Saturday, 20 January 2018



The year turns -
Sheets of Cold flat lead once fashioned roughly
Into a grey garden trough by my Grandfather
Who wasn’t famously a Hammond organist plumber
Is standing still on once blackened gently rusting
Orange brown wrought iron man-made curves
Winter shattered hand-hewn plant and teapots
Burst and mingle with once softly planted dirt
Now tangled with nature’s yellow lifeless wiring
Provide shelter for the woodlice that unfurl and scuttle
When probing hands investigate earth’s warm dampness

The rain returns –
Soot-tainted water pushes away through broken stone and slate
Slow endless mind-scraping rhythm smokily pierces peace
Tap-dancing relentlessly - once discovered - into plastic buckets
Placed to rescue precious books from this mould-inducing fate
Out of cracked plaster undulating vertically they emerge seeking
Unswept dark dusty cubbyholes storing winter’s damp and cold
Appealing to these least gregarious of helpful housemates
Defying gravity to find cold corners calling them into hiding
And run along skirtings as social tables and doormats shift
When spring cleaners investigate what horrors they might find

The sun returns -
Outdoors begins gratefully to call us blinking into life light
Surveying hidden damages wrought by winter darkness
Skeletal trees now blown into cruelly cold nakedness
Will expose themselves and their feathered co-habitees
Still to reveal budding secrets bursting to cover their shame
Overgrown undefended untended last year’s growth still lies
In undead hibernation awaiting a knife to bring out new life
Ceramic oases moved to sweep aside last grasps of debris
Reveal huddled worlds of safety shooting in all directions
When tiny hard bodies investigate snapped paving’s cracks

Martin A W Holmes, January 2018

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