A Silent Cold Embrace


Fluffy white and soft,
it blankets me this night.

Hidden by powdery flakes
are stiffening limbs of ice.

Gently caressing my face,
and melting in my mouth,
A silent, cold embrace,
which hides the ugly truth
that I lie on concrete, hard.

No dreams I’ll ever know,
with open, staring eyes,
buried beneath the snow.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

9 thoughts on “A Silent Cold Embrace

  1. Very good sis. It reminded me of a time while in N.M. my car broke down about ten miles from my dorm. I was on a back road in the middle of the night in what to me was whiteout conditions. I had never been so damn cold and covered in snow. I honestly thought I was gonna die. I decided to sit in the car until morning with the heat on then walk to get myself some help. But I didn’t have the patience to sit and wait, so I started walking back to base (I was in the Air Force then). I had gotten so cold until I didn’t even feel cold anymore, and I would probably died if I stopped moving. So I made it about half back to the dorm, and I then realized that it had stopped snowing, and it had gotten somewhat clear. When I look up ahead I could see the Sandia Mountains and the site of those mountains give me a second wind, and I made it back. Frozen solid I made it, and from that day until this one I have been in love with the mountains. I even bought land in the foothills of Colorado.


    • I, for two(since you would be no. 1)am SO glad that you made it! It happens quite often here. I’ve moved until I’ve one foot in in the U.S. and the other foot in Canada. I thought that I could forgo the cold for a warmer climate, but I have always loved winter except for the fact that more homeless die due in part to a lack of available shelter space or they are so cold that hypothermia sets in and they are found dead.

      We had a severe snowstorm yesterday and we are still digging out and since I live so far away from things, I still have to stay in the city due to the homeless outreach that I do. As soon as I find the box with my camera in it(and get back home), I am going to take pictures of the lake at my new home. It is gorgeous. Just me, the lake, the deer and squirrels. Talk about peace. That is where I go when I’ve had more than I can take, but right now, I’m needed in the city. But I do hope to have pictures up soon. It will be just a post consisting of pictures taken around the lake and of the deer if I’m lucky to get close enough to one or two or three.

      I thank you for stopping in and once again, I am SO very glad that you made it! Take care!


      • I love Canada even though they don’t care for my kind much. I used to go to Spring Thaw on Nova Scotia every year with a friend of mine who has family there in one of the oldest Black settlements in the maritimes. Those Black people are not as confused about racism as some in lower 49 are. And they have the best soups and stews and chowders. We had a lobster boil on the beach one night. It was about 28 degrees out there with a clear sky and fire crackling with waves slowly licking the shore. It was so inspirational that night, I never wanted it to end and when it did I dropped into a slight depression. But it that was then.

        Can I dare ask what part of the country you live in?

        I really feel ashamed about not doing more to help people. I just lack motivation. Maybe I should come and help you. I’m well able to do anything and I’m really healthy.


  2. For some, winter means another season of skiing, snowboarding and winter vacations. For others, it means bone chilling cold and exposure that is life threatening. It’s hard sometimes to reconcile these two conditions. Once again, your conscience says what we all should be thinking about. In such a wealthy country, how have we allowed our fellow human beings to fall so far between the cracks? Great poetry, Shelby.


    • Thank you Jeff! And it is indeed, two worlds here. As you say, one of adventure and one of survival. And those who are of the adventure world give no thought to those of the survival world. It is just mindboggling that it seems to me that so few of us are bothered by a conscience these days. I cannot even enjoy my new home because I seem to always be on-call. I moved to a place where I have to climb a pole to get online and yet, somehow, they always reach me. Last week, a carrier pigeon deposited a note on my sleeve, along with an unmentionable. I declare that if I did not reach for humor, I would need a wrap-around jacket.

      I sincerely appreciate your comment and I do know that you care. Bless you for that!


  3. Pingback: Jeffster Awards: Week 12 | Deconstructing Myths

  4. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely ‘Thank’ Jeff as I am the proud recipient of the Jeffster Awards and I treasure this honor. You have no idea what it means to me Jeff!

    I would like to also state that Jeff’s blog was one of the first that literally grabbed me and pulled me into WordPress! When I read Jeff’s blog, I was overcome with emotion. His blog has made this ‘good girl gone bag’ cry so many crocodile tears, that I should be ashamed to admit to how often I have cried from sensing the depth of his emotions and feeling for mankind through his writings. Jeff IS the true winner because he has encouraged me in so many ways. His writings have been an inspiration for me to keep going, to keep hanging in here and to keep hoping that what we are doing will somehow get through to people and break the ice that encases the hearts of many. We can but try and as Jeff so poignantly points out, “every voice is needed!”

    Thank you ever so much Jeff! And I must say that, my cyber hat is off to you! My dear sir, take YOUR bow!!!


  5. Very beautiful poem, Shelby.
    You know, even here in southern New Mexico, homeless people die from the cold in the winter. Temps of 55 in the daytime descend to the 30s at night – not considered cold up north, but more than enough to kill a sleeping person. But our county doesn,’t even have a soup kitchen, let alone a shelter!. Mexican workers who don’t want to navigate the dangers of the border and get to their families and home, camp in the numerous wilderness of the state parks and those who are unequipped face a great danger.


    • Thank you for your comment Claire and that just breaks my heart. What people have to go through just to survive these days is a crying shame! People, camping out, not be cause they want to but be cause they have to. And the sad fact is that, it’s only going to get worse!

      …..and people are hanging by a thread….Sigh!!


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