the occurrence of falling snow

Karyn Atkins

Published Fall 2020

when the sun is at its greatest distance

and the trees are without their leaves—

like naked defendants on trial.

i too stand in judgement on this set-apart night

as this sphere’s transient condition falls

— into a state subtracted of sun giving warmth.

unhinged by the strings of imperial terrestrial magnetism

autonomy is granted in the boundaries allotted.

my body’s equilibrium temperature

is slaughtered on altars of polar winds.

tempest of iced-winged-winds wails

to the heavens of lesser lights

the word is spoken in the omission:

and it is so…

the azure opens and snow breaks forth!

a chorus of celestial beings

birthed in primordial mysterious.

avatars of wondrous luminous ether—descending,

descendants before the formation of all.

i watch as One Snowflake is magnified by illuminated gifted grace.

the point of singularity

this sole ice crystal’s metamorphosis begins:

water’s vapour travails the empyrean

the way fixed

the water droplet collides with lost particles of dust—

dead cells adrift and without.

below zero resurrection, solidified as one new creation—

mathematical lines that diverge from the straight into a curve in sixfold symmetry.


weighted with gravity’s dominion

it falls into my fallen condition.

i want—this divinity!

unlike all that is—

to possess as mine, ‘until death do us part’.

the Snowflake submits to the will from above

and falls into my hand

—the impasse of our co-occurrence,

intertwined destinies

i watch as the warmth of my flesh

reverses the Snowflake back into its original estate—

killing beauty. now

it is finished.

Karyn Atkins is in her 2B term of Liberal Arts.  You can find more of her content @the.storylistener

I am a mature student at the University of Waterloo and a few years ago I decided to fulfill my life long of dream of completing a university degree.  I have slowly been picking away it, mainly through the online part time degree program. This is a great option for students like me who have a desire to continue to learn but also work full time. I have a college diploma in Social Services and I work with newly arrived refugee claimants in a shelter in downtown Toronto–a job I love.

Since my teenage years I have loved poetry and I have an obsession with OED. In the spirit of Russian literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky my poetry attempts to recover the lost ‘internal (image) and external (sound) form’ of the word (From the essay The Resurrection of the Word).