Sunday, 19 December 2010

Merry Christmas one and all

Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned a selection of seasonal poems for the Guardian which you can read here
I particularly liked Imtiaz Dharkar's Mubai Kissmiss.
Here is a poem of mine, which was selected by Carol Ann for The Mirror in January this year. Seasons Greetings to you all.

Snow light

I was born to the snow, brought
to snow light, the glow light of a late spring.
My first winter was all snow, ice floes
in the river, the Thames frozen bank to bank.
For three years I was beyond snow’s comfort,
beyond star-flake, hoar frost, rime,
touched it only once in a rusty patch,
as if roadside and rock-salted.
On Kosiuszko’s peak, it mended my snow-broken
heart with coverlet, sheet.

My uncle promised me a bucket of snow,
a bucket of hail, a bucket of sleet,
and in my six year old purity and Adelaide’s heat
I longed for the parcel, to grasp its cold deep,
crisp in my hands. I dreamed of snow;
snow beyond lamp-post and Narnia,
beyond Five’s winter adventures,
even beyond that cruel joke. Snow, a quilt
to lie down in, make igloos, eat.

Today it’s as if I’ve ordered snow; thick flakes
for you to mould and mountain, snow-shoe
and slide on. You won’t know what it is to be
blind without snow, beyond brilliance,
beyond its dazzling light.

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