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


  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.

  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.

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

  4. One is so rarely exactly the right temperature!