Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

To Catch a Snowflake

March 8th is International Women’s Day (a.k.a. European Valentine’s Day). On this occasion I am thankful for the women in my life, especially the one who was hardest to catch.

The work of Wilson Alwyn "Snowflake" Bentley (1865 –1931)

The work of Wilson Alwyn “Snowflake” Bentley (1865 –1931)

For six months I chased a girl named Taylor Sharron. She ran. She didn’t like me “that way.” She wanted to be friends.

I was just glad she would talk to me.

Now we talk every night.

That which is hardest to catch is sweetest to hold. (you can tweet that)

Wilson Bentley understood this. He loved snowflakes. He loved them so much he spent most of his life standing in the Vermont cold, catching falling crystals on black velvet cloth or slate in order to capture their image. In his lifetime, he took over 5,000 unique photos. The quality of his work was such that few even bothered to photograph snowflakes for almost a century after his death.

That’s what a man will do for love. That’s what a person will do for a dream.

I searched the world to find the right girl and now her name is Taylor Irby.

A few weeks ago, I wrote her this poem for Valentine’s Day. I hope it gives you courage to stay out in the cold until at last you find what you are searching for.

Snowflake by Josh Irby

A Valentine Poem for My Love

I am Wilson Bentley
in search of you

fingers stiff
from frigid air
catching falling crystals on slate
atomic ice flowers
blooming beneath the glass
captured in silver
petals revealed
tiny miracles of beauty
but not you

On I search
through winter days
stellar plates
radiating dendrites
arrowhead twins
a thousand times and more
a billion pure gifts from heaven


at last



You alight
I am full of light
you melt
I melt
we return to the air

About Josh