Winter Dreams, Winter Poem

Bridge, Burr Oak Branches, St. Mary of the Woods College, February

I am not one of those people whose favorite season is winter. In fact, I start longing for spring before the Winter Solstice (the official beginning of the season) has occurred. Still, there are some things about winter that I do appreciate. It is my time for making large pots of soup, for reading novels under piles of blankets, for riding the stationary bike while catching up on movies from the video store. And every winter, after I have settled into the darkening and the feeling of refuge indoors, I have at least one significant dream.

A friend from college has asked that I post a poem she remembers me writing in February over two decades ago. I still have it, but don’t want to brave the cold garage to search through boxes of old writing to find it. Instead, I thought I would post a much more recent poem, and I have spent the morning looking for one with an encouraging reference to spring in it.

Instead, I have chosen a poem inspired by one of those winter dreams, and in choosing it, I am choosing also to enjoy the season of winter a little longer in its last few weeks this year!


The trees have shed every leaf

and stand empty handed,

bare and unafraid

on this night of generous dark.

Snow is falling and dreams come,

no two ever the same,

these water jewels,

these numinous visits.

A man with one day to live

is throwing his abundant wealth into a waterfall,

laughing, never so alive.

The spend leaves of the profligate trees

are buried under treasure heaps of extravagant snow

and the dream man dies with dawn

but his gold remains –

this sudden exuberance of

giving in, surrendering to how it has to be –

this spending life on life,

spending all of it on living all of it.

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5 Comments on “Winter Dreams, Winter Poem”

  1. Thank you so much from someone who really loves winter, even skidding sideways down the freeway to stop softly in the snowy shoulder as cars continue to inch past.

  2. Tiffany Says:

    liza that’s beautiful! i love the image of the trees bare and unafraid. and i love the pic from SMWC!

    • Liza Hyatt Says:

      Tiffany –
      Thanks for your comment! I was just at the Woods at the beginning of February to teach the Earth Literacy students. I drove in just before a big snowstorm. I was glad I brought my camera and was able to walk around enjoying the winter beauty!

  3. Allison Wharry Says:

    Hi Liza-
    I enjoyed your article in Branches magazine and found your blog there. Hope you are well. I would love to come to one of your seminars. Let me know how you are doing. I am sure you are glad it is finally warming up. Take care.

    • Liza Hyatt Says:


      It’s great to hear from you. I hope you and your family are doing well. I am glad you enjoyed the Branches article and found your way to my blog. I would be delighted if you were able to attend one of my workshops sometime! I am almost ready to post on the blog info about new Friday workhops coming up in April, May, and June. Meanwhile, the March Friday workshop (on using art to explore dreams) is coming up next week on the 19th.

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