Cold in the city is grey,

dust-grey that chills,

sticks to the bone and gnaws.

Lightless and hard,

it reaches up from frost-bitten concrete,

and we stilt-walk, frozen-jointed.

Pigeons huddle, song birds hide away,

and the thin-flanked dogs of the homeless

curl up around their hunger.

Away, far,

beyond the walls and grey-dust cold

is green, vibrant, frost-frilled chill

where rivers ripple between ice-crusted banks,


and grass crunches beneath booted feet,

where sky, mirror-bright,

flashes with white wings

and dazzling winter smiles,

and we breathe,

your breath in mine,

clouds of perfect happiness.

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.

10 thoughts on “Cold”

  1. I love this, Jane! I thought it was going to be all grey and gloomy, but then you surprised me. πŸ™‚
    But aside from that, the imaginative words/phrases (stilt-walk, frozen-jointed) and rhythm are wonderful.
    I’ve been reading so much hate and gloom, this made me happy.

  2. I loved the visualisation of the homeless curling up around their hunger, that was excellent.
    A truly enjoyable poem which had a delightful tempo to it.

      1. I agree, perhaps it would be possible to write a poem where the word choice is irrelevant, yet gives only timbre to a rhythm… An exercise for another day perhaps!

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