The August Project - Versions & Covers

The Spare Winter

Each week the weather spirals
cold on the rails The blue falls.
I've pinned hopes on a ticket away
closed my door on the Snowy winds.
The camellia gave up two flowers - alone
I write myself into a mystery at a window.
I gather simpler things on the plate
and count the birds I've missed in the strife.

Each day tendencies penetrate headphones
no-one sits among silence.
In deep city thralls there's a kind of happiness
at each counter something ordinary and bright.
'Praise and blame belong to youth and glory.'
Even a pair of sneakers grows old quick.
Winter rain cannot manage its balm
the black cat softens the iron roof.

- after reading Du Fu

Note: one line quoted from Angus Graham's translation of 'The Autumn Wastes', in Poems of the Late T'Ang, Penguin, 1965

The first draft was written on the train. The seat was cramped, bad design these new trains. But the sun was good, though day is colder. I bumped into an old colleague in the lobby. We're all moving away, or at least spiralling past. The notebook only just contained the lines of the poem. Juggling notebooks is a never-ending game. I feel as if I should get out more.

above sunset
the light divided


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