The First Winter Storms

A Poetic Exchange
by Frank Wycoff and Jan Baughman


Frank, on Ice

What's it like being in an ice storm?

a little frightening,
very cool.

Would hug the wood stove,
but you know...

Found ourselves to be very resourceful
when necessary,
without any preparations prior to,
and actually grateful for the snowfall
that followed the ice storm,
needed it to flush toilet, wash, etc.

The photos I'm sending
show damage on our property
down around the lower garage,
and represent nothing in comparison
to what many other people had to
deal with,
death, home damage, vehicle...

Up side to all this:
plenty of firewood for all next year.
Down side:
looks like winter is here,
and pissed off.


Jan, on Rain

Very impressive
and eerily gray.
Hope Bob is okay.

Before you got iced
we got showered;
more like being hosed
with winds at 50.
It took down a branch,
and the night's power with it.
Gilles and Priam were gone
into their own little storm.

Got up the next morning
in long underwear (and robe);
wandered out to free the hens,
to assess the damage
and the misplaced stuff
strewn around the yard.

Gilles and Priam were gone
so doors were locked.
Garage was locked.
And Jan locked herself
out In the rain
in her long underwear,
(and thankfully, her robe).

I'll skip the two stanzas
and the hour that followed,
about trying to break in
out of the pouring rain
to the house with repaired windows;
with the 'temporary' door,
the human-proof dog entry,
to where I finally phoned Helen
who told me about the keys
that Gilles showed her yesterday
in that hiding spot I had picked
more than a year ago.

My own stupidity
would have killed me
had I been in an ice storm...


[Bob and Priam are quadrupeds; Helen is a friend and a neighbor.]

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Frank Wycoff is a Thoreau-like biped who lives in the woods of upstate New York and Jan Baughman is a sometimes not-so-analytical scientist and Swans co-editor.

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This Week's Internal Links

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Published December 2, 2002
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