Thursday, December 21, 2017


Robert Ray photo

For never-resting time leads summer on
To hideous winter and confounds him there;
Sap cheque'd with frost and lusty leaves quite gone,
Beauty o'ersnow'd and bareness every where.

~ William Shakespeare, from Sonnet V 

Winter Poem Swap coordinator Tabatha was my poem buddy this year. Knowing that I'm revising a MG novel set in Maine and that I live in just as icy New Hampshire, she crafted a poem that will keep me going through snow, wind and frosted windows. Sometimes writing is as her poem describes, and the only thing to do is to write the words one by one until your heart opens and the story is unlocked.

I've decided that the literary socks she included in my package are my lucky writing socks, and the tea bags with writing quotes are reserved for those moments when I'm stuck. Oh, and there's a book for writers when I need all the encouragement I can find. Thanks, Tabatha. I am in love with my poem!

Writing Through Winter
             by Tabatha Yeatts 

some days
she thinks that writing is
living in a drafty cabin 

during the bitter days of winter,
listening to blank pages rattle
like wind shaking dead leaves

she thinks of her pen
as the cabin window -
a fragile barrier
against the snow 

what can you do,
she wonders,
to make it through
those nights when the wind

wraps its fearsome arm
behind your back
and leans in for a kiss? 

she knows the remedy 
for words freezing inside her
is to remember stories that pump
the bellows of her heart

she lays her gloved hand
on the pane and traces letters,
one by

Buffy has the Poetry Friday Roundup. Thanks a bunch, Buffy!


  1. What a gorgeous poem Tabatha gifted you! Here's to a new year with stories pumping from the bellows of our hearts, and pens that flow when you wear your lucky writing socks!

  2. Oh, my. The tone and feel of this poem actually made me physically shiver....the fearsome arm of of the wind behind my back. Joyce, what a joy it is to see that you are working on a MG novel. I'm wishing you lots of words in the right order and in the right feeling to move your story along. Happy Holidays!

  3. Your gifts and that comforting poem by Tabatha will keep you warm, Joyce. It's a lovely thought to think of you finding the letters to trace upon the windows. Enjoy your holidays and best wishes for the writing.

  4. How beautiful!! Best of luck with the novel, here's hoping that the words flow like water!

  5. I'm revising a MG novel, too. It's such fun!

  6. If you ever need any validation of an historical-type tidbit, my husband and I were born in and grew up in 1950's Maine. Love that you are writing this!
    What a gorgeous poem you were gifted by Tabatha..."traces letters one by one"...

    1. Thanks, Donna! Same for my husband and me. We live in central Maine during the summer. Maybe we'll meet one day! If I need a memory boost, I'll be in contact.

  7. A soulful poem, especially the ending: " traces letters,
    one by

    Have fun unlocking that story this winter–all the best with it and those socks too!

  8. Hope your footsies and your creativity stay warm this winter! Happy Holidays!

  9. Beautiful poem - especially those last lines. What a gift!

  10. Oh my oh my--
    "those nights when the wind

    wraps its fearsome arm
    behind your back
    and leans in for a kiss?"

    Gorgeous encouragement from Tabatha, and much warm fortitude to you, Joyce!

  11. What a lovely poem of encouragement (and celebration of the writerly life)!

  12. The remedy is stories. A lovely poem that warms those frozen veins. Thanks for sharing.

  13. That is a gorgeous poem--sure to warm those cold days and nights of winter.

  14. Beautiful! I was wishing I'd seen this earlier, but at least now I can wish you 'Happy March!' We made it through February. :)


Comments welcome.