photo of window with exterior view of snowdrifts at night

Ministry of Winter by Daniel Smart

(Please rotate your handheld device to landscape mode to provide maximum width for each line.)

At the mercy of such pristine majesty,
everything manmade simplifies,
like some haphazard fraction.

No terrific, mottled Appaloosas—only the innocent
infinity of their barnyards
everywhere; simultaneous lengths of all

time and roads compacted,
creaking, and anonymously on display.
Even at the bracing

smokewhite of daybreak,
all seems equally
dazzling and incidental,

slowed to a dead pause on the brink
of immeasurable sleep. But in this breach,
what unsought but remarkable

freedom exists: every tightfisted
and usual path
having just been—humanely erased.

Dan Smart is a freelance writer, poet, and musician, as well as a regular contributor to online music publication Tiny Mix Tapes and music producer at ECHO/NORMAL recording studio in Chicago, IL. He received his BA in Creative Writing from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2006, where he has since returned to guest-lecture on poetry on several occasions. Recent publications include Spoon River Poetry Review (Winter 2016), poetry/criticism blog Structure And Surprise, and the daily poetry blog, Rhythm Is The Instrument, on which he’s collected over 1,300 original poems, and counting.

Lead image“Allow Yourself to Dream” (via Flickr user Anne’s♡inspiration)