Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Winter Is A Woman In White

The UK is seeing its worst winter for some years. So let’s say ‘hello’ again to the Woman in White to whom I first introduced blog readers back in November 2008. [The poem is part of a four seasons quartet of poems that appears in the same collection.]


Where once daisies in meadows green
footmarks where Jack Frost
has paused, glanced over his shoulder
for any sign
of a Woman in White haunting each step
he takes…
marking each heavy, careless tread,
all green things left for dead
that may yet be saved
to bring life and glory to another season
under her protection

She’ll bide her time before descending
on wings of a dove
that spreads its wings like an eiderdown
of white satin
where a restless world dreams of waking
to a peace and goodwill
folk singers will sing for years,
church choirs berate
near empty pews,
world leaders slip into election speeches
and Sunday prayers

She’ll not stay long, though time well spent
making good at least
some of the damage old Jack inclined to do,
reminding poor robin,
its tears almost done, of other garden lives
sleeping off hangovers
from half forgotten centuries lusting
for the joys of spring,
lost in the making
of wars on nature’s own, more careless even
and deadlier than Jack’s

As peace to its sacrifices, so glory to the pain
of the Woman in White, once come and gone

[From: Accomplices To Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books 2007]