Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Coldest Night of the Year.


The owl,
from his lofty perch
looks down on
glittering, moonlit yard.
He sees
the cattle steaming in the byre,
the farm cats, well-fed, in the hay,
the blazing fire upon the hearth,
the logs, where once
he might have perched,
piled high .
The crumpets waiting in the dish
for toasting when the fire is right.
And then the night begins to close
around the scene.
The moon retires behind the cloud,
the curtains draw,
the dark comes down.
The fieldmouse moves
across the yard,
to find the corn,
to feed her brood.
He swoops - a deadly dart -
his talons kill; without a sound
he's gone upon
his silent wing.
The cold comes down and
icy fingers coat the hedge with frost.
Inside the crumpets,
toasted at the hearth,
are eaten, whilst the owl
devours his prey,
swallowed whole, untasted,
but sufficient for the hour.
It is very cold here, so join me - in spirit - for a glass of blackberry whisky and a toasted crumpet before the kitchen fire.

33 comments:

The Solitary Walker said...

Mmm... That whisky tastes good!

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

It was raining and 69 degrees yesterday. I'll trade the whiskey for a cold, crisp glass of Reisling, but I'll take the crumpet, please :)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I love the poem, Weaver. It made me feel the coldness and darkness, and the contrast between the owl's remorseless meal, and your cosy fireside supper.

Blackberry whisky sounds interesting, I have never had that. Though, regrettably, crumpets a-plenty with too much butter and strawberry jam!

Sal said...

Excellent poem..I love it ;-)

willow said...

I'll take one of those yummy sounding crumpets! Stay warm.

acornmoon said...

Such a cosy room, save some crumpets for me.

I love your poem, It would be lovely to illustrate although I can imagine what any art editor would say- "can we have the owl without the mouse being killed!"

Nature is red in tooth and claw, I know, I lived on a farm once!

Dreadnought said...

You wouldn't want to move far from that fire after dinner! Is that a picture of a ship over the fireplace?

The Weaver of Grass said...

Solitary walker - one pound blackberries, one pound sugar, 1 bottle whisky - leave in a demijohn for two months then decant.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Maybe this cold frosty weather is better Debra - raining and warm is not always nice. We are hoping this prolonged frost kills off some bugs.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Raph - see recipe for whisky in my comment to Solitary walker. It is delicious and very good for coughs and sneezes.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Sal - it is good to be writing poetry that somebody reads rather than just putting it in a file.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am sure your illustration would more than do the poem justice, acornmoon.

The Weaver of Grass said...

willow - all I can do is to get you to close your eyes and imagine you are eating a toasted crumpet swimming in Wensleydale butter.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Dreadnought - the picture over the fireplace which you think looks like a ship is actually a watercolour of the Peter Paul fortress in St Petersbury, looking across the frozen river Neva.

Janice Thomson said...

What a cozy fire - I'm right there with you Weaver :)
A neat poem describing the essence of one of my favorite birds.

Elizabeth said...

So cold, so dark
so warm inside
yes to the crumpet!
Not sure about the whiskey/tea instead?
Hope your day dawmed warmer.

Word verification: ovencirs

cooking dogs to keep warm?
or some kind of liquer?

Leenie said...

Wow! Loved the poem! Hope you can find a way to get it out to the public and not just file it. Acornmoon is right. It begs an illustration, or a whole book! Have you read "Owl Moon"? Illustrated by John Schoenherr won Caldecott, I believe. Stay cozy.

Teresa said...

Loved the poem! And... invitation cheerfully accepted! Yum!!

jinksy said...

I desperately want to follow this blog, but havn't cracked the 'how to' on it yet. It's one of the most beatiful word pictures I've come accross since I joined the blog world at Christmas. Thank you for such an unexpected gift of beauty.

jinksy said...

I don't know how I did it, but I'm now a follower, hoorah! Was the wish enough to produce the required result?! Truth was ever stranger than fiction.

Poet in Residence said...

Well Weaver, you've convinced me. I'm going to pour myself a Süd Tiroler Grappa. It's made from Pinot Noir leftovers. Yummmy!
Happy New Year, what's left of it.

Kayla coo said...

Beautiful poem.
it is lovely and cosy by the fire and with crumpets even better!
Comfort food.

Crafty Green Poet said...

owls and crumpets in the same poem - wonderful combination!

HelenMHunt said...

Great poem and that room does look very cosy.

Annie Wicking said...

Wow, what words of wonder and beautiful!

And what amazing picture of hoarfrost covered trees, it makes me feel cold looking at it. I love your sitting room... Now that warms my soul.

Best wishes my dear friend. ((Hugs))

Annie

Gramma Ann said...

That cozy fire looks inviting, and yes I would like a crumpet, please!

Chere said...

The cozy fire would be nice, it is 69 degrees here in Atlanta. We need some cold weather so badly to help with the bugs. I would love to enjoy some crumpets by your fire.

Woman in a Window said...

I was just beginning to want to embody that scurrying fieldmouse and then...and why couldn't I have choosen to be the owl?

Yes, I could feel the cold, too. And today I live in fear of it for it's about to plummet here and that causes life to turn so slowly.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to all of you for your comments - it is comments that keep us writing, isn't it? There seems to be a general feeling that crumpets and butter are delicious - wonder what all your waistlines are like? Poet in residence - that drink sounds good; hope it was enjoyed.

Leilani Lee said...

What a wonderful poem. We often hear the big owls hooting to each other in the trees by the house at this time of year. American PBS did a wonderful series of the Anne of Green Gables books, I loved them. Movie "Fried Green Tomatoes..." was based on a Fannie Flagg book. Would the Library have them?

ggw07 said...

Exquisite poem! Another helping please!
Gretchen

BT said...

Super poem weaver. I'll pass on the whisky but pass the crumpets...

Dreadnought said...

Ok thanks, I'll go get my eyes tested tomorrow!