Mid-Winter, where I live, is wet and cold.
The place is bedraggled. A season spent
of warmth. A blanket of tarnished gold
leaves. Fallen reminders. Disappointment.
An inclement pallet in shades of grey.
Overcast sky, wet-washed to the streetscape.
Sodden concrete canvases. Damp display
of seasonal swing. Long months of cold, that shape
the calendar with frosted panes of glass.
Clouds, condensation, vaporous and sheer.
A diaphanous depression; won’t pass
without the shudder of a cold veneer.
. Mid-Winter enjambement; more or less
. a shift of emphasis, a change of stress.
To the reader: My home town is Canberra; Australia’s capital city. It was designed by Chicago’s renowned architect: Walter Burley-Griffin. He and his wife, Marion Mahony, incorporated into Canberra’s layout their social, political and environmental philosophies. One hundred years later, this small city nestles into the seasonal landscape reflecting its democratic origins; relying on thoughtful design for inspiration through social unease, political tension and Mid-Winter drudgery.
To the poet: …and that’s the thing about poetry. It’s a built environment. Full of ideas. Full of plans that require on-site adjustment. Poetry is a social experiment. An engineered interpretation of life’s possibilities; real and imagined. Poetry describes and discovers the shape and form of itself and its subjects. In the cold, poetry shivers; it feels the bite of winter winds, the grip of frosty nights and the slap of frozen rain.
An elliptical stance; a solstice night;
remnants of Autumn; blanket of leaves;
haiku syllables; captured sound and sight;
severe frost; white footsteps; icicled eaves.
Snippets, half-formed, in the absence of heat;
cold-fusion; liquid air; saturated;
frozen to a frame; cameos compete.
A fragile balance, equally weighted;
naked trees strike a pose in silhouette;
ghostly shadows dance to a druid’s drum;
the pendulum must pause to pirouette;
for that which passes tells of that to come.
. That which tilters must surrender to time;
. so be the season, the reason and rhyme.
To the reader: In temperate zones seasons swing with a contrast of moods. With reduced hours, Winter days make-do with what little warmth the sun has to offer. Long-nights, without a store of heat, settle quickly into a frigid chill. In the cold depths of night a frozen moment rearranges water particles into crystals of ice. The dark-theatre is austere, stripped of animation; made still.
To the poet: A lifeless sonnet, descriptive of a cold suburban landscape. As much imagined as it is observed. Small snippets of observation, transitions, staggered frames; brittle connections. The relationship of water and ice in-part describes the sonnet’s internal structure as crystallised. There’s a fractured feel to the poem, which at any moment could shatter in to parts.