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.

Forest Lodge

The past is a lonely huntsman
Walking on shards of ice,
Those sharper endings present,
How winter ways entice.

I found a dampening cabin
Beyond that gated path;
I couldn’t explain what happened;
I could not find a start.

But whatever you might imagine,
The truth would bruise your heart,
The curtains dank in ambers,
Shelves all empty and dark.

A sign above the doorway,
Inscriptions fading in moss,
I read my name spelt backwards
And woke into my loss.

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.