Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
derelict barn door
flaking paint casts shadows
in spring sun
From Blithe Spirit Vol 16 No 2 (June 2006)
In the car we discussed the venison,
whether to substitute cranberries
for blackberries to make the sauce,
following Nigella or Darina.
Our headlights spotlit something moving
among the trees. We stopped the engine
to watch a fox, who seemed unaware of us
and not the least bit frightened.
That was a few years ago and I think
it would be good if I could say the dark shadow
of the fox contrasted with the snow
and the paw prints were clearly visible,
but I can’t remember if there was snow.
I’ve rung the Met office, usually they charge
but I told them it was the same as I would get
if the poem were to be published.
After checking records, they rang me back,
there had been no snow. Perhaps a full moon?
That would have done the trick, but my filofax
disappointed – a half moon two days before
was the best I could find. So there was no snow,
but if I wanted I could put that fox
in a snow-covered wood under a full moon.
I recognize that light,
that strange, illuminating, leaden glow
the sky takes on.
It makes my heart swell
with a deep, soul-bursting happiness
- it’s going to snow.
The first shy flakes drift hesitantly down,
caress the ground and melt apologetically,
uncertain of their welcome;
but confidence increases,
Fat flakes fall thickly,
giving those in front no time to dissipate
before being smothered by their fellows.
And I’m a child again,
nose pressed to window
as the magic stuff smoothes edges,
turns my darkness into light
with its redeeming touch.
I think of past awakenings to a special glow
that sneaked around the curtain edge
to tell how in the night
the secret snow had come.
I recognize that light -
and whenever it comes
it feels like Christmas.
gray winter morning
the oranges in the fruit bowl
scent the room