Valentinus

February is the heart of winter and the Feast of Saint Valentine is less than a week away. I have heard Valentine’s Day referred to as a ‘Hallmark Holiday’, but it has been observed for over 1,500 years. Valentinus, or St. Valentine to us English speakers, was martyred (beheaded) on February 14, 269 for marrying Christians in Rome.

This might explain why he is the patron saint of such seemingly unrelated subjects as affianced couples, against fainting, beekeepers, happy marriages, love, plague, and epilepsy. Think about it. Does falling in love not make one heave and become light headed? Are we not plagued by obsessive thoughts of our beloved? And how much does unrequited love sting us to the marrow? Read more…

Outerwear

No matter what the groundhog says, we are only halfway through winter. It is still 7 weeks to the vernal equinox and the astronomical start of spring. I have heard it said that there is no bad weather, only bad gear. These people have clearly never dealt with -55°F windchill.

Like most Minnesotans, I have multiples of all my winter outerwear: parkas, boots, hats, and gloves. I even have a sense of the temperature rating of my socks. You do not wear the same ones in 20°F as you do in -20°F. All cold climate residents will tell you, layering is the key to staying warm. Read more…

Magic

Magic in the moon
Early morning
Sub-zero walk
No one is about

Ground crunches
Snow
Sky is clear
Nothing blocks
View of space

People are home
Snuggle each other
Snuggle the cat
Snuggle in blankets

But I am out
Walk to breakfast
Hot coffee

A tramp outside
Between
One warm inside
To another

Winter in small doses
Reminder of childhood
Play, romance
Simpler times in my life

 

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, January 2018

12th Month

Light from the full moon reflects blue off the crystalline ground.
In the distance, I see black soiled hillsides where
Construction has ripped the trees from the ground

Leaving the woodland creatures to find homes elsewhere
In our white dusted trees, in the forests to the west
I walk up the hill through the drifts and pass the last in a line
Homes that glow warmly from the strings of carefully placed lights

There in soft cold air stands a stag, statuesque, and unreal
As I stop, we assess each other for a few moments

Why should this majestic beast bearing
A full rack of horns ever fear me
So weak and slow by his comparison

As I continue on, his tail raises its warning flag
He leaps through the yards
Through what is left of his former forest home

I am left alone in the night
My hot breath billowing white clouds around me

-Copyright C.M. Mounts, December 2003