“….. in a certain faraway land the cold is so intense that words freeze as soon as they are uttered, and after some time then thaw and become audible, so that words spoken in winter go unheard until the next summer.”– Plutarch, Moralia
In the closed-lid-dark we open our eyes:
after a time, discern glints of colour.
The mind, like a door that keeps sticking
makes promises for someone else to keep
thinks of new things that nobody thought to give
takes it away.
Light peels minute from minute.
Cold grinds shadows to hoar frost,
flays birdsong to sinew. Everything
withdraws into its marrow.
Long nights are punctuated
by ice-sharp stars
as if they held answers
to questions that had no words.
I am afraid of the noise of wind in pine trees,
as though a big sea runs through them –
the punch of air, the boom of branches
the creak of a mast. Their bones
are growing old inside me.
The river sound is flecked
with almost words
in its hurry
Ancient language flows by
They are listening,
but don’t hear
The hunter is kept at bay.
Bare twigs of oak and ash sift the air,
crave to touch edges of light.
I tread on the lives of leaves,
copper and gold,
staring up from the ground.
Dead things, things I’d rather never
Blood among roots.
A gust of starling starts on the rim of the wind.
Rain hammers nails to the land, fog sinks into granite.
Sunset flows through us,
reaches our heart.
A robin sings out
in the dark.
Ianuarius, Latin for the god of the door.
Wulf-monath is Anglo Saxon and means wolf month.
Tammikuu, is Finnish for month of the oak, but the original meaning was the month of the heart of winter, as tammi has initially meant axis or core.
Leden is Czech for ice month.
Gennaio is Italian.
Wintarmanoth Charlemagne’s word for winter / cold month.