Winter morning

Grey, grey the morning breaks,

pours its load of leaden rain

from hollow clouds that touch the ground.


In the grass the dead leaves lie,

brackish brown as river mud,

gilding stripped by autumn’s rain.


Embattled magpies beat the whining wind,

caparisoned for war or want,

swoop and dip against the stream.


Gulls drift low, pale shrouds

of galleons lost on oceans vast,

after some forgotten war.


Dearth of sunlight, butter-rich,

golden as a treasure trove,

a memory from childhood tales.


Nothing in this half-light pleases,

green of river weed, that only were we fishes

would we see the damp magnificence.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

25 thoughts on “Winter morning”

      1. Does that mean we are doomed to be led by unethical monsters? Given the money, the prestige and the influence involved, and the hermetically sealed atmosphere of power, I suppose we are.

      2. As if doing away with the laws also eliminates the need for ethics. If people had sufficient ethics, we wouldn’t have needed ethical rules, yet that’s where the Bible starts. Thou shalt not kill, being one of the first. Murder is still against the law. No one disputes that rule. The whole premise of Capitalism, that the market should decide, huh. It really translates to let the powerful decide. The powerful will always decide to do whatever’s necessary to retain power, first and foremost.

      3. All religions have the same sort of moral code but it doesn’t stop even the most devout getting round the rules if it suits their particular cause. As for the market deciding, exactly what you say—that does mean the one who has already grabbed the most is allowed to try and grab the rest.

  1. This is beautiful, Jane. Every line is one for pause to savor, like “pours its load of leaden rain
    from hollow clouds that touch the ground” and “Dearth of sunlight, butter-rich” to name a few. You made me look up a word and I so appreciate the addition of “caparisoned” to my vocabulary. Always a delight to read your work.

  2. I didn’t realize until I read Luanne’s comment, that I, too, was pausing. This is a poem meant to be read slowly. The language is beautiful, even if your damp, grey day is not.

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