Seeming to stand still, by Jane Poulton

still water

summer’s blue mirror

in which we swam as if it was eternity

and we were all that ever mattered

is ice

hard as bone

 

frost re-maps fell moor and harrowed field

to binary black and white or ghosts of themselves

rime blooms on the windward side of things

bole branch fallen seed anything evergreen or still

it burns to the touch and cleaving to it

cleaves bare earth

 

winds keen like jilted mistresses

roam roaring in leafless canopies

stalk in ginnels

harry tides and travellers

tease who and where they please

whisper vengeance through small hours

 

then

conjoined companions light and dark

their infinite journey bound by axis and degree

seem to pause as if uncertain of their course

and this strange lingering proves

more dazzling than their customary path

 

the world is unfamiliar to itself

sunbeams halt to cut through stone

we cease our tilting spin

and in a moment shorter than a blink

night becomes day

day becomes night

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