I wrote the poem, TINY TREASURES, after doing research for my pop-up book, SNOWFLAKES. As I studied Kenneth G. Libbrecht’s amazing macro snowflake photography, it struck me that snowflakes look like tiny gears.
An excerpt of TINY TREASURES is now a limited edition letterpress print thanks to the collaborative efforts of Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring.
Born in the sky, snow crystals form with the same water molecules that we’ve exhaled and inhaled for eons. As each snowflake is shaped by its path to earth, our very breath is in its bones.
The stillness of the winter sky surrenders fairy flowers for making forts and snowmen snowballs and icy towers. From specks of dust and water’s breath* these crystals form and float, unique like snowy fingerprints. Catch them on your coat! See the tiny winter stars with six ferny, feather arms. Their joyful little faces shine** cut like gems and lacy charms. Winter clouds are factories of soft and quiet gears that drift that drift that drift across our atmosphere. They’re puffing prose and poetry in semaphores and codes, which tumble down to yards and lakes, as weather’s ancient odes. We’re in each dainty flake our breath, its crystal bone*** so as it glides to earth, it’s really coming home.
* Snowflakes are born out of a speck of dust and water vapor-not a rain droplet. They take shape as they move through the cloud and down to us. Since no two will ever travel the exact same path, no two snowflakes will ever be identical.
** “Facet,” which describes snow crystals, literally means, “little face.”
*** About 1,000 of our molecules are in each flake that falls, according to Kenneth Libbrecht in The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty.
Excerpt Featured on the letterpress print:
Winter clouds are factories of soft and quiet gears that drift that drift that drift across our atmosphere.
They’re puffing prose and poetry in semaphores and codes, which tumble down to yards and lakes, as weather’s ancient odes.