Today, the east of England enjoyed the heaviest snowfall for 18 years.

At first it fell silently

like dust in a sunbeam;

floating, gliding, dropping,   

highlighting bough and trunk,

tracing the pyramidal spruce,

filling the spiked holly bowls,

rutting in the roads and making

a mystery of the curving path.


Then the wind stripped powder from the hedge

conjuring devils that whirled about the field,

and gathered into cold saharas

of arête, drift and slope, that were .   

bulldozed by eager dogs.   


Later a blur of wet flakes  

lay thick on the garden. 

It pressed on the borders,

grew on the fence where the blackbird squatted,

cloaked the listless shame of the rhododendron  

and gathered in clots on the

spreading branches of the old cedar,


The image was transformed

into a negative contrast of  

black river, light earth,

and chalked-in roofs. 

Snow melted from stone flags to leave

a crossword lined in white.  

Only an incongruous droop of an early catkin

and the brown and yellow stems of dogwood   

disturbed the monotony. 


People trudged head down like prowling feather beds,

their silent feet imprinting a dark trail as the

solid mist merged with an early dusk,

and the muffled excitement of the boys on the hill.  .  

slid into the dark.