Shades of Cold in White on White

Snow sparkles as it falls from a cloud-clad sky; fields, verdant, eons past, now just shades of white on white.

A pale woman, clad in silvery fleece from head to toe, leaves prints on the crinkly ground. Pale steam, streaming through pearly teeth, kisses pallid lips then mingles with swirling mists.

Crystalline trees caked in ice, limbs, too heavy, lie scattered on the frozen ground. Snow covers frozen meres and a frozen tarn, shades of white on white.

A pale old man sits in a snow covered skiff, his hair and beard almost as bleached as the swirling eddies of crystalized rain that beat at his small dirty sail, his breath mixing with the pale mist, stars obscured, but a pallid crescent moon peaking down on the homochromous lake-scape.

Shades of white on white cover burrowing elder seeds and ancient slumbering roots still dreaming of the spring they once knew as, from cavernous shadows, sibilant sighs echo, soon lost in the long arctic night.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2020; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen). Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at and much of his writing is available through his blog at

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