In the Fire-Frost Morning

To wish everybody a peaceful Christmas and to apologise for my absence from blogging in recent weeks, I hope you will enjoy this poem from Hilary Davies’ new collection Exile and Kingdom (Enitharmon Press, 2016). Though I don’t share her faith, I do share her hope, though too often the world seems determined to test both faith and hope.


In the Fire-Frost Morning

In the fire-frost morning the geese drive south

Trailing hosannas over the estuaries

And the beasts on the clockhouse stir.

From Tottenham Hale to Hackney Downs

The trumpets of day sound

And the gulls swarm up like heralds

Over the sleepers. ‘Awake! Awake!’

Throw open your skylights, thrust your heads to see:

Horseshoe thicket is afire with dawn

And the waters of Spring Hill teem.

Doors, dance. Fill the houses with praises.

God’s promise blazes in the reedbeds,

Bursting over the winter willows and sallows

All the way down to waiting Walthamstow.



5 thoughts on “In the Fire-Frost Morning

  1. Happy Christmas Martyn from Patricia and William. What a wonderful poem you have chosen for for the Christmas blog.

    Hope 2017 will be a good year for you.

    Love from us both

    Liked by 1 person

      • Happy New Year Martyn. Have you been reading Blake this wonderful tribute to the city that no one with life in their veins could deny i look up and see angelic hosts, or is it the ghosts of the past winging their ways to the sun, i hope to see you one day like you i despise the sovereign sun and the Threadneedle St share brokers but Art needs money and even the rich might like to read at least collect poetry, good old Blake sitting in his Eden recipient of brother’s simulacrum, a yellow in the tail of the eye, definition of the Indian ghost, i feel that give soul had had the transcendental experience of at least an opiate, his genius was his dope, a smoking ghost in the eye of the storm. These birds know their way home, even Gilbert White in Selbourne knew they weren’t roosting in the sand columbarium, from here i can see druidic mistletoe and no one has climbed that tree, such is the abandonment of tradition, not so much in the supermarket, i respect my genius loci, a Norman poet known to Montmartre, came to quaff champagne at the turning of the year. Time is a human construct, but decay is only too apparent, in star-time, sidereal gegenschein that light is unfolding from a atomic structure long blown, i cite the Crab Nebulae, that Chinese astronomers clocked millennia before anyone in the Occident has got around to it, a supernova that the Ancient Greeks thought those birds were flying to.

        Have a good one,
        robt. cole


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