Steppe

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  • Steppe

    Steppe

    Various shades of white and light gray were everywhere. Across the snow covered steppe, even in the occasional copse of Birches that sprang up here and there. Gray it was across the wide expanse of sky that came down each way to touch the steppe at the farthest point of my vision.

    The black wooden sleigh slid along smoothly pulled by the two tough ponies. Frick and Frack I called them. They snorted and neighed at each other endlessly when in paddock or barn. But they were quiet now, in labor, as they pulled the black wooden sleigh. The big copper sleigh bells sang out to fill the silence in tuneless derision.

    Tucked in under layers of blankets and pelts I sat warm, just my feet a little cool. Held loosely in my right hand the reins. I had given Frick and Frack their head and happy I to let them at their own pace. My left hung across the top of the back of the black wooden sleigh. My gloved fingers worried at a fray in the fabric thinned by many a passage in and out of the black wooden sleigh.

    Beneath the seat wrapped in bright colored paper with ribbons and bows. Sat presents with names affixed to each so who’s was who’s would not be lost. Each a bauble, a trifle, nothing more than a token, the trip long and silent was the largest effort. I looked out on bleak endless snow, as I sat and dreamt of a warm summer day.

    Frick and Frack went along a trail only remembered. The wind and snow had planed all traces away. But unerringly Frick and Frack crossed the unseen trail. I looked back and for a ways I could still see our passage. But the wind and the snow were busy and before the end of my sight already the trail behind was swept clean.

    How long it was I do not know. But slowly on the horizon a figure began to grow. Our paths seemed intent on crossing though we were not quite going the same way. The horses came near and stopped without bidding. I asked the figure bundled and wrapped to where they were going. Her voice answered ringing from depths unseen.

    I offered her a ride in the black wooden sleigh. Frick and Frack nodded as she looked at me askance. We became snug in the black wooden sleigh as Frick and Frack continued on along the way. The blankets covered two as well as one and the trip seemed now all the faster as we talked along the way. There was now a tune on the big copper sleigh bells as Frick and Frack surged along their way.

    Before long we came to a station and we parted ways. I thanked her for the company, and she for the ride in the black wooden sleigh. She left for her destination and I, I continued on my way. Across the snow covered steppe, past the occasional copse of Birches that sprang up here and there as I went by in my black wooden sleigh.

    I stopped for the night at a small inn I knew very well. Warm was the light and so was the food. Soft was the bed, as I lay there thinking of a figure on the horizon whose path I crossed. Both the dawn and I fled the inn. The dawn ran towards noon, while I sat pulled by Frick and Frack in my black wooden sleigh, towards a destination no longer quite so certain.

    Onwards across bleak steppe covered in white snow. Chasing what chimera I do not know. The morning gray quietly turned to snow. Onwards, silent, and thinking on how tuneless the big copper bells rang. I thought a time or two I picked up on the wordless tune. As I sat there in the black wooden sleigh listening very hard as the snow fell like a soft white curtain.

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    ginga commented on Steppe

    08-06-2009

    Winter, You have painted the scene eloquently with your winter words and flavor. The horses, sleigh, holing up for the night, it all is so real and vivid. Excellent! ginga

    laydbak1 commented on Steppe

    08-03-2009

    You certainly can paint a lovely picture WF... I wasn't there on that ride, but I saw every nuance of it while reading about it... A good write, this is WF... Lovely read...

    Poetry is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality.

    T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-English poet and playwright.

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