Snow Poem

We have snow here; about three inches of it fell steadily yesterday and today it remains. Snow covers everything – rubbish, dirt, grime and junk; it softens hard outlines and falls like forgiveness on the land. Snow two-tones trees and silhouettes webs; it sits like abacus beads on our trellis and balances improbably on the washing line. Snow scooches up on rooftops and huddles thickly while icicles of Damocles hover below; it sits like icing on the garden table or heavy jewellery on the Christmas fir. Snow makes antlers of forgotten twigs; snow follows the line of everything but rounds it with a sleep – and when it thaws, snow sifts from branches like a second fall, tinkles down to earth as silent song.

I’m cold, but it’s totally worth it for the poetry it affords – and now, as I go off to write the poem I have thus begun, I’ll leave you with this wonderful passage from James Joyce:

Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, further westwards, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling too upon every part of the lonely churchyard where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

Beautiful. And just for laughs, here’s a picture of a snow Dalek someone made yesterday:

Image may contain: plant, tree and outdoor

Stay safe, and remember, boots may warm the feet – but only poetry can warm the soul.

Kirk out

Ripe Tomatoes are Here!!!

Yes!  The Tomatoes pamphlet is here, with a brilliant cover by Daniel showing a church as a tomato:

Tomatoes poem logo thing (2)

Don’t you think that’s great?  He’s terrific at Graphics – a possible A* at GCSE.  So, hot, sizzling and juicy, the pamphlet will be on sale at Tomatoes next Saturday at the knock-down price of £1 each – and once I have cleared costs 10p of each sale will go to support the work of Tomatoes!  It includes perennial favourites such as ‘The Ballad of the Bowstring Bridge’ and ‘The Ode to the Upperton Road Bridge, as well as the Tomatoes poem: so come along next Saturday and get your copy.

Last night I watched ‘Transsiberian’, on iplayer.  it’s an excellent film starring Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer – she has a bigger part than he does.  They are travelling across Siberia and meet Carlos, a good-looking but arrogant and utterly repellent character who turns out to have convictions for sexual violence, robbery and drug-trafficking.  He tricks her into carrying his drugs, then she kills him by an overenthusiastic clonk* on the head with a cemetery paling as he is threatening to rape her.  There’s a terrific performance by Ben Kingsley as a corrupt Russian policeman (sorry, perhaps that should just be ‘a Russian policeman’) – he speaks Russian fluently in the film, or appears to (my Russian extends only to ‘glasnost’ and ‘samovar’, though I can say those words fluently.)  Justice slowly sorts itself out as the snow covers everything: the woman gets away with the killing; the policeman is brought to book and the much-abused girlfriend of Carlos finds his jacket – if not his body – buried in the snow, and takes the money he’s carrying.

But the real hero of this film is the railway, running through the Russian landscape, that vast expanse of snow in which the train is the only corridor of warmth and safety.

The snow at the end reminds me of the finale of Joyce’s ‘Dubliners’ – ‘snow was general all over Ireland… falling over the living and the dead.’  Terrific ending.

And finally, let’s spare a thought for the prank that went horribly wrong.  Juvenile and pathetic though the prank call was, they could not have foreseen such an outcome.  It is very sad for all concerned.

Kirk out

* it’s ages since I’ve had the opportunity to use the word ‘clonk’