Still Water, Frozen Beauty

Photo: Sharon Knight
January 27, 2015
Used with permission

Still Water, Frozen Beauty
a Haibun

We make our way down I-395, skirting the crowding of mountains, the eastern flank of the Sierra Nevada, to my west. I snake along, at a near crawl. Overnight, nature has painted her landscape in a wash of pristine white. The black granite peaks are creviced with whipped cream and, to my east, the desert valley is likewise blanketed, sketched with paw prints of various critters. Blackbirds on telephone wires huddle together for warmth.

Slowly, we crest the hill leading into Topaz Lake. She lies there, still, in hues of silver and turquoise. In contrast, a few late autumn trees still hold on to their intense orange leaves. I search for a place to pull off the highway in order to take photos, but southbound semis and black ice remind me that I know better. A flock of Canadian geese lands on the lake, sending ripples, creating texture on her mirrored surface. They etch the scene into my storehouse of memories.

Lake Topaz stretches,
clothed in shimmering satin,
beckons her lover.

Posted for dVerse Poetics, with deep gratitude to Sharon Knight Photography. Sharon has given us permission to use one of her photos for a poetry prompt. They are stunning.

14 thoughts on “Still Water, Frozen Beauty

  1. What a beautiful trip and memory. I think I would love to have made this trip and seen the Topaz lake.


  2. Laura Bloomsbury says:

    I too like the way you have drawn the reader in and sketched the scenic memory


  3. kim881 says:

    The use of the inclusive pronoun ‘we’ makes me feel as if I am there with you in the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, another of those far-off places I can only travel to through prose and poetry. I love the personification of nature, who has ‘painted her landscape in a wash of pristine white’ and the contrast of the ‘black granite peaks’ and blackbirds on telephone wires. In the second paragraph the monochrome explodes into colour as ‘we crest the hill – stunning!


  4. Reblogged this on Frank J. Tassone and commented:
    #Haiku Happenings #4: Victoria Slotto’s latest #haibun for #dVersepoets!


  5. rothpoetry says:

    I loved the trip and the grand view of the lake!


  6. Mish says:

    I felt as though I was along for the ride…..a vivid haibun. Nice to see those Canadian geese, though they were probably hoping for warmer days in the desert. 🙂


  7. Frank Hubeny says:

    The birds look like an etching on the snow.


  8. merrildsmith says:

    Striking photo and a lovely, vivid memory in words.


  9. There are worse things than to be lover to wild beauty.


  10. Waltermarks says:

    It all sounds so picturesque. I’m glad you didn’t try to pull off. Your memories painted an even lovelier scene


  11. kanzensakura says:

    Lovely haibun Victoria. I love the blackbirds on the wire! The details in this are astounding – the Canadian geese creating ripples on the surface of the lake – The haiku at the end is like a love letter. Beautiful.


  12. Sharon says:

    “…black granite peaks are creviced with whipped cream…”


    Thank you.


  13. Some memories that we never capture are like this… something we have only seen from the window of a car. What a lovely place to see and so good that it still resided in your memory.


  14. Lovely colours, clear blue, black and white. Winter crisp 🙂


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