The Blinded Deer

Secrets stored within you,
Only you could know,
Frozen in five fevers,
Melted in a snow.

You stood within a blizzard,
Tied against their drums,
All those ghosts surrounding
For whom no few succumb.

A blinded deer in forests deep,
You memorized her ways,
Awoke within an hour,
Head circled in a daze.

They found you on that ferny bed,
Emptied by your hand,
Lost to all who you adored,
A future fire fanned.

The Dog Board

In a dream you left for me,
Showed where souls will go,
A mantel-mounted wooden stand
Held miniature drawers in rows.

Should I show you how your brother rests?
You said with some resolve,
And pulled out one such tiny chest
Wherein all hope dissolved.

No treasured urn, no cenotaph,
No scripture on a stone,
Just a hundred unsung blocks
In that yew-tree spirit’s home.

She said ‘It’s called The Dog Board’,
It homes your snow-dogs too,
There beneath the foxgloves,
The white drops and the blue.

There’s no entreaty I could make
To save a space atop,
That place both terrifies and captivates
Above the cauldron pot.

Book Of Kells

Icicles thawed on a windowsill
While snow fell freely around,
Sometimes softening skies are colder
Than six feet under ground.
Powder the keg with winter,
The dampened light has dried;
This is a song from a hinterland
Where once a curlew cried.

I am not for haunting,
We walk with heads bowed down,
Snowfall is resounding,
Church bells not long silent,
Insular majuscule art.

Pawprints In Snow

Snowfall,
Incorruptible,
Unpreventable
Flurries in melodies
Of white so composed.
I have no further claim
To a snowdrop’s name,
In damson-greys
A pre-dawn light,
For the sight of your
Unfolding
Spindling
Quintessence
Is the same feeling inside
The Roman frontiersman
With bones and sinew of ice
And the kindling world
Which is capricious when it comes
To obsolescence,
And her calcified husband
Have ever since felt
Under sandals
And Mercury’s frozen brogues
Also in caducean whiteness.
Bald white, furrows of white,
Cathedrals of trees
And choirs of sprites,
Unfurling burrs of fern-fronds
Have their cowls bowed down
In homage to such heathen genius
Of seasons long lost;
Icicles for arms,
A tetrahedral white,
And penuries of frost.

All things start with love,
For much like the snow
There are hundreds of words.
A crust of slush-smothered snow
Collapses from a rusty Lada’s
Rear window.
Snowfall, a sky-bound
Unicorn’s fleece untossed
Onto holly, and spiraea,
Mint and sage and mosses;
Chicken-wire befuddled and bent
In the shapes of dead clementine drunks
Observed from Moscow
Across to the Khanate of Kazan
Guarding crystal-lined Urals,
From St Petersburg to
The opulent gems of Tashkent,
The meanderings of memory,
A time that roared and went
Into spent exhaustions of
The walkable Volga.
Pawprints and clawprints,
Adipose and strange,
A chasing of tails,
A lifetime spent in shadows
Yet adamant for this existence
Did happen,
Did take place,
Much like a thought
In the cavernous yawns of today,
From where fell one or two fathoms
Destined to thaw, retreat
Down a chasm’s wake,
A singular, ever-unique
Snowflake.

Aphelion

Snow falling on the sea,
I noticed how snowflakes floated awhile
And then we disappeared.

Somewhere out there is Sun,
But sunlight is not for everyone
Down here.

The lathered cabesters returning
And a chacking huer’s thirsty
As he conducts the fairmaids home.

How beautiful the ocean
If only from a skiff,
How beautiful the drop

If only from a cliff,
How beautiful the missing
If only we may live.

Somewhere out there is Moon;
Aphelion wilderness
With a little less gloom.

N.B Lathered, Cabester, Chacking and Huer are words from Cornish dialect. Fairmades or Fairmaids is an old Cornish word for pilchards.

Lake Of The Woods

What was the time in Ottawa
When that boy ran full pelt
Towards a delapidated pier upon

An icy lake to make his shape
Where conifers colluded
And memory occluded

This day, it once occurred.
Plenty (or was it a few) anglers
In lumberjack furs

Dangling their lines
In holes through snow
As they blow in their hands

And distances blur
Between water and skies
For hope of a bite

Oblivious to that parabolic
Arc of his last jump, his leap,
Neap tide, a void of pride,

The police had never been so far
From the scene of his crime,
But you can’t pursue spirit

With a Horseman in Time.
Something, always, is lost
Between the old and the new,

Between a thought in sheets
And all written words, Love.
One day I’ll remember this,

Sipping my oxtail soup,
Inconvenience, true,
Tired, yes, and mute.

After All

Under margrave groves
Of peach blossom trees
There flows the falls
Of a winding creek,

Their blossoms’ aromas
Are mild and are meek,
But those torrents below
Are baleful and bleak.

My iris-blown beard
Diurnal and straw,
But under my chin
Eternal tears pool.

Snowfall cloaking
After all,
But when the snow melts
(If not long before),

Those bodies revealed,
Their mortal hands hold
The one different future,
Distant and cold.

Canescence

Dog chasing fox,
Caught in a headlock
Between igneous rock
And a dry river pass

Saturnine feelings
Fall to your palm:
Snowflakes mounting,
Mandrakes routing,
Meteor showers
Hour by hour
In a green looking-glass.

Dog-chasing foxes,
Sparkling quadrantids;
Fireworks cancelled,
And walks in the park.
Perihelion frost,
Your love is embossed
On my incandscently
Hoary heart.

I was dead to the world
Or rather
The world was dead to me.
Everything else was a case
Of sheer serendipity.

Passerine

To a fetlock’s height on unicorns
One Sunday morning you were born,
Weaned by a mother who hung her best dress
Beneath a seasoned turkey breast.
Snowdrift, westward, soon apart,
No sewing kit stitches a cold broken heart.

A blue tit warbling I once heard
On the crooked, downhill turf;
Later, I could not account to myself
For blood on my fingers,
Five or six feathers in my heart
And other forms of Cubist art;
Blue eye of my needle
Where the downy snow starts,
Returning home,
Her song in my chest,
To an empty bath.