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Winter Sunlight
Nicholas Henshall


Smoke coils from a chimney stack into a clear blue sky.
The smell of burnt leaves and charred wood fills the air.
Holly berries along the garden path are ripe red
And a blinding laser beam of light bathes every speck of dust
In a transcendent glow.

People soldier on down the road, hands deep in pockets,
Necks scarved, feet double-socked.
Walking half-bent, noses dripping,
They are yearning for warm linen sheets, mince pies in the oven,
And to sit by the fireplace, happy, like Tiny Tim.

It feels like a last hurrah,
Putting decorations up one minute, then away again a moment later.
Tingles and tinsel are tidied away in the attic
As our skeletal form curls in on itself--
Souls warmed after savouring the good.

Does any of it matter?
This basking in the sunlight, the winter radiance, the intense stillness?
I like to think it does.
I like to think this moment can be caught in the palm of my hand
And held for ever more, which is Now.
As I sit here in the garden,
I am entranced by the evergreen standing firm by the black-barked oak,
Creating a wizened starkness as a crimson dusk falls,
Making me feel that everything is connected somehow,
Present somehow.

© by Nicholas Henshall
Used with the author's permission.

Nicholas Henshall was born in Manchester and grew up in northern England. He now lives in Paris, where he works as a journalist. Nicholas loves long conversations, new destinations, and poetry. His favorite literary lines are the soliloquy, “What light is light if Silvia be not seen?” from Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona.


Post New Comment:
A wonderful winter's day, beautifully described! Thank you, Nicholas!
Posted 01/07/2024 05:11 PM
Beautiful poem, Nicholas!
Posted 01/07/2024 02:49 PM
Lori Levy:
Love the warmth and appreciation for the moment expressed in this poem.
Posted 01/06/2024 01:22 PM
Wilda Morris:
Yearning... /to sit by the fireplace, happy, like Tiny Tim." Nice!
Posted 01/06/2024 12:05 PM
Very nice imagery and also very thoughtful. The feeling of everything being connected is rare, joyous and more than worth holding in the palm of the hand.
Posted 01/06/2024 09:07 AM
Youve certainly captured the mood, especially whenour skeletal form curls in on itself.
Posted 01/06/2024 09:03 AM
Angela Hoffman:
Posted 01/06/2024 07:55 AM

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