Winter

 

2014-12-27 12.09.15

If I could winter well, fling swirls of snow
across the trodden mulch of this scabbed year,
the green tomatoes harvested, the slow
decomposition of our summer into fur
of fungus well advanced; swing sprays of frost
across your windows, darkening their shade
until your total store is absence;
if I stripped leaves till your branches, criss-crossed
against a sullen sky, reduced to crude
scratches and charcoal what was once our essence;
if I hung like light in a dying beech,
would you dream a resurrection? Would we speak?

This poem has also appeared on the Ground poetry website
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how to approach a year

like a detective
combing for clues
scanning the verges for spent bullet cases
boot prints in soft mud
skid marks of getaway cars

like a wheelwright
working for the perfect
form to lift the weight of expectation
balanced to manage
the potholes of a passing hour

like a lost dog
barking at strangers
alert for the familiar call, the flung stick
dreaming of the glorious
grime of a spring shower

like an embroiderer
grasping the low light
to put the last touch on a gift for a loved one
immersed in the intricacy
awed at the needle’s power

or like an outlaw
glimpsed through the branches
imagining new worlds of justice
thieving the time
and pocketing stars