The Silent Snow and the White World

By Brian Michael Barbeito

It was really something, the way the snow wafted down so silently and nobody was in the entire forest then. Two large birds alighted on a tree became startled and flew the way they do in movies, the way they do when you are right by them and they sound like big sheets or rugs in impossibly fast wind. Then, there were two quite little birds; I don’t know their names, on a tree at the top of the valley when I can out from such. Unlike the large birds they did not fly away and I thought, - Oh hi birdie hi. The forest then was sacrosanct and silent, a guiding force, a refuge and I was free inside of it. What would I do and where would I go? I saw some old red sumac that always seems not old but bright and new and welcoming. I think the sumac knows something, is aware of things, - but non-linear, Gnostic knowings. I inhaled the air, pure and clean. I saw a squirrel, and the distant tree lines, and sand, pebble, bushes, leaves, hilly places and flat ones. The snow though. It came down everywhere like a silent song, like a wonderful waking dream or vision, - millions and billions and more of flakes. Where did it come from? The sky, yes, - but beyond that? Source. The great hollow empty source of all things, giving out snow on a Friday afternoon as I walked alone with the canines and we were again, so blessed, so imperial but humble also,- so story-like. The forest is one of the world’s most interesting open secrets. Has to be. There is no way it is not. Labyrinthine shapes inside the logs where bugs made mazes under the bark. Valleys that perhaps house spirits. Shades. Colors. Contours. A well of delight and mystery. The snow intensified and the sky was white, the ground was white, the world, was, well…you know.

Brian Michael Barbeito is a Canadian writer, poet and photographer. Recent work appears at Fiction International from San Diego State University, CV2 The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing, and at Catch and Release-The Columbia Journal of Arts and Literature. Brian is the author of Chalk Lines (Fowl Pox Press, 2013, cover art by Virgil Kay). He is currently at work on the written and visual nature narrative titled Pastoral Mosaics, Journeys through Landscapes Rural.