Christmas Snow Poem by John Calvert

SNOW CLEARING

All day we met the snow, on every curve
Each locked white cutting, as we heaved the weight
Three coupled engines, plough at either end
We sliced the edge of air with loco breath
Rasping as pistons kicked compacted white
And stuttering drive wheels spun on skidding rail
As snow lobbed handfuls past our tarpulined dark
We crept back, til we charged blankness, again
We rammed, we thudded , winter nudged aside
There on the footplate steam and steel rejoiced
And in that emptied landscape, nothing moved
Along the tick of telegraph and fence
A struggling afternoon drew evening down
Already freezing on our driven line

John Calvert 2015

 

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Too Much Blue

During my career in social housing, the work I loved best was helping the homeless.  Sadly, domestic violence was all too often the cause.  And Christmas was a bad time to be on the street with nowhere to go…

 

TOO MUCH BLUE

Paul Beech

 

Her unborn kicks as weary she rests on a frozen bench in a bleak northern town.

Seven hours have passed since she fled his fists with naught but the babe in her womb, the clothes on her back and a small knotted bundle.  Seven hours of bus after bus, caring not where she went, only to pile up the miles behind her.  He mustn’t find her.  Must never find her.

The darkening clouds have a purple tinge, a sure sign of snow.  Strangers hurry by; crows croak in a foreign tongue.  Across the road, outside the Town Hall, garishly lit with coloured lights, stands a Christmas tree.

A headscarf bobs before her.  A withered hand points to a door.  A modest side-door with a department sign outside.   Her unborn kicks.  Then stiffly she rises, bundle in hand.

Too much blue, she thinks, crossing.  Too much blue.

O for a splash of gold…

 

~~

 

Copyright © Paul Beech 2013

[Previously posted on Linkedin and the author’s own blog, Grandy’s Landing.]