Winter’s not gone yet, if the wild geese chatter.

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The hollow cheeks of winter scantily cover
the skeletal lantern jaw of spring; bones
bleached white by receding frost are free
to begin their stiff rattle for warmth
and to generate the spirits who come armed
with bare bodkins. Spindled fingers, barer
than the twigs, mesmerise waves of air;
cajoling it, shaping it –
sieving from it whiter ghosts whose jangling,
laden necklaces jump up and down
to distract nature while they attempt to mix
together taboos with pestle and mortar
made from the wood of hardy grapevines –
its pounding fists crush green snakes with albino
to sedate her lust for colourful concoctions.

Meanwhile, the elixir created for the belly
of spring is fed intravenously – nature’s essential
essence and innate disposition doesn’t allow
for winter’s voodoo to dance past its time to rest
and it calls sap to rise, but not before
veins of ochre pump the hesitant glimmers
of warm sun to feed feathers on new growth –
the fair down worn by earthy women – dancing
to death storms under foot – mulching in croaking
remnants of damp and decomposing cloth.

The gaseous canary sings louder, happily shifting
its weight until coldness is gone
and its old clothes are discarded for new
they are tossed into the fire; smells
from warmed bones meet a sky heavy
with murmuring, and amber sparks
hanging from its underbelly cling like
new born kittens from snagged cotton
waiting for a cushion – as time waits for new flesh
to stick to spring’s ribs. And, like the certainty
of kisses, sweet and plenty, winter’s stuff
will not endure the warm rains of its graven image
burning in effigy –
springtime’s triumphant rebirth
is the flame of winter falling as golden daffodils.

*Title partially nicked from King Lear.

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Author: Anita Lubesh

I write poetry/prose/stories/short stories/verses for children/sketch/and have 6 chapters of a novel sitting there like that half eaten trifle in the fridge or bottle of Jack Daniels because something makes you afraid to eat it or drink... right now.. I am a proud Geordie from England's northern hemisphere and the beautiful city of Newcastle upon Tyne. I live with my lovely husband who came all the way from sunny California just for me, and my favourite animal, Bobble, our dog. I am a member of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and wish we could all do more, especially today, when such a lot is wrong.

17 thoughts on “Winter’s not gone yet, if the wild geese chatter.”

  1. The hollow cheeks of winter scantily cover
    the skeletal lantern jaw of spring; bones
    bleached white by receding frost are free
    to begin their stiff rattle for warmth
    and to generate the spirits who come armed
    with bare bodkins. – What a fantastic opening, so vivid.

    And you always manage to keep the intensity and detailing going, like kittens seperated from cotton for example.
    Great writing Anita, you amaze me once more ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Every winter at the beginning, I look at spring and it’s so far away….but your poem reminds us to just watch the seasons turn, and let them be. This is a beautiful and expressive poem.

    “springtime’s triumphant re birth
    is the flame of winter falling as golden daffodils.

    yes…..exactly.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds interesting but ah, well, think of sun and pink flamingos or peacocks and alcoholic cold tea…the grass will be greener and maybe the fall lol. Ok I am tired. But with pictures and memories and writing you can always re create…and the grass will be greener …keep thinking that.

        Liked by 1 person

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