“Snow Eater” the Blackfoot call you.
Born of the sea,
Flowing inland
To warm the land,
Climb a mountain
And bestow
A benediction of rain
On the forest below.
Chill and dry
At the top.
Nearly touching the sky.
Warmed by the speed
Of your descent,
You blow through
The Clouds,
Carving an arch
High in the sky.
Your signature.
Then march
Across the foothills
Raising the temperature,
Melting ice and snow
As you go.

~ John Bishop Ballem

John Bishop Ballem is a Calgary novelist, poet and lawyer. He has published 12 novels, a volume of poetry and a textbook on oil and gas law. Many of his poems have appeared in literary journals and magazines.

4 Responses to “Chinook”

  1. This poem makes me feel as if I’m back under blue Alberta skies.

  2. There are few sites more spectacular than a chinook arch in the early morning. John describes it beautifully!

  3. I’ve seen the temperature increase by 20 degrees in a matter of hours when a Chinook blows in. No wonder they’re called “Snow Eaters”! A wonderful tribute to a truly unique phonomenon.

  4. Nice tribute to the Chinook; an indelible impression of a Southern Alberta phenomenon.

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