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First Poetry Prize Winner - Winter 2013-2014

is Charlotte Louise Nystrom

of Greenville, Maine, USA


“Beneath Snow and Ice”

By Charlotte Louise Nystrom




Comfort is swimming in a sea of blankets.

Clinging to the haven of the soft warm bed,

Toes rebel at the bitter cold stone floor.

Each exhalation lingers in the air.

Beside the idle fireplace are splintered bits of kindling.

I toss one on the steaming coals and start to sternly blow.

Sparks ignite. Small, lapping flames begin to grow.

Beyond the frosted pane of glass, rests a cruel and frigid world.

Beautifully glittering banks are not the mounds of diamonds they appear.

I share the emotions of the tired trees,

Their branches bend and crack with the weight of glistening ice.

The beauty of the winter landscape hides a dangerous truth.

An outdoor thermometer sinks twenty degrees beneath zero.

Every inch of skin is covered with layer upon layer,

A row of knitted scarves stretch from ear to ear.

A foot of heavy snow rests against the doorstep.

I need a shovel to dig my shovel out.

A gale force wind chaps my skin and bites my nose.

Inside the kettle calls my name,

It screams out loud for tepid tea.

The weatherman reports another blizzard on the way.

Snow falls in flakes, and then in clumps.

The electricity keeps flickering on and off.

Candles are lit, bathtubs are filled.

We build a blanket fort, and snuggle deep inside.

Shivering feet curl around a smooth and steaming bottle.

I dream sweet dreams of blooming buds dancing side by side.
*   *   *
About Charlotte Louise Nystrom:
I am a professional writer and editor from Maine. While my expertise lies in the areas of health and wellness, I like to dabble with more creative writings in my spare time. When I am not writing, I devote every possible moment to my young son, who is the center of my universe. We like to explore the outdoors, taking note of all the tiny details, which people tend to miss. When the weather is poor, we specialize in puzzles, books, and culinary messes.


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