Posts tagged ‘Winter’

11/04/2013

The Frozen River

 

To fish the lonely winter beck

He wears a summer hat of straw,

And walks for miles through snow and ice.

There is no other human trace.

 

At night he has a makeshift hut

Of bark and reeds and bended birch.

The fire he lights is cold by dawn.

He’ll stay until his brandy’s gone.

 

A heron has the further bank.

They eye each other with respect.

As snow is falling, heron flies,

And drags behind a trail of drops.

 

The river steams with freezing mist.

The old man’s breathing joins the cloud.

 

 

Poem after Liu Tsung Yuan

 

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13/01/2013

As a Flock of Waxwings in the Beech

 

These leaves of beech first breathed in spring,

And trembled, touched by summer rains,

Turned copper crisp through autumn frosts,

And with our coming, shiver on.

 

We flick our wings against the thorns

Of sloe and brittle bramble shrub,

We take our pick of haws and hips.

Amongst the beech we hide from hawks.

 

On winter nights the starlight calls

Of redwing heading further south:

The finest needle points of fear.

We huddle then behind the leaves.

 

We wait together in the beech.

We fly together in the snow.

 

 

02/01/2013

The Echo Sylphs of Winter

 

The day closed in with mist and rain

And hills dissolved as shadow clouds.

The limits of the air and land

Were waters flowing, merged and blurred.

 

The river rolled its mirror heart,

And trout were birds and birds were trout.

As peat-smoke was the mid-day sky:

It sank through depths of weed and pike.

 

A dead tree, shattered by a storm,

Now spiked its bark into the fog.

As fungus drenched its core in spores

And from its tips the tree dripped life.

 

The air was heavy, forests light,

The river floated, day was night.

 

 

18/07/2012

The Song of Ondine (Tundra Swans)

 

She called them down, the winter swans,

To gather on her flooded fields.

The final touch of Autumn sun

Made strings of pearls from lines of birds.

 

She whispered knowledge through the flocks:

A dew as soft as cotton grass,

She brought the sound of distant waves,

And samphire scented morning mists.

 

The fields spread out from hills to sea,

And on each field a thousand swans,

A thousand tundra tales to tell,

And with each tale she made a song.

 

They stayed through snows the Winter long,

Lamenting wilderness and sun.