Arts & Culture

Winter’s Heartbeat

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We walked the quiet woods, cameras dangling
from our necks, the air cold and still. Soon our
steps became further spaced as you
wandered away, following the scent of your
camera’s eye, discovering anew ice-
rimmed leaves, a feather stuck to a tree,
brittle wands of willow.

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Isn’t every single day, a rare occasion?
Isn’t every moment fresh with new possibility?
Listen, said e. e. cummings. There’s a
hell of a good universe next door: let’s go!
And so we went. Creating our own zig-zagged
trails through stands of birch and ice-tipped spruce, holding our own in this white icy
world; moving, pausing, click click click.

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And then an ice “zipper” at the river. deep blue
and dramatic
Ice buttons. Ice bubbles. Ice stars.
How did thy form so perfectly, with dimples and fringes, bulges and points?
A baby universe. here. under our feet
Ice new, and ice light years old.
A world ordinary and rare: pure-glazed and
crystalline cold.

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These photos were taken on the Eagle River in Alaska, where we stumbled upon something rare on the river. Formations we’d never seen before, probably due to a previous melting of snow cover, then freezing temperatures, caused puckers around stones and crystals of ice hanging off the ends of rock. We found them interesting, showy and quite dramatic.

Poem by Monica Devine

Photography by Kent & Monica Devine

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