Grey day blanket

I like the blanket feel of a grey day.
I like it especially out here 
where I can study the flat relief of aspen,
see the grooved thick black thighs,
planted in snow; farther up
the outrageous hickeys on pale skin,
and the sky rolling in
a thousand open arms.

I split the day’s wood,
hear the rusty pump-handle
complaint of a bluejay, the clishmaclaver
of black-capped chickadees,
boreal chickadees at the suet block,
pine grosbeaks at the feeder,
take tea and honey outside with a Romeo et Juliet,
see a squirrel rifle over the snow crust,
hear a hairy, maybe a downy woodpecker,
hammer a weak spot on a poplar,
their long protrucible tongue,
barbed, pointed, sticky,
darting deep after frozen grubs.

Later, ale at the BBQ on the deck,
the hollow hum of highway trucks,
watch Doc Martin on an old laptop,
read local poets,
write these lines,
and it’s like the entire day passes
without me ever coming out from under the covers.



  1. Stephen – such loveliness. You bring the beauties of a grey day to life. I especially like the last stanza – Doc Marten on the laptop and reading local poets.

  2. Awesome Dad!!! Loved it!! The glory of solitude extracted, concentrated, and served up with a rhythm, well-honed.. And the cabin looks great too!!

  3. My last bastion of negative thinking – the grey day – has now been converted to beauty. Thank you for opening my eyes. I wish I knew birds – must Google the names to introduce myself. I love the last line and most of all, your description of aspen…rowdy and impeccable.

  4. Stephen – you are a friend of my brother (jeff) and his wife (Connie) so I often see posts to/of you. This one was posted by my brother and I love it! It is my experience too in so many ways. I have not LOVED the grey days that BC brings after coming from Alberta, but have tried to embrace them by hiking, skiing, drawing. Thank you for this Stephen.

  5. I can’t work out what’s more enjoyable – y our poem or this comments thread. (okay your poem. Whens your book coming out? Tell me there’s a book coming out …)

  6. You are so very kind Susan. The “book” begun years ago, has split like a cell into a few books, and yes, one day I suppose, whether I’m picked up or not, I will publish something resembling a book. There is after all a crowd waiting…in a phone booth (do they still have those?).

  7. I, too, love the blanket feel of a grey day. Some friends of mine who hate grey days can’t understand my enjoyment of them. Perhaps it’s the comfort I feel in them.

    And… I’m with Susan… tell us there’s a book of yours that we’ll get to read one day. Chuckle about the phone booth comment… methinks it will have to be an ever-expanding version then to accommodate the readers that are waiting.

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