Here is a selection of my poetry for DECEMBER
Roused from fitful sleep, I hear the rain.
Had it been cold enough for snow, I’d sleep,
buried beneath the silence of white drifts.
Instead, I picture Christmases long passed,
shopping lists, unbought gifts and absent friends.
Illuminated minutes take an age
to measure out each increment of time;
I toss and turn but still the rain persists –
its steady drumming keeping me awake,
breaking the spell of dreams and restful sleep.
Then, wishing for the rain to turn to flakes,
I picture in my mind snow fall on snow
and gradually the sound of rain decreased
until I dreamed of winters long ago.
Remember snow in sixty-two?
A blizzard came on Boxing Day —
snow lasted for a month or more.
That eerie quiet and the cold
of empty streets each evening time
when, with a group of teenage friends,
I'd tramp for miles down rutted roads.
We'd heard about the frozen lake
and made our way to Highnam Court
to cross that water in the dark.
Ignoring sounds of creaking ice —
so young and brave and bullet-proof —
we made it to the other side
oblivious to the risks we took.
This Christmas Eve I hope for snow:
to wake, deep in the night, to light
reflected from a new white world.
With silence thick about the house,
sound smothered by snow's eiderdown,
I'll creep downstairs, turn on tree lights,
wait joyously for Christmas dawn.
We called from the storm, wind stole our voices —
for others we mourned, instead of ourselves;
our paths never crossed, winter drew nearer —
too long we've been lost where dark never ends.
With days far too short, weather outrageous,
too often we've fought, not helping our cause;
reach out your hands, with Christmas before us,
together let's stand united in love.
The dawn broke from a purple east –
cloud building for this Solstice day –
a late owl, hazy crescent moon
were there to share St. Stephen’s feast.
My birthday gifts of ice and snow
still gripped us through till Christmas Day :
cancelled my celebration meal,
as blocked roads kept my guests away.
For days the garden’s hungry birds
fluttered and jostled in their need
at feeders hanging from the wall
whilst others scavenged ground for seed.
Thin pickings for the nervous rat,
driven by hunger to compete
with chaffinch, blackbird and the rest –
I tapped cold glass…a brief retreat.
Like refugees from frozen fields,
a flock of redwings stopped to feed
unnoticed on the roundabout
by harassed shoppers, Christmas Eve.
And all this time a fretful child,
worried that she had no fixed home,
is passed from Mum to Dad and back –
will she find Christmas on her own?
Cascades of pendant green trail from the sill,
as Summer became Autumn something stirred.
Slow movement, imperceptible as air,
saw budding fruitfulness tip every stem.
December days arrived, cold and dark.
By Advent buds are set and pinkness shows.
Before the Solstice Day first flowers expose
pagoda-petals, purple-red like flame,
their goodness flares, exalting Christmas Day.
Crossing the road, we met by accident,
stuck on that traffic island in the rain.
Heads down, umbrellas up, we almost missed —
but, as the green man lit, you spotted us
and called Hello! before we walked again.
While others hurried on we stopped to chat
as traffic ebbed and flowed just like a sea;
then, suddenly, your news came blurting out,
hot tears and rain commingled on your cheek —
this public grief a storm on this small quay.
Strangers, who shared our island, gave us space
while passing drivers wondered what was wrong;
but all the while as lights and people changed
your detailed story gradually was told
till, as the sun broke through, your tears were gone.
We offered comfort, hugged and said Goodbyes
but, as you left, we wiped tears from our eyes.