Thursday, January 4, 2018

January...Part 1


Still now as then we stoke the flame
And list to Old Man Winter’s wail
And turn a page where sages tame
The wanderer with paper sail
After we shake snow-droplets free
From swarthy brow and warm our toes
With fingers wrapped ‘round cups of tea
While ‘cross the lea a bold brawl blows

…and tweaks the squeaking, listless limb
Where once upon June-day we lolled
Beneath its winsome, green-tossed hymn
And long-forgotten bitter cold
That paints its frosted filigree
Across lost windows to a world
That teases us with fantasy
Of warmer days and buds unfurled

…though when the shed is full of wood
And supper’s pot is hot with stew
We whisper God and life is good
And winter has its beauties too
And we are not so very sad
Though trouble still rouses protest
And all the news seems very bad
The mouse still creeps from attic-nest

…to wander through the pantry where
Perchance some crumb of cake may lie
And love is like a rocking chair
Where mother sings a lullaby
That spirals like a thing of mist
And soon soft, oft-kissed baby-child
Startles us with the way time is
And rouses heart-storms keen and wild

…and we feel like the next of kin
To Old Man Winter as he weeps
And sears his tears on years of skin
Where everything slips from the keeps
Of outstretched arms like snow when warmed
So we plump pillows in home-nooks
Of creature-comforts, soothed and charmed
By sips of warmth and storybooks

…and all the progress man may boast
Cannot annul the pull of strings
Affixed somewhere beneath the most
Common or handsomest moorings
Where rich and poor alike endure
The ebb and flow of season-tide
And none of us can be too sure
Of what waits on the other side

…of where we are; the jugs and jars
That we tip to our trembling lips
Only to taste the salt of stars
And malt of scars, wisely equips
Us with the sense of something more
Than roar of gale and robust gust
That shakes the pine-wreathed cottage door
And strews earth’s floors with diamond-dust

…where outdoor’s air is like a glass
Poured full of iced-sun lemonade
For Father Time is thirsty as
A July farmer seeking shade
After heaping wagons with hay
This too shall pass; these shutters barred
Will soon be jiggled loose; grim gray
Gives way to sun-beam studded yard

And all the postcards we collect
Of fields tossed like a white-capped sea
Of parkas, mittens, scarf-swathed necks
Of Jack Frost’s awesome artistry
Will be replaced with lace of leaf
With zephyr’s lilt and gilt of green
January is like a Chief
Soon usurped by Youth, seventeen

…and all his surly threats of snow
That now we shovel from the drive
Will not triumph; soon earth will flow
With songs of ‘glad to be alive’
And winter, like a pail of ash
Splashed on a garden, dream-dew pearled
Where laughter spills and bare feet dash
Will deck the halls of Yester-world

...then snuggle beneath quilt or coat
And let the crackling blaze delight
Where summer worlds that seem remote
Draw nearer with each morn to night
Then stomp the snow from booted feet
For winter comes but once a year
Then let the merry kettle greet
Its shivers with a song of cheer

…where every season has its joy
And every joy its sorrow-sword
Then let each moment we employ
Be met with humble ‘thank-you Lord’
And pause to plunder through knee-deep
White-feathered wonder; feel its thrill
Where howling, growling gales soon sleep
And dawn is full of songbirds trill

© Janet Martin

 January by John Clare Part 1&2
(click on images to enlarge)


  1. Oh my Goodness, Janet. Wonderful. I love this so much.

    1. it was a delight to write...thank-you so much for taking the time to read!(I fear its a little long-ish) hugs.


Thank-you for stopping by my porch! I hope you were blessed by the visit! I welcome and appreciate, if thought you care to speak; the value and the input of compliment or critique