So blue the morning
rises from the frost

dark the water
beneath the ice

still the world
behind cold glass

January morning




Cold of daybreak
and we suck in our breath
gasp at the sudden burning in the throat
lungs filling with fire.

White as the ashes of hell
the silent earth waits
painted scenery
of an apocalyptic play;

air glitters vibrates
with small birdwings
and a glimmer of hope runs
through the veins of the morning

like quicksilver.


not frost white or mist pearl
no photogenic shading

all is flat

crows beat a black rhythm
across furrowed fields

and sky colourless as the water
pouring over the world’s edge.

I listen for the echo of growing
rising with the clouds of seaspray

but only crowsong stirs the air
black throats choking on the sun.

Bleak mid-winter


Cold creeps

rain pours

and by the door a river runs.

Clouds bowl

across the skating rink sky

and trees wave bare arms calling


Too wet and cold and dim and dull

to walk wet fields

and even the mob of finches by the house

has dispersed beneath the tears.

Dog grumbles in his sleep

cats twitch

and the stove spits and spats its stingy heat.


the cold sits tight as pack ice

and by the door

a river runs.

Haibun: January

For the dverse prompt.

When indoor temperatures are only a few degrees above the outside, and chilblains form peeling potatoes got out of the barn, there is a kinship with the cold, the stillness and the furtive feathered and furred life that creeps and sweeps about the frosty fields. I feed the birds and whatever else enjoys fruit past its best and the contents of the bread bin. January is chill. We all long for the spring.

Stark still sky echoes

with the boom of cracking ice—

north wind keening.