The first snow of the season

feels like a child

with everything to look forward to.

A dusting of popcorn flakes

spindering mid–air

falling toward me

like a kiss on that tear-shaped hollow

above the clavicle

as desire rises softly from the cold

and the air rustles like a white silk robe.

Coming early, it sits on the apples like a laugh.

Coming late, it slides sideways through the chill like a sigh.

And in my last mind everything that came to mind

was the last one:

The last love, the last hope, the last laughter,

the last oceanside, the last lasting note fading, the last sunrise

over the South China Sea in the shadow of Guanyin.

And in my first mind everything is the first one:

The first snow, the first morning after sleeping without pills,

the first sign of sorrow’s end, the first child of my child.

The first poem after a long drought rises from winter:

each snowflake with its own idea of being.

— Ellen Sander

Ellen Sander is the Poet Laureate of Belfast.

Poet's Corner will be a regular feature of The Republican Journal, appearing once a month in the first issue of each month. The Poet's Corner is open for submissions. Local, seasonal or humorous themes preferred, but all good works are welcome. Email submission to You will be notified if your poem is to be published.

Sure as the lion stalks the lamb through the Ides of March, there will be a Poetry Jam (open reading) at Bell the Cat in Belfast on Friday, March 15. Sign-up is at 6 p.m. These are casual gatherings of poets new and seasoned, and those who enjoy poetry with their beer, wine, coffee drinks, cookies and deli feasts. Musicians who would like to improvise with poets are enthusiastically invited as well. Come see how Belfast rocks poetry and vice versa.

Poet Laureate office hours are Tuesdays 1 to 3 p.m. at the Belfast Free Library. I will be taking Tuesday, March 26, off for Passover.

April brings more than showers. April is National Poetry month and there will be numerous poetry events throughout the region to enjoy, so watch your arts and entertainment listings.