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The Last Snows Of Winter

white flakes of snow curl and swirl

in sheets unfurling like lace petticoats

the kind that girls used to wear when

the weather was not unmade by man

the wind-whistling sound as it blows all

around sends shivers through trees

and through me birds quiver in shelter

no twitter from them or from me

today just retreat into home to a place

that is warm or a little less cold anyway

days of cold days like these they give

pause they just freeze any thoughts that

may pass through my mind the hiatus

will pass soon the grass will be seen

spring green and bursting with life

and the sun will shine on like it always

has done and the world will be born

once again

The Moment Settles

In an obscured room, trying and failing

to write. Reworking, rewriting, retrying.

Failing again.

A pause.

The moment settles on me.

A weekday morning, alone in the house.

Wind blows through the eaves, traffic rumbles

and heaves. A golden blade of sunlight pierces

the armour of curtain, striking the wall,

sparking thoughts. It is late winter cool.

In these autumn years, the taste of spring

in the air, seasoned, salt and pepper hair,

I wonder what is there now, what is left

for me to do from this moment on?

Past working, past fathering, past building

a future, I sit and do what I wanted to

when the past was a present of youth. The

years gone before now number more than the

years yet to come, but I am not done.

I’ll carry on, though the writing is wrong,

and to right it would take me too long.

There is more to life.

There are birds to hear, seas to swim,

there is love to give, and to receive. There are

the miracle moments yet to come: spring;

baby cries; the kiss of a child; laughter

of friends, given freely; moonlit nights;

the scent of jasmine; more than this, more

than can be said in one lifetime.

I lean back, and as if to say yes, I am blessed

with a kiss from the sun on my face.

A Lesson In Ignorance

Here is her pride, rain-wet,

standing on unsteady feet,

bowed backbone arched

above bandy baby legs.

The child is looking down

at the washed out worm

that is barring her path

like a great orme.

She will not step over

nor will she go round

nor can she ignore

this curling creature.

Mother comes up to her

watches the wriggling thing

alongside her daughter

and laughs.

She moves forwards

and stamps on the worm,

leaves a bacon rind smear

across the pavement.

The daughter stamps too,

missing the streak,

but getting the message,

learning, remembering.

This is how to treat them,

the creatures of the world,

this is what you do, my pet,

you kill them, little girl.

The Warming Of The World

England.

Early January.

Out morning winter walking in the urban

backwoods, I see what I should not:

green buds breaking from the sleepy bark.

Not just the eager whitethorn but blackthorn, too,

and haw and wild rose and ash and more. All are

stirring now, too soon, wakened by the early warmth

of the world. They are not rested. They will bud and

leaf and flower and die before they should, out of

the time with the rhythm of the seasons. Bluebells, too,

are showing through, too soon, too soon.

This world is warming, these signs a warning

to us all.