Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winter is a 'Live' Ghost

The UK and much of Europe is seeing its worst winter for some years.


Where once daisies in meadows green,
footmarks where Jack Frost
has paused, glanced over his shoulder
for any sign of a 'live' ghost
(man or woman?) aunting each step
he takes…
marking each heavy, careless tread,
all green things left for dead
that may yet be saved
where other seasons await their cue
within its savage breast

Sure to bide its time before descending
on wings of a dove
spreading its wings like an eiderdown
of white satin
where a restless world dreams of waking
to a peace and goodwill
folk singers will celebrate for years,
while angel voices make a play
to fill half empty pews
and world leaders grace Sunday prayers
in election years

It will not stay long, if time well spent,
making good at least some
of the damage old Jack inclined to do,
reminding brave robin,
(eternal optimist) of other lives sleeping
off hangovers
from half forgotten centuries lusting
for the joys of spring
all but lost in the thick of such wars
on nature’s own deadlier even than Jack’s
for being human

As peace, to pain, a kindness sure to show.,
where winter ghosts, spring sure to follow

Copyright R.N. Taber 2007

[Note: An earlier version of this poem appears in Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books 2007]