A poem for the first of December today, month of ice and cold, but also, warming epiphanies, that 'conjure flame.'
Kingfisher - Peter Scupham
December took us where the idling water
Rose in a ghost of smoke, its banks hard-thatched
With blanching reeds, the sun in a far quarter.
Short days had struck a bitter chain together
In links of blue and white so closely matched
They made an equipoise we called the weather.
There, the first snowfall grew to carapace,
The pulse beneath it beating slow and blind,
And every kind of absence marked the face
On which we walked as if we were not lost,
As if there was something there to find
Beneath a sleep of branches grey with frost.
We smiled, and spoke small words which had no hold
Upon the darkness we had carried there,
Our bents and winter dead-things, wisps of cold.
And then, from wastes of stub and nothing came
The Kingfisher, whose instancy laid bare
His proof that ice and sapphire conjure flame.