Frost beauty

For dverse


When wordless winds wail, cold their desperate cry,

we huddle round the glowing stove and wait

for frost to festoon eaves and window glass,


the chill to reach deep into flesh and bone.

Yet in the meadows life goes on the same,

when wordless winds wail cold their desperate cry.


The netted stars hang frozen in the black,

unseen, though glitter fills the night with light;

we huddle round the glowing stove and wait.


Sunrise will come and break the fastest hold,

the longest night ends diamond-prismed bright

in frost that festoons eaves and window glass.

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.

38 thoughts on “Frost beauty”

  1. Wonderful, Jane! I love frost and mist, but not cold, and your poem had me shivering – apart from the fact that there is currently no heating in my study and I’m wrapped up in a La Redoute freebie quilt and can barely feel my fingers and toes! I might take a break to warm up.
    I love the alliteration and the contrast in the opening stanza, which made me long for a glowing stove – I won’t be lighting the one in the kitchen until later this afternoon. The line about frost festooning eaves and window glass reminded me of the winter of 1981, when we were living in the middle of nowhere in Ireland and got snowed in – there were icicles hanging from the bedroom ceiling!
    I especially love the lines:
    ‘The netted stars hang frozen in the black,
    unseen, though glitter fills the night with light’.

    1. Thank you, Kim. Don’t let yourself get chilled through! The study is the only room in this house with any heating. I’d die without the stove!
      Icicles from the bedroom ceiling. My idea of hell.

    1. Everything swirls in frosty winds. Last night there was a thick frosty mist and the torch beam was thick with particles that looked like a storm of frost crystals. It’s a good thing we don’t have close neighbours, they might think I was signaling to enemy aircraft or something.

  2. Sounds like winter here in Iowa! We burn wood in our furnace in coldest part of winter…warmed us cutting and stacking as well 🙂 The stark beauty makes winter bearable…wonder-full poem, Jane.

    1. Thank you Lynn 🙂 It gets nowhere near as cold here as in Iowa. Thank goodness! The stove just about keeps one room warm as long as the outside temperatures are well above freezing.

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