During these winter months the Reece Farm awaits the coming spring when nature revives and the gates to this hallowed venue reopen to the public.  One can picture the Reece family hunkering down to withstand the bitter cold, enjoying close proximity to the welcomed warmth of the fireplace.   We may fancy that it was during a typical January evening that our poet was led to pen the words of the following poem, entitled “A Fire of Boughs” (from The Season of Flesh, 1955).

At onset of December
When the cold comes to stay
I bring boughs, leafed in May,
To feed the cheerful ember
And warm the wintry night.
Folded into his fur,
The cat disdains to stir
But dreams by firelight.
And I should follow suit
Except that boughs in turning
Shapeless in the burning
Alarms the more than brute
Caged within my being
That often plays at blind
But stirs and shakes my mind
With grave misgiving, seeing
Wood fall from coal to ash,
Its substance burned to nothing,
Its luminescent clothing,
Its shine, its flash,
Expended, one with night—
And is not comforted
That such translation shed
Both warmth and light.

What are your musings these winter days?  However pleasant or perplexing they may be, we hope you will plan to come our way again in April, where a visit to the Reece Farm and Heritage Center may bring you both warmth and light.



Filed under Farm


  1. In keeping with Reece’s beautiful winter poem, I offer one of my own. I knew Reece personally and he encouraged me when I was a lass of 15 interviewing him for our high school page in the “North Georgia News” newspaper shortly after his first book of poems, “Ballad of the Bones and Other Poems” was published in 1945. Here’s one of my winter poem offerings (Nothing as good as Reece wrote; he was my mentor, but I didn’t have his keenness for rhythm, rhyme, form, thoughts falling like gentle rain on paper) I hope you enjoy my:

    Thoughts on a Frosty Morning

    “By the breath of God, frost is given…” -Job 37:10 (KJV)

    The grass edged in white
    Is stiff beneath its load of hoar.
    The crackle underfoot
    Makes me hurry to the door
    To warmth inside.
    As the landscape meets
    The winter’s frigid blast,
    Nature’s cycle, seeming to rest,
    Is working, ‘though not as fast,
    To implement and guide.
    Such symmetry, such perfection,
    In one tiny molecule of frost!
    Such design, such crystalline beauty
    To spread abroad, exhaust
    On one frosty morning sight!
    Festooned like a mighty canopy
    These white-clad artistries bring
    Strains like the beauty of a hymn.
    The chill lifts soul to sing
    In this moment in time–so right!
    by Ethelene Dyer Jones (January 5, 2013)
    [Note: A “poem of the moment: in response to my friend Tipper Pressley’s BlogSpot, “Blind Pig and the Acorn” which she entitled “Frosty Morning.” Some responses to my poem that day on “Blind Pig”” (from Bradley, poet): “Your poem pulls the image in and gives the reader such an interesting mental image. There must have been something in the waters at Choestoe (note Byron Herbert Reece, and now Ethelene Dyer Jones, both Choestoeans). There was so much expressive writing by some of those people there. I have always loved the book of Job and I loved your poem, Ethelene.” (From Nancy Simpson, poet,) “It is a lovely morning for sure, and I am happy to have my cozy hearth. Thanks to Ethelene Dyer Jones for the “spur of the moment” poem.

  2. jimwike@comcast.net

    THANKS! Just what we needed to read on a bright, sunny day in the deep freeze of winter! See you in the SPRING TIME!

    Cheers, Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD AUTHOR: “Fiddler of the Mountains” NCSociety of Historians’ AWARD

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