Baby Its Cold Outside

Kim at Poets United asked us to write a poem about Ice.  First thought that came to mind-was Alaska.  I have never seen icicles, so long!  Almost as long, as I am tall.  (I'm not tall-I'm 5'1)   Then I thought of the glaciers, I decided this would be perfect for an Ice poem.

Locked mysteries
in crystals of ornate sky blue
n' bubbles of fragile white
capture the dreams of past wonders
cascaded light
outlines their
crystal cool bridges
illuminated by sun's dance
like stars hung low
 wishing and yearning
to tell their tales
in whispers
of time lost
glistening stars like sugar
captured n' tossed
in a sea of deep memories
layers of voices trapped in 
massive blue. 

© Ellen Wilson

Glacial ice often appears blue when it has become very dense. Years of compression gradually make the ice denser over time, forcing out the tiny air pockets between crystals. When glacier ice becomes extremely dense, the ice absorbs all other colors in the spectrum and reflects primarily blue, which is what we see. When glacier ice is white, that usually means that there are many tiny air bubbles still in the ice.

I have been to Alaska. How cold was it? CCCCccccold!    I have lived on an island, in the Aleutian chain and I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for three years.  Yes, driving the Al-Can is for crazy people.  My hubby n' I did it in winter,  so you can count me into that club. When we stopped for the night, on our hotel there was ice,  I swear five inches thick.  We had two gas tanks and one gas line froze.  I suggested the blow dryer and it worked.  I won't let hubby forget it, lol.  I have MacGyver skills, with glue guns and blow dryers.  Alaska is the craziest place, I have ever lived.  They have parades to celebrate Ice Worms, they have fireworks in February-it isn't dark enough in July. Remember, it is the land of the Midnight sun.  I have photos of being outside at 10pm wearing sunglasses.  Yeah, you have to be a special breed to live there!   And yes, I will call you both,  brave and crazy!  Yet, there is a magic in surviving the winter and soaking up the sunlight. Yes, it is true they only have two seasons,  winter n' spring.  Okay maybe quirky fits better.  I didn't see this,  but they race outhouses at FurRondy...   They say it is the final frontier-mmh, maybe that is why so many Trekkies live there!  ;D   


Yolanda Renée said…
Loved your poem!

My books are set in Alaska and the ice blue color is the color of my hero's eyes. He's Tlingit/Irish.

I live there too, Fairbanks at 50 below, and ice fog. Now that's a mean animal, ice fog.
I remember when the temperatures rose to 30 below, it was like summer, well, you know, so yes quirky, crazy, and magical. I loved it, can't wait to go back -- to Anchorage, not as cold there!

Love the winter festivals!
Unknown said…
"illuminated by sun's dance
like stars hung low" = My favorite part. :-)
Wonderful poem! Gave me chills.
(I know, that was bad. But it was good!)
Ice worms. Yuck.
Denser? So over time, ice loses IQ points?
And short is cute.
Shelly said…
Your poem was beautiful as always. As for Alaska, I'd love to visit.

Hugs and chocolate,
Brian Miller said…
like sugar
captured n' tossed
in a sea of deep memories

very cool line that....alaska is on the list of places i want to go...we have a place here where the icicles get 20-30 feet off the side of the mountain...its pretty cool...

Thank you for such a delightful poem and for your very informative recount of your life, living in Alaska...It is a place that I have always wanted to visit. However, I must confess that Spain with some sun, has to be the first place on my long list!!!
Nice to catch up with you Ella. I am about 5'2"..smallish too:)

Best Wishes,
Unknown said…
Just as icebergs are layers of history and meaning, you poem is layered with potential inferences and interpretations. I like this sort of writing, Ella. Suits you. And the recounting of your time in Alaska was equally interesting to read. The Good Husband worked in Alaska when we were first married...
Mary said…
You have really given us a vivid word picture of Alaskan ice, Ella. I am sure so much is trapped in its mass of blue. You made good use of your Alaska memories when you created this poem! Smiles.
Sean Vessey said…
"Layers of voices trapped". Awesome and majestic piece. Thank you for sharing.
Sherry Blue Sky said…
You make freezing sound romantic - not many can do that! I love the stars hung low and the whispers of time lost. I spent one winter in Kitimat, near Alaska, once - there was a ton of snow.......
Scarlet said…
I specially like your opening lines: Locked mysteries
in crystals of ornate sky blue

But I wouldn't want to live in Alaska, I will freeze to death..he..he..
Gail said…
Time does have stories to tell.
Mary Ann Potter said…
Beautiful, Ellen --- a wonderfully visual poem with those almost imperceptible stories under the ice. A sense of history here...
ScottlB said…
Great poem Ella, interesting information also.
Kay L. Davies said…
You're obviously familiar with ice, you write about it so intimately.
I loved seeing the glaciers when we were on an Alaska cruise, but I don't think I'd want to live there.
This poem is my favorite of yours, I think, Ella. (Well, so far, you know.)
Luv, K
Ella said…
Hi Kay, Thank you! I have climbed on a glacier. No ropes, nothing special, just walking n' climbing. I couldn't find the photo-will post if I do. You are kind :D I bet you had a glorious view-I have heard that cruise is stunning! I am originally from snow country-Maine. All the natives in Alaska said, "well you should be use to cold." lol Yeah, it is a nice place to visit. There is magic everywhere <3 xo

Tatius-Thank you! Yeah, I had fun reliving my wild moments in the wild, lol ;D

Mary Ann-I kept thinking about how much we have learned from ice and are still learning! It is remarkable the stories trapped in the bubbles! Thank you :D

Gail-Yes, it does-I loved your, so intricate :D

Grace-I understand! We were fortunate to live in a building with the furnace. Our unit was the hottest-I don't like cold, either~
Thank you :D

Sherry-My first year in Anchorage we had 101" of snow! I swear between my childhood and Alaska, I have shoveled enough for three lifetimes! Fun, shoveling ice off my mom's
Thank you-wow romantic ;D You make me smile!

Sean-Thank you! I tried to make nice with ice, lol :D

Mary-Thank you! I was thrilled to go there and sad to leave. It is a special place, but too cold for me~

Kim-Thank you! I enjoyed reflecting on past memories-thank you for the prompt ;D What part?

Eileen-I love your thoughts on Spain ;D sounds heavenly! I hope you do get to go-summer is wonderful! Thank you for sharing-I can see you and I see eye to eye, for real~ Best Wishes to you!

Brian-Whoa! I was talking about my doorway...I can imagine! Oh, I do hope you get to go...the fishing is amazing! I had never seen a moose, till I went to Alaska. Moose everywhere, lol No, didn't see any bears, but did hear a lot of stories. I saw my first bear in Virginia, a few years ago. Thank you! :D

Shelly-Thank you! I hope you too, get to go! It is an amazing place :D

Alex-You made me laugh out loud! Dense and I.Q.-you are funny~
I am a day late giving you chills. We could of used oneyesterday-75 at my house! Crazy weather...
Thank you, you are sweet :D
There might be a chill tomorrow. Did you hear we might get snow?!

EJ-Thank you! I hope you are doing well! I will be by :D

Yolanda-Oh, I will have to check that out ;D sounds wonderful!
Yes, Fur Rondy is nuts! I remember seeing fireworks in July. I wondered why they bothered?! It was still daylight?! I am glad you know the magic! Ice fog...I grew up with that in Maine! It is wild to glad you shared!!! ;D

Wanda said…
Brrr...just seeing the picture and reading about Alaska gives me the chills. You paint beautifully with your words :) Have a great weekend.
Ella said…
Hi Wanda...I know right! The wind is howling here right now-I am pretty chilled, myself!
Stay warm Wanda and have a wonderful weekend! Thank you~
I wonder if we could heat up Cherry Coke and drink it?! lol ;D
Mark Means said…
A very nice poem!

I've never lived -that- far north...the farthest I've ever lived was Waukegan, Illinois...and that's far enough for me! It got pretty cold there...not 'Alaska' cold...but cold!

Cool fact on ice, I never knew that before.

Have a great weekend!
Scriptor Senex said…
I liked 'layers of voices trapped in
massive blue. '.

An Ice Worm King and Queen election; an Earthquake Park and a Hammer Museum. Sounds my kind of place - provided someone turned the heating up as bit!

A fascinating article, thanks Ella.
Anonymous said…
Beautifully written, with a unique perspective.
McGuffy's Reader
Ella said…
Hi John-:D I know, right! I think there is a lot of creative and zany fun, in that neck of the woods! The Northern Lights are amazing! I agree, turn up the heat! Winter lasts too long, for me! I did enJOY it while I was there, except for the Smoked Salmon party. I was at work, hubby left upstairs bedroom windows open. He had a bunch of guys smoking Salmon. I came home and my whole house reeked of smoke! The smoker was outside and all the smoke, in my house~ Memories...I now can smell the smoke, lol!
I do hope you get to visit someday!
:D Thank you~

Mark-Cold is cold! lol It just lasts longer in Alaska. Snow can show up in June...I did not see that happen! They can't predict the weather being so close to Arctic Circle. I remember my first year there. Weatherman predicted flurries-woke up to 14" of snow. ;D Thank you, you too!
Judy Roney said…
How stunning. You capture the glaciers I saw in Alaska and bring back that blue beauty. So cold just to read this.
Becky Shander said…
Love this part of your poem "crystal cool bridges illuminated by sun's dance"...this puts such a beautiful image in my mind. Thanks for the spark of loveliness.
Isis Rushdan said…
Fantastic poem, especially the end "glistening stars like sugar
captured n' tossed
in a sea of deep memories
layers of voices trapped in
massive blue."

Would love to do a cruise of Alaska someday, but I hate cruises, lol. I want to show my son glaciers and icicles as tall as a person :).

Hope you like Kindred.
Susan said…
I believe in frozen voices--I have a bit about them in a part of the book I am writing--but mine are voices that have frozen, whereas yours is the ice itself, a witness, wishing to speak. I feel like I am there listening and waiting to hear.
Such beauty - but I hate the cold, so I will have to rely on pictures, including those you create with your words.
Ella said…
Hello Rosemary-I know, I'm cold a lot! I am happy I had the chance to live there for awhile, but wouldn't want to live there again! Brrrr- :D
Stay warm!

Susan-Yes, I know, met too! There is a lot to be learned in those frozen voices ;D I look forward to hearing more~ Thank you :D

Isis-Thank you! :D
I understand-I love the ocean, boating, but no desire to go on a cruise! There is another way~ Hope you get to take him, someday!
I am sure I will ;D

Becky-Yes, there is beauty everywhere~ You are welcome! :D
I think I look a bit harder, when winter plays her hand~

Judy-You made me smile! Thank you :D Yes, I would love to go for a visit, but wouldn't want to live there...too cold! I love that blue beauty~
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Laurie Kolp said…
I have a writer (grandmotherly) friend that travels from here to Alaska every spring and spends the summer assisting in the camps. She always has lots of cool stories. I would never make it there.
Ella said…
Hi Laurie, oh, how fun! I bet she has some really tall tales, to tell. The thing is they probably are all true, lol! :D
Unknown said…
I had some really fun years living in Alaska. I went to UAF in Fairbanks right out of high school. I enjoyed the adventure. I would go back anytime too. I enjoyed your ice pictures and stories.
Morgan said…
Gosh, you're such a talent, Ella. Love the poem. And haven't been to Alaska, but I have been to Iceland! :D
Ella said…
Hi Morgan-oh, you are sweet! I bet Iceland was gorgeous! I know it is more green than ice ;D Sounds fun!

Janelle-Yes, you know then! :D I would love to go back n' visit! Wow, I bet you did~ How fun~ Thank you!
Tamara said…
"Layers of voices trapped in massive blue"

Not sure what it is about that line, but it just really captured me. Beautiful. And I love the comparison to stars...

I've always wanted to go to Alaska, which is funny, cause I hate being cold. haha. but i want to see the glaciers and the norhern lights...someday...
Ella said…
Tamara-You could go in the summer!
It feels like spring, then :D
I think of all the animals and people that might have been around when the glacier was formed :D
Thank you! I have seen the Northern lights in Maine and Alaska! Maine was this lime green color, which reminded me of a Stephen King movie. Alaska was more red and blue-gorgeous! ;D I do hope you get to go someday~
Thank you!

MadKane-Thank you so much! :D