Here is a selection of my poetry for February
A February Day Roland Hilder
Early today, close by the border of night's dream, a thrush sang :
Through thinning darkness before dawn I heard his song repeat.
Insistently he sang, scattering remnants of soft sleep,
Commanding me, "Awake, awake."
The moon hung full and white above dark trees
And he had come this time, clear voiced on frosty air,
Above snowdrops massed where in the snow he'd fed :
So thankful then for meagre gifts.
Now, on season's cusp, he has returned to claim domain
And share this benediction to the Spring.
Through rolling fog dawn slowly breaks.
Beyond the haze, above ghost trees,
the sun hangs like a silver disc
just visible, then out of sight.
Three magpies fly by silently —
dark shadows from a pi ying play
against a glowing screen of white
that muffles every sound.
Larks’ Hill — where those birds used to sing —
lies still, mist’s curtain screens the view
of orchard trees waiting for Spring.
Along the path, out on the lane,
the great reveal as sun breaks through:
the order of a fresh pleached hedge,
the ring of bill hook cutting wood.
Pi ying – Chinese shadow puppets
HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY, AUSCHWITZ
(27th. January 2005.)
This place is stark and cold.
Old people, huddled in the snow,
Listen to fine words and bonds -
Remember those that went before.
Like ash, the gentle snowflakes fall
As smoke weaves up like memories.
Beyond the dignitaries and lights
A deer slips past the silent crowd
To where ghost trees wait, thin as hope
It was done by pure deception:
“Tradesmen bring essential tools;
take work permits and belongings
board the train, obey the rules.”
From the ghetto to a new life –
thousands bought this simple lie,
on “the ramp” they were divided :
those for work and those to die.
To the left, the old and feeble,
younger children, tired wives;
to the right, the fit and strongest –
“medical” performed by eye.
“Come this way to take a shower,”
they were told who’d failed the test,
all the left queue shuffled forward,
trusting it was for the best.
Growing up when things were tight,
she kept her clothes intact and whole :
a stitch in time extending life -
running repairs were deftly sewn.
The modern way confuses her :
letting good clothing run to holes
as youngsters never learn to sew –
cheap fashion is disposable…
Just like the friends that they unfriend
at Facebook on their internet,
these friendships are just transient
and very soon turn into holes.
Her friendships few, but made to last,
because she works to keep them fresh :
a please, a thank you or a hug –
a stitch in time is all it takes.
Today it’s sights —
not scents or sounds but things I’ve seen
that always mark an early Spring —
drear Winter turning green…
The smallest things :
snowdrops, violet, celandines
seen breaking through despite hoar frost —
are Spring times special signs.
near hazel catkins in the hedge,
while pussy willow starts to show
along the rough path’s edge.
From high above
paired rooks revive their nest with twigs,
whilst, on the water courting grebes
exchange a token sprig of weed
as, dancing closely breast to breast,
they tango in the breeze.
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