Thursday, 24 January 2013

A Winter's Morning


A sky like a dirty old slate. Trees untidy,
lead-coloured brushes against it. 
The air full of snow and rain and the hour full of
the absurd necessity of going out hunting.
At such a moment there is one thing impossible
and that is to see a summer's day.
White flowers in the evening seem the only terms
in which it can become remotely visible.
Say, stephanotis in darkness.

I stare at the garden and will myself to think
of strolling out there in sandals to sit on the swing seat,
(its canopy now sagging with snow),
to shelter from a blistering sun,
and worry a little about a hose pipe ban.
I cannot even picture the flowering tulips and alliums
which I know I have planted.
It isn't possible that this winter will ever end.

But every season is the same. Immutable.
I would not be able to see a winter's day
from my hammock under the apple tree.
Impossible to think of being inside 
with curtains drawn at 4 p.m.
 Molly Keane knew that too 
and that makes it seem more bearable.

The Rising Tide 1937





4 comments:

  1. I've been thinking a little like that recently too. Is my garden path, currently a dent in a blanket of white, really impossible to see in July because of overflowing leaves from foxgloves and honesty and all those other plants that are currently asleep under the soil? I have photos. I know it's true. But it's still hard to believe.

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  2. I thought the very same thing as I looked over some old photos of my garden taken in the summer.
    It made me feel immensely hopeful.

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  3. Yes, that's absolutely true. Like trying to imagine being too hot when you're freezing cold, or vice versa.

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  4. One is so rarely exactly the right temperature!

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