Posted by: Ross Gardner | December 16, 2018

Deep Winter



Deep Winter

The woods are winter still.

The whole place gripped cold

And wrapped in a day long dusk,

The sky labouring beneath its own weight.

Last night’s hoar has persisted:

Bramble leaves fringed delicately white

And spent bracken fronds

Frosted and curled with cold.

But away through the damp-glistened hornbeam,

The rusted ash and incongruous holly

The gloom is centring itself

Around a robin’s beak.

The first notes restrained,

As if testing the air and drawing breath.

Afterwards exhaled in a languid flurry

Of smoothness and viscosity.

It seems the summer could hardly

Be further from this place.

Forgotten by a wandering sun,

Shrunken and stifled by winter’s creep.

It has been absorbed into its atoms,

Remembered by its vestiges:

The bird with the spring

On the tip of its tongue.


(© Ross Gardner 2018)


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