Winter’s Tale


Out beyond the cold dark glass, I know

Down below the the blanket pall of snow

The dormant grassy substance of the green

Lies buried under scattered leaves unseen

Which fell upon it in its final hour

A gusty multi-coloured autumn shower.

Crisp, black, decaying in the dark they lie

Lost and gone forever from the sky

Which knew them green against it's own deep blue

Like memories their colours faded, given to renew

The earth and more particularly, the grass

That lies unseen

Beyond my cold and darkening window glass.


Here inside the warm nocturnal light, I know

It's odd to look out through the cold glass at the snow

And think beyond all reason

In the middle of this endless ice bound season

How only yesterday it seems we sat

Together holding hands and this and that

And laughed and talked, myself and just another

And told ourselves how we would be true lovers

Vibrant and eternal as the grass

That frozen grey and lifeless matted mass

That lies unseen

Beyond my cold and darkened window glass.


Falling through the waistline of the glass, I know

Running sand that's faster than the driven snow

And every bit as white

Descending with the speed of tropic night

On palms and ocean radiant in the light

And waves that wash the still sand in the moon.

God, only yesterday it felt like it was noon

The current of my time runs far too soon

The lilacs bloom and disappear by June

While all around perennially the grass

Belies the truth that none of this will last

But lie in memory's sandy depths unseen

Inside my cold and heartless hour glass.


Softly curling folded lines of waist, I know

Remind me how my time melts faster than the snow

When caught in early April's vernal sun

As soft winds massage it ‘til its waters run

A squelching damp cold wash about my feet 

While raw emerging new worlds smell of peat

Where gritty grimy graying puddles lie

A salty residue of winter folly, as it dies 

Enwreathed in clouds of dusty, dead and dry 

Decay of fall's riotic colours.

The iron will of winter strong as brass

Is melted and forgotten, transient as grass

And rushing sand still deepens in my darkening hour glass.


Watching as the times slide down the glass, I know

My heart throbs colder than the frozen snow

And wonders that we can't preserve our days

Our hopes and plans, or madcap loves and craze

Or lengthen out the future by some clever means or ways

But lose ourselves and wander in the shadowy smog and haze

Of jaded old ideals and faded dreams.

We saw the way ahead so clearly once, it seems

And loosed our tongues of righteous indignation 

For those who groped before us, on ahead

We saw their cloying plastic shells, whose souls were dead

As all our ghostly images now seen

Inside my hard and darkening looking glass.


Images apparent in the glass, I know

Reflect a heat of passion, which could melt the snow

If only it were free to be released.

A sometime soft cherubic face now mapped and creased

Each line a carbon tracing; fires of rage

Have burned across the soul at every age

Whose swallowed pains were locked inside the spirit's cage.

Once soft and vibrant eyes are cold and grey

And narrow more their vision every day

Believing all the world to serve itself

A world where truth and love count less than wealth

Though scarred the face, the spirit's hardy as the grass

And burns with pain and passion, kept unseen   

While tears contort the image in my looking glass.s 


Outside in the darkened shadow world, I know

From which has vanished every flake of winter's snow

A world awash and softened in a moonlight glow

Casting trees in agony across the lawn

Tortured shadow skeletons who disappear at dawn, 

So daily all we lust for fails our grasp

While yesterdays small triumphs slip the clasp

Escaping moonlit memory in the reasoned light of day.  

I search for life and meaning, vacant eyes

Meet mine, and staring back into my hollow soul

Assure me that the search, and life, is droll

A godly jest, or fate, which too must pass

And fall away as distant as the grass

Whose greening tints the fading scene

Distorted by the curved edge of my spirit glass.


Somewhere far beyond all forms of glass, I know

All senses drown, a universe beyond the snow

The warmth of souls in ecstasy and grace

The magnet pull of bodies in the race

Of life and love and passion all embraced

A tangled skein of spirits rise and fall

Their waltzing dance of minds a wild ball

The harmony of self each gives the other

Forever, or this moment, they are lovers.

And somewhere on this earth the grass is green . . .

And to that  happy thought I raise unseen

The fragrant nectar swirling round my spirit glass.

 © Philip Knight 2018