The lyrical story of an introspective farm boy who writes poetry in a wordless language. From time to time, in youth and throughout his long life, Johnny tramps out alone over the frozen lake's new-fallen snow. Why? To write poems with his boots, he explains--and, from time to time in ensuing seasons, ducks, fish, or otters will suddenly go crazy, swooping and dancing in a celebratory frenzy. Only Johnny has an explanation, though, of course, no one takes him seriously; still, year by year, his ""poems"" flow down the river to the sea, and dolphins ""still recite some of the best lines to this very day."" Softened edges and blended colors create a serene mood in Stammen's spacious colored-pencil landscapes; subtly, these give viewers only a glimpse of Johnny's booted patterns in the snow. A fine companion to Bliss's Matthew's Meadow (1992) and other stories about communicating with the natural world.