MJC (10/08/86 / West of Here)


I feel the cool winter creep at the end of my nose
On the sheet laid street, beneath my now made calves feet,
As I stagger in unsure awe, at the milky sky, that bore a frozen fruit,
Where this seasons loot, sank, as endless butter flecks dowsed
From the knife like clouds above, as a vast and fluffy piñata.
It roused a new dawn again, at midday;
In a shivering corpse, directed as a puppet, by strings of necessity.
Heavy in burden are the white clad trees, buckling under their snowy load;
I shall raise a glass of wine to them, The now dead, honourable spines,
that fight through this, and the horrid gales that proved too torrid,
For the old among them, falling on deaf ears, as they did, in the fading autumn.

The world’s sense of humour is irony,
As the sun beats through an azure allure
Of a light and uncommon, blue. Life has stalled here,
Amongst this shocking brace of a winter, in its harshest tyranny.
I say, play on, cruel, and empty season, throw your worst,
For I am more alike the trees that die in this awful, algid time,
I can bear and smile at your Siberian pretence,
perched as I am, against the fence, and breathe,
Into my cathedral lungs, all your nippy airs,
And bellow them back, warmed like the songs of Christmas choirs
That will never tire, until I die. Death. I promise you,
I will go in summer, and when shutting my eyes,
Will remember last of all, the sun, back now, with greater abundance,
Warming my face, to help me off to sleep,
All the while, you are nothing, but defeated memory.

Have I grown too harsh? As harsh as you, on this land,
Causing such an ado; the precarious mess along the cream coloured path,
Seemingly on the turn, curdling at the muddied ferment
Of the weary shuffle, of disgruntled masses.
And, though all this, in time passes; as shall the view from the hill;
Of a benumbed town below, glistening in the snow,
Like an iced cake, the last in the Bakers window,
Your lingering shadow, those frosty fingers,
That clasp at an entire nation, grow weary.
Can you hold on? The last bastion, shall be my soul,
Beguiled as it is, by your snappy icicle jaws,
and when it all, finally thaws, I shall have lost too much,
Along with the children, who, In this barmy weather,
become the sane commanders of nature, Digging, scraping,
And above all laughing, while their elders betray all wisdom,
Having such hot heads, to meet the numbing blue lipped kiss.

I shall confess now, to winter- that we are, at heart, feuding kin.
It stings on reddened skin as a declaration of war that pains me for a while
But fades easily enough, rough indeed, but genius, a grand capacity
To make men listen. In truth this I envy. We stand alone,
Chilled to the bone, as stark and windy storms that fizzle,
Mostly into dreary drizzle, but, at times, can cause such flurries and fears,
Blasting inattentive ears, with arctic song.
Every embarrassed native bird stutters off, before the first verse
Has even been heard. Their churlish wings, lazily, ready,
For southern climbs, where, even the old cold man, can not reach,
Bickering on a beach, or cliff, of some small, and desolate island.

You are relenting now, taking off, your glacial crown,
No doubt heading back north, to you eternal kingdom.
Here, we do not see the kaleidoscopic ether, that dances
At the higher latitudes. Rather, for us, each night a dull peach
Besieges the air up high, with a gloomy threat exacted
Before I even wake. Forget not, they are returning- soon, the trees,
The flowering fauna, awaiting the sauna, of high summer;
Offering, Life. And yet, where would we be without
This time of panic and gelid reflections? Can there be the bounty
Of spring, Its lambs and daffodils, without this time’s shallow, extinction?
I shall lament your passing, for one moment alone, before, with the world, I go on.

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Edgar Allan Poe

Annabel Lee

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