Snow with Moose


Snow with Moose

Guide to the incremental, to the sifted mass. The Phoenician mem shifted
shapes, but always suggested water.

Moose likely derives from the Algonquian descriptor “he strips away.”

The Japanese character for water, mizu, evokes currents.

Moose are solitary creatures and do not form herds. A bilabial consonant,
M is a primary sound throughout the world.

The prehensile upper lip undresses branches and grabs shoots.

Wavering, I share the lack of definition, of clarity in design and choice.

The sound is prevalent in the words for mother in many unrelated tongues,
from Hindi to Mandarin, Hawaiian to Quechua, and of course English.

Eleven strokes compose the Japanese character for snow.

A smile would reveal no upper front teeth.

Long legs enable adults to manage snow up to three feet deep. Under water,
individual flakes striking the surface sound similar, despite size disparities.

It can also accurately be classified as a mineral.

Solitude to connection, dark on white. The lone traveler.


“Snow with Moose” first appeared here in December 2015.

33 thoughts on “Snow with Moose

  1. Nice poem, Rbt. I love the etymology! Here’s a recent one of mine employing a simlar technique:

    I doubt the Inuit have
    fifty words for snow.

In some cultures, the heart
    isn’t the seat of love:

    Unchain my bladder! 
    Take another little piece of my. . . .

    You get the idea.  Let’s
    chant the Lung Sutra.

    Dear xenophobes,
    repeat after me:

    “qanuk, qanuk, qanuk,”

    Inuit for “snowflake,”
    weather, not politics.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Matthew recently got some shots of a juvenile male moose at a campsite in Idaho. When showing off his pictures and zooming in, he kept remarking how cute “moose lips” are. I think there’s definitely something primordial to the fact that the word for “he (who) strips away” begins bilabial-ly, and that we’re drawn to “him” as we are to water and to our mothers.

    Smart, subtle and lovely, this one reaches down through an ice age of divisive posturing to locate our common, human roots.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The development of the theme is nicely juxtaposed, it makes leaps, yet seems to stay in the same spot, like a clever superimposition of separate objects, which leaves the viewer thinking one thing until they move & the same arrangement becomes something different & they see something new, if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, collage is a better way to explain it. Roy Fisher uses the technique to great effect. It gave him a freedom to utilize his various curiosities in the form of poems, usually ending in a reasonable length, but to great effect. As my reading habits began to change i am starting to see the pull toward this sort of writing. My Thinking Out Loud poems are an attempt toward this, but i find i have to be totally open, if i faff too much the poems become studied, if i just use what comes to mind it becomes more erratic & i think more interesting.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Off the subject a tad, but why would anyone want to kill a moose? I am so down on trophy hunters, as if a healthy relation to life is to take it and then glorify the taking.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Japanese character for water
    –Mizu– 水
    eleven is a prime number
    solitary among its relatives
    a herd of one
    like a moose

    Your divergences suggest a higher math,
    the matrix of life, without speaking its name outright.
    This is skill, or talent, or something else entirely,
    which also cannot be named.

    Liked by 1 person

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