In verse: Maine places and people


Produced by Dennis Camire

This week’s poem is by Jim Thatcher of Yarmouth. His most recent book is “Lesser Eternities” published by Deerbrook Editions.


Ice Night

By Jim Thatcher



On the first full night of astronomical Spring

Winter slept its deepest sleep,

Pregnant, heavy, glittering in its stillness

Under the great green vault of dancing Borealis.

A night so cold the mind withdrew into omniscience

And opened with the world outside.

Fur drew deeper in its lairs,

Neither owl nor fox could hunt,

And in the moonless, starlit brilliance

Deer stood struck through somnolent hours,

Their breath a ghostly silent sparkling fog.

Time itself seemed frozen into Presence —

An energy congealed, and taut with brittle tension.

No wind blew and no thing moved,

And only sound seemed living:

Old pines cracked like pistols in the woods, and

On the lakes the pressure of the ice reached crystal mass

To split against itself

In lightning fissures cracking out

In cannonades across the compass of the dark,

To echo through the forests

And twang in pinging soundings

Down the muffled depths below,

Where lake trout sought the warmth of deeper waters,

To wait the rising-sooner dawns and dream

The fiery arch of summer’s hall.


Dennis Camire can be reached at