# Winnipeg Winter Sonnets, January 2019

# Winnipeg Winter Sonnets, January 2019

with a little help from Old Will and EB and Trish and Tenille


Let me not to the extreme beauty of Winnipeg

Winter admit the weeniest of arguments!

Winter is not winter where it melting finds

Or softens its grip to please whiny wusses!

O no!  It is an orchestra of terrible frights that

Grips us in its iron claws and squeezes

And molds us into staggering stalagmites.

It is the crystal breath of every living thing

Exquisitely frozen into visible fog hanging regal

And luminous, quivering, in the cracking air.

Winter falters not as the season progresses

But maintains its fierce grip even upon cars

And busses, until every round tire goes square

And our lungs bleed from the million thrusts

Of icy knives in there.   But look you!  How lavishly

          The yellow sun beaming above the frosty sky

          Scatters diamonds onto the cold snow below.



Shall I compare You to an earthquake or tsunami?

O Winnipeg Winter! You are much mightier than these.

Earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes and hurricanes

Do shake the fields and oceans and mountains and beaches

Wherever they arise, leaving destruction in their lees.

And then they're gone.  While You, O Bright White Giantess

Of the North, sweep through our city week in week out,

All day and through the icy night, for half the year and more. 

You bedazzle us, your trembling awestruck friends,

Four and two-leggeds, huddled in rough feathers and fur,

Or if we're lucky, naked entwined somewhere in thick wool.

You prance along the streets and sidewalks, You sashay

Through insulated house walls and fortified government halls.

You chuckle and whistle and sing.  You grab us in your icy jaws

          And shake and howl and snap our brittle bones and

          Crunch us into little heaps of dirty snow.  You rule, yo.



How do I love You, Winnipeg Winter?  Let me count

The ways.  I love You deeply madly truly to the extent

My shivering Self can manage when Your Big Band season

Comes around.  I love You warmly though truthfully my

Frostbitten fingers and toes can no longer clap and stamp

For You.  I love you heroically, gripping my new red plastic

Shovel tight for another thousand heaves of frozen snow. 

I love You fearfully, curled up shivering in my bed.  I love You

Admiringly, seeing You close up, Your grand Face, Your

Awesome Head.  I love You loyally all through the Game,

Knowing You hold not only the Queen of Spades but

Every trump and Ace.  I love You with the love I lost in my

Aestheticized self-reflexive futurist postmodern phase,

Knowing You now in real time flesh and blood and bone.

          I'm Yours alone and You, You own the town, O shining

          Bride of Awesomeness in Your lacy icy Winter gown.


©  Winnipeg Poet Laureate Di Brandt, January 2019