PROMPT: (1)When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance (2)CARAMEL/CARMEL

January 6, 2020

There were two options for the prompt at today’s meeting.

  • Prompt #1: The following poem, When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance, was written by Writers in the Grove member Lowell Greathouse. It was published in the Winter 2020 issue of the Avocet, A Journal of Nature Poems.

When Winter Stage Becomes Nature’s Performance

The curtain descends, as Fall’s Festive Finale completes its months’ long run.
Autumn’s rich drama, in all its splendor, is over.
The last lingering leaf has touched nature’s majestic stage,
and the players,
who just a short time ago were dressed in elegant costumes
of red and yellow, brown and orange vanish from the limelight.

Only the stark barrenness of the theater itself remains.
It is an imposing spectacle in which the props
reveal a theatrical dimension all their own.
The headline cast of sparrows, cranes, and geese,
ducks, bears, and beavers have returned to their dressing rooms,
preparing for performances and production numbers yet to come.

What remains is nature’s landscape —
sparse, dark, cold,
appearing bleak and vacant,
as trees and shrubs cast long shadows upon this earthly grandstand.
The crispness of the evening air
conspires with the silence of the night to add a drama all their own.

Winter has become the play,
full of subtle life and rich beauty, plotlines and scene changes.
It is a new episode in creation’s drama…cast in simplicity.
More poetry than prose
it has a transcendent elegance,
composed of abandoned tree nests and distant stars,
frozen landscapes and glistening snow.

Occasionally, a creature will make a cameo appearance,
seeking sustenance between productions,
while longing for winter to end.
There would be no host for nature’s colorful community of artists without these desolate days.
All the actors depend on this grand dais to display their own eloquence.

Winter is a time of solemn soliloquies.
Only discerning ears and eyes perceive the hidden wonder involved.
The playwright’s hand is at work here too, reminding us that everything has a role to play.
Eventually, a new season will come and reveal anew the ongoing grace of nature’s living drama.


  • Prompt #2:  Caramel / Carmel


The River is Cold

The following is from Writer’s in the Grove (Vernonia Library) member Jim Buxton, inspired by our Prompt-a-Month: Water.

The river is cold, he thought, but not as cold as this time last year. The previous winter had been colder, the spring thaw had come later and the summer cooler.

This year had been different.

He thought, now, will I be able to untangle myself from these sheets? I must not panic — just move my legs gently and kick my way out.

The gust of wind that caught the sails and heeled the boat over was not unexpected. What was unexpected was the stay giving way causing the mast to snap during the capsizing of the boat. It will be an expensive repair to replace the broken mast, but that is the least of my problems at this moment. I need to surface and breathe again, he thought…