national anthem. The end of the military duty day. A moment where the entire base comes to a stop and renders proper courtesies to the flag. A solemn moment, but a moment that has pierced the shroud of calm, quiet, and peace on that evening.

I’m no longer in the military. I’ve been out of uniform a little more than three times the years that I was in uniform. I still seek the solitude of the outdoors from time to time. Most of the time, that takes place in the form of a walk through the neighborhood. Even in the so-called Texas winters, I can hear the birds calling out, and nearby traffic patterns announcing the drivers – typically in the form of deep bass pounding from drivers’ announcing the rap music that they are listening. Snow? Not always typical in Texas. The temperature in December can by anywhere between the fifties and the eighties. The colder weather doesn’t reach this far south in North America until late December or early January. Most Yule festivities include a much-needed glass of iced tea instead of a cup of hot chocolate or some hot tea.

“Winter’s Gentle Touch” is meant to reflect ever so slightly on those memories, while focusing on the memories being made in this exact moment. Each moment is different. Every moment is new and exciting. Much like each concert by the Grateful Dead (and now Dead & Company) is different from every other show they played. No song is played the same twice. There are always subtle differences. Those subtle differences make each concert a new experience. A moment to live in the here and now.

People often inquire as to how I approach my Druidry – well, this is it. Each day is a new experience. Even if I do the exact same things that I did yesterday. My actions, my motions, my words – all that can be exactly the same. But I cannot control the environment around me. There will always be those subtle differences that create a new experience. Different and unique as a fingerprint. Different and unique like the snowflakes I used to watch from my second-floor balcony in Vogel Housing in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Winter is on its way here in Texas. The leaves are falling from the trees now. Soon, the northern winds will blow colder as the weather pattern shifts. Soon.

–Tommy /|\

Glacier National Park on a cool Summer’s morning

Bad Poetry Thursday: The Coming Winds of Samhain

Today marks the return of Bad Poetry Thursday. For those that are somewhat new to this, these are non-rhymed poems that I write on various topics. None of what I write is stuff that has the markings of being published – beyond the blog. I’m not a great poet and I know it (don’t even get me started on this little rhyming aspect that’s been a running joke longer than the sun has risen and set). Apparently there are a few folks who like my poems, and everytime I stop doing these Bad Poems – I get a request to bring it back from the dead. So here it is….

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The Coming Winds of Samhain

The winds blow harder today
Then the past few days have wrought
Heralding the constant push and pull of Autumn
Between cold and warm air masses

The call of Winter can be heard on the unseen waves
And seen on the hordes of dry, brown leaves
Rampaging through the yards and streets
Amid the coming voices of trick or treaters

I sit at my desk, sheltered from the elements
Thoughts falling towards a point of solitude
My desire to pull back within my own protections
For Samhain has arrived, again

So, as I usually do with these pieces of my pathetic prose (I’m utilizing a fashion of alliteration here, not being overly critical of myself) is provide a small explanation of my mind’s processes of the moment. I have alluded to my dislike of both Samhain and Beltane here in the blog posts. Its nothing to do with what each point on the Wheel means to me, but rather the super commercialization that seems to come with both celebrations on the Wheel. That doesn’t mean that I am talking about the consumer perspective that we are seeing as retailers are ramping up for the coming Yule holidays, but the super glee and hard emphasis that the Pagan community places on each point – often to the detriment of the other spokes of the Wheel. Me, the seemingly quintessential Libra, find the over emphasis to not be fitting to the balance of equal distance and perspective to the Wheel as a whole. Thus, my feelings lead me to a point of solitude, where I tend to shut out all the revelry and take a deep dive into my own personal Spirituality. These days, I am having those feelings of solitude again, but have promised myself (and others) that I wouldn’t go into my usual shutdown. ::twitch:: 🙂

–Tommy /|\

(The Return of) Bad Poetry Thursday: Moving Forward

Walking through the forest
Deeper than before
Darker than I imagined
An anticipated adventure and journey

Stepping carefully and cautiously
Worrying of the footfall’s placement
What lies ahead – completely unknown
Pondering what could be ahead

Feelings of fear and excitement
Feed each step through the trees
Branches clawing unseen in the dark
Raking skin and catching clothing

I hear Her voice somewhere ahead
A soft whisper beckoning me on
Deeper into the darkened forest
An unknown where I now belong
3/31/2017

I wrote this four years ago. I may have posted it on the blog before. However, this showed up as a memory on Facebook yesterday. This serves as a reminder that every step in the darker portion of the forest is not always easy to take. As I look over the last four years, I see so many unexpected twists and turns that have occurred in my life. None of them I ever expected. A few turned out far different than I ever imagined would happen. However, each – in its own way – has provided me with experiences, emotions, and lessons that have helped to shape the Path I am on today. What lies ahead? I really have no idea, but the only way to find out is to keep moving ahead. 😊