Saturday, 12 January 2013

Lost Season

A winter's day

I am missing winter.
There - I've said it and you can pelt me with rotten apples if you want.

Today is cloudless, the sun is warm and the snowdrops are rushing out as if they'd missed the early train.
But I see daffodil leaves and bluebell shoots poking up too.
It is the 12th of January for heaven's sake.
What happened to 'due season'?

Winter river

In place of winter we have monsoon and everything squelches beneath my feet, while new and unwelcome leaks have appeared in our house as tired old fabric gives way to the merciless onslaught of water.

For just one morning this week, we woke to the still silence of frost, a gentle shroud of thick winter mist. Our lovely, meagre trees were cocooned in soft white cloud, and a pearlescent ivory glow replaced the light of day.
But one morning is not enough.

Moody river

I want the moody river, the intransigent earth and the sleeping garden. I want the sharp, cold knife of frost, and the forgiveness of snow.
I want winter.

I have posted this poem before, but, as I haven't been writing any poetry recently, here it is again.
After all, nothing has changed.

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:
    Here in Budapest the snow has abated but, looking at the forecast for the week ahead, more is to fall and the daytime temperature is set to remain below freezing. And so, we are in the grip of winter and, unlike your observations, there is no sign of a snowdrop to be had anywhere.

    Your poem is most atmospheric and we have much enjoyed it.

    1. PS: And speaking of snow - as we were - and Venice - as we were - it snowed while we were in Venice some years ago. It looked like a Caffi painting. Stunning. I expect Budapest is especially beautiful in the snow too!

  2. Hello Jane and Lance - how nice to see you again so soon. Funnily enough, I think I was commenting (again) on your post even as you were commenting here. A happy synchronicity, obviously.

    You, having been in the grip of winter, are probably longing for it to end and for the first snowdrop to appear! It just seems such a cheat to only have wind and rain and no proper weather at all.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Thank you.

  3. I think very cold weather is forecast for the days ahead. It is sure to happen, and will probably snow as well, as we have a plane to catch!

    1. I once caught a plane from Knock in a raging blizzard! We sat and sat on the tarmac while they 'de-iced' the plane, and out of the aircraft windows we could see these poor chaps crawling about on the wings with brooms. Only their little faces were visible, red with cold, and as fast as they swept, so fast did the wings fill up again, it was snowing so hard.
      Amazingly, we did take off in the end!

  4. I love your thoughts and photos, and especially your poetry. I, too, miss winter! I live in the Midwest of the U.S. and last winter was oddly warm and mostly non-existent. This winter has been kind of the same....a few warmer than normal days, then a cold AND normal days. I would love to visit Ireland! I think I have some Irish in my background, plus Welsh, and Scottish, too. Hopefully someday I'll be a world traveler!

    1. Hi Becky - how nice to see you back. I'm interested to hear that you have been having these non-descript winters too. Utterly miserable.
      It sounds like you are going to have to pack a bag and set out to visit all the lands of your ancestors! (Don't come in the winter!)

  5. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO......... I'm cold enough and have swollen glands dont need any more hassle.....xx

  6. Nooooo! Nooooooo! NOOOOOOO SNOWWWWWW!

  7. Yesterday I might have agreed, but today temperatures have dropped sharply and just a few minutes outside with MasterB had me hurrying indoors for gloves and extra layers!

    1. Oh well, I'll keep my fingers crossed then - Avril and Clare notwithstanding!

  8. I totally agree with you and the weather has been pretty much the same here on the other edge of Ireland.
    I love bright crisp frosty days but these dull, dreary, damp days leave me depressed -and struggling to get photos.


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