Hungry cold

For the dverse haibun Monday prompt. Winter is coming, and it is not my favourite time of year.

Evening mist1

 

In this country of hot summers and mild winters, frost is short and sharp, a stab in the back, the underhand blow that wilts the house plants left outdoors, that cracks terracotta pots with water left in them. It comes like a thief in the night, of cold moonlight and the diamond glitter of the stars. Faerie, it laps the grass stalks with furred tongue, and stings the lungs with the breath of the otherworld. Mornings break with the brittle tang of ice, and mist billows like taffeta clouds among the naked trees.

Too cold—like the deer, and the rabbits cowering beneath the ground, I long for the sun to rise warm and golden soft and send life coursing once again through these frozen veins.

 

Pale ice faces stare

from every hedge, cobweb-strung—

hunger stalks these fields.

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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.

46 thoughts on “Hungry cold”

  1. Winter is not my paramour either. I dream of strangling snowflakes, and using a blowtorch on frost. Our poems had the same tone–great minds & all that. You hooked me with /mornings break with the brittle tang of ice, and mist billows like taffeta clouds among the naked trees/–damn fine word-smithing.

  2. I love the way you describe frost as ‘short and sharp, a stab in the back’, Jane, and the beautiful imagery of ‘cold moonlight and the diamond glitter of the stars’ and frost as a faerie that ‘laps the grass stalks with furred tongue, and stings the lungs with the breath of the otherworld’. The haiku is a stunner!

    1. I like the look of frost, but it’s like a shroud. Means nothing is growing and although you and I might hate slugs, some critters eat them. A couple of the monsters I’ve seen lately would make a whole meal for a fox. Big as sausages!

  3. You will learn I am a great lover of frost, snow, cold weather….:-) I like your descriptions in this but I especially like the last line of the haiku. I am a sucker – put out corn and all sorts of munchies for the wild critters, just as I grow extras in my garden for the foraging deer. I loved the tone of this haibun and the haiku was perfection.

    1. Thank you! It isn’t even cold here yet, but I feel for the wild things that will have to work even harder to find enough to eat, and being the hunting season, they have another worry to cope with…

  4. Fantastic imagery here. ‘The Faerie, it laps the grass stalks with furred tongue, and stings the lungs with the breath of the otherworld.’ – is just great – and sounds great too.

  5. This was wonderful, Jane. The imagery is beautiful, and that last line–wow! I actually had an image of Death walking through a barren field. I’m not a lover of frost or winter either, though I can also admire its beauty. I would like to have one pretty, but not severe snowfall, and then I’d like the daffodils to come up.

    1. I didn’t notice it too much in town. We have birds and cats in the garden and they manage in the winter because people feed them. Here everything is at the mercy of the weather and worse—the hunters.

    1. When you think about it, there are only a few months of the year, and only a few degrees of latitude where the climate is pleasant. Most of the planet for most of the year is either too hot, too cold, too dry or too wet!

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