Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A Coventry Snow Storm

14:32:00 Posted by Lara Clayton , , , , , , , , , , 6 comments
I haven't written a poem since I quit smoking 10 days ago. I have lost the ability to concentrate. I have felt restless rather than inspired. However, I decided to challenge myself to write a poem for this week's post. I decided it was time to force my mind to focus. I decided to prove to myself that I can write - and that I can write without the aid of cigarettes... It was a challenge, hence the lateness of this post.

Coventry Blizzard, 1990

During the night it fell at steady rate. Large flakes racing down
through street light shine, through the searching full-beam lights
of a lone motorist travelling home on white tarmac roads;

his tyres pressing a snow leopard print along the length of the street,
creating two shaky lines of imperfection
which nature quickly filled and smoothed.

By morning, cars had been transformed into cotton wool hills,
phone lines draped down wooden poles and slithered across the ground.
Communication severed; a city left to wait and thaw in silence.

We missed school; built a snowman in the front garden,
gave him two stone eyes and twiggy arms. Finger-carved a smile on his face, 
placed one of dad’s silk ties around his neck.

For the rest of the day I sat in the bay window, watching. Thinking
I could bring him to life with nothing more than hope
and the power of my own mind.

At lunchtime I ate jam sandwiches, drank warm blackcurrant squash.
Kept my gaze fixed on the snowman’s stone stare,
waiting to see a blink, anything to prove him real.

But I saw nothing, nothing except two little girls in t-shirts and jeans.
Like a modern Dickensian scene they struggled
with a pushchair through the snow;

a sack of potatoes where a baby would normally sit.
The children’s lips were the colour of winter’s first frost, their skin
ghostly like an early morning December mist,

and as I sat in the window, the snowman slowly shrunk.

Thinking. Hoping. Wishing for something else. 

Thank you for reading,


Lindsay said...

That was beautiful lara. xx

Ste said...

I agree, absolutely stunning imagery. I loved the leopard print street - the scene was beautifully set in the first two stanzas. The final image of the kids with potatos in a pushchair very evocative as well. Loved it. Tonight's writing just got a hell of a lot harder...

Ste said...

Oh and well done for sticking at the no-smoking resolution - you're doing a lot better than a certain girlfriend I could mention :(

sue sheard said...

Gorgeous imagery and I love the way you capture the playful child's eye view of the consequences of a heavy snowfall. You created a very homely scene and all without the aid of nicotine- brilliant work Lara.

Ashley R Lister said...

Fantastic x 2*

*Fantastic Poem
*Fantastic at managing 10 days without a cigarette. I know how difficult it is.


vicky ellis said...

Aww - so wistful and poignant. Makes you want to reach out and give little Lara a cuddle :)

As they've said - beautiful Lara. (as always)