Sunday, 15 January 2012

A Celebration of Winter


                              Paper Rooks


Give me a winter’s day, all knuckle-
bare, with nothing left to lose;
a day you couldn’t choose in summer
when froth lies on the daydream.
But give me a winter’s day: the lean
picked bones of trees gaunt on the
purple air, a sigh of wood smoke
drifting on the breeze.  These are my
thin, spare pleasures, my treasures
rare - all fair and square my own.
Not summer’s careless bounty do I
swear by, but these certain measures:
the clean, warm snuffle-breath
of cows, soft by the flung farm sheds,
the sparrows there at dawn to share
my breakfast bread.  This is my wealth
when life pares to the quick: a half-
fledged, squeamish day, with sifting rain
on fields all blanched and slick, a cold
low sky uncertain when to lift,
the late grey dawn a sudden, unexpected
gift of pooling gold peeling back the east;
this heartbeat rush of wind-torn paper
rooks across bleak skies, the emptiness
that hurts the wide horizon of my eyes,
a feast of snowdrops caught beneath
                        the hedge – give me a winter’s day



  1. Hello! I've stumbled across your blog and not really sure how! Once I start blog-hopping, there's no telling where I'll land. Just wanted to say I enjoyed your beautiful photos and I also read your post about pheasants. My advice: Don't feel like a hypocrite. Life's too short to worry! I hope you'll stop by my blog, too.
    Oh, BTW, I honestly hope to visit Ireland someday, along with Wales and Scotland. Such a beautiful part of our world!

  2. Beautiful poem and on a par with Gillian Clarke's any day.

    1. Thank you Cait. That is a lovely compliment.


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