A Nuclear Winter (sonnets inspired by the paintings of Andrew Wyeth)


The wind blowing in from the north is cold
a common enough event you might think
but, it is, bar the old dripping sink
the sole sound in this lonely household

out there it seems, none sees the gold
dull flash above burst: south the brink
has long been passed. Stan then pours a drink;
and thinks only of how he got so old

as he puts on his coat, he starts to feel bold
he might visit that girl who gave the wink
asking if she’d look good in mink
or (coyly) nothing, if the truth be told

after zero hour, lives now one
in this nuclear game that can’t be won


Outside her tiny room, silence
no sound but for footsteps, these no bird
but human, belonging to the third
to survive the late occurrence

Stanley looks at her with admiration
as she stands looks boldly out the window
sans clothes and thus putting on a show
for whoever is watching-then click a gun

just my bro, out on a hunting expedition
she says as Stanley takes the bullet
why she screams, did you spoil my fun?
Are you jealous or just a bigot?

The entire human race is wiped out, dead
and you begrudge me one man in my bed


snow absorbs his prints as he walks away
for it is neither snow nor truly dead
he already misses the things she’d say
as the crystals begin to eat his head

His walking skeleton reaches the bay
where dwell two calvinists, born and bred
they see the accident as gods plan at play
and the flake-creatures acting as instructed

The Swede’s eyes are almost gay;
and dancing in glee and hatred
a new order begins this very day
I’ll father a race untainted

Now I’ll go and find the holy mother
before she’s tainted by some other


As with hateful plan he strides
small golden particles rise behind
to form a man shape which then hides
to foil what he has in his dark, cold  mind

The door opens and a man comes in
It cannot be- Stanley, back from the dead?
the Swede, confused, heart half-broken,
is awed by the love in the bed.

In shame, his vainglorius plan ruined
he knows witness is his only role
in the new world that is just being formed
like a bright diamond out of dusty coal

By now, the girl has begun to realize
The truth of the man with golden eyes

– Anton Ansford


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