The Last of Winter

by angeliska on March 7, 2007

So before the last shivering snarls
of winter have retreated back into
their icy caverns under the mountains,
and spring unfurls her green ribbons,
resplendent- I’d like to keep good on
my promise to keep my days noted
if not entirely in any sensical order.
On Hexmas Eve, we flew to
Dowagiac, Michigan to ring
in the season in the pines, in the pines..
We slept soundly deep in the woods
in the wood cabin made by members
of my love’s family, all together.
Granny Betty loved the phrase
“warm, woodsy, womb”
we employed to describe our
slumber there..

It’s odd how many people I love come from
or have family in Michigan.
My grandmother’s family
came from Detroit.
On one freezing afternoon,
we ventured into town to explore
the old Round Oak Stove factory..

It was built around the turn of the century,
and survived much- though now abandoned
and fallen into a state of advanced disintegration..
The beautiful double-ply maple tongue and groove
floors have buckled and swelled from water damage.
Transformed into rolling hills and dunes by the elements-
trees turned to sand, to sculpture by neglect.

Brilliant green moss grew in profusion on the second floor.

In the midst of mysterious nicks and scrawls on the giant
concrete pillars, I found messages..

March 5th (42)


This place was ghostly in the extreme.

The bizarre spirit pictures from the basement have since been lost,
but they show weird blobs of light dancing all around me.
We found out later that a brutal murder had taken place there.

Moldy Wood Dunes

It was one of the most incredible places- 3 floors and a roof of
emptiness, ruin. I found bird mummies and broken eggshells.

This is where the Winter King lives.
Where the Erl-King sleeps long among the brambles,
tangled thicket of raspberry canes bursting out from a dead willow.

I was shown this insanely beautiful wedding dress belonging to one of
Colin’s great-great aunties.. Imagine embroidering each of those
flowers and leaves- someone did!
It, and the wedding invitation are in pristine condition,
kept in this box for years and years.
The sash was russet silk.

Betty didn’t want me to take her picture,
but agreed to let her hands be shown.
Aren’t they beautiful?

This completely blew my mind.
It changed the way I think about many, many things-
and will change my actions as well.
It’s the work and world and words
of this woman
I believe that she is going to change the world.
I’m dreaming lately of crones in gray
robes and veils with silvered blind eyes
strolling in parks and playing cello.


[…] – modern hearths, designed to sustain a family throughout a long and bitter Michigan winter. The factory that made this vessel of iron made to hold fire, so carefully ornate, is now a buckled r… A fascinating, haunted place near the train-station, where I found this beauty. The train rushed by […]

by Angeliska Gazette › Sweet Violets on May 25, 2011 at 3:08 am. Reply #

when did you see the Round Oak Stove factory? I know it very well, including the building that was across the tracks that was also used for Round Oak. My grandpa owned them and I had spent a lot of time in them.

by joseph on November 13, 2012 at 8:35 am. Reply #

How did you get in the old place?

by zack on May 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm. Reply #

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