The Zero …

cold day

Road is a bitter

Freeze grey bayonet blade;

Crushed cold shale and flint link

Between the zero mercury and

The never-closer tomorrow-season.

Wind is a silent, ceaseless chainsaw, a

Horizontal cat o’ nine tails

Flailing straight through warm tissue

Into bone and blood,

Slowing life’s reactions, pleasures.

Sunrise is the thin, unfriendly

Diamond sharp, heavy-duty edge

Of a cold sett chisel,

Battering through fragile,

Pale blue sky-skin:

Spring’s feeble eggshell armour.

Today feels harsh,

The beginnings of extinction,

Or tedious, bleak totalitarian industry;

Like the worst of sad war’s

Shelterless landscapes

When the last of the living

Have limped away.

But then the songthrush sings …


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