Blue ice, Lake Wonish, 1935 by Greg Santos

after the painting by Canadian painter Anne Savage (1896-1971)


The fog has befuddled this February day.
Silent save my footsteps, bird laughter, wind.

Turning to peek at our family cottage
it is all but dwarfed by trees and new snow.

Today all looks blue and peculiar.
Jack Frost, a rogue mist playing tricks on my brain.

A lunarscape, white and yellow birches
bending and snaking their way across the land.

I think fondly of Tom Thompson and his stately jack pines,
here I want to emblazon the rangy birches.

In a clearing, all is ghost-quiet.
White of snow meets white of sky.

Where it should be horizon,
I cannot tell where land ends and sky begins.

Traipsing alone through the canvas-white
brings me a painter’s joy.


Copyright © Greg Santos. Originally published in Heartwood: Poems for the Love of Trees (League of Canadian Poets, 2018).



Photo credit: Studio Duda

Greg Santos is the author of Blackbirds (Eyewear, 2018), Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014), and The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books, 2010). He regularly works with at-risk communities and teaches at The Thomas More Institute. He is the poetry editor of carte blanche and lives in Montreal with his family. Find Greg on Twitter and Instagram.

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