First of all, please accept my apologies for the recent lack of blog posts . . . Regular readers will remember that my baby was due in December. Well, I am delighted to be able to tell you that Amber Iris Moore arrived six days early on December 3rd. Since then my life has become a topsy-turvy mix of feeding, changing, and grabbing sleep and snacks whenever possible!
Five weeks later, things have settled down a little and I am managing to find some computer time. Here is a blog post I meant to publish in the build up to the festive season. I hope you enjoy the read!
Icicles don’t bend
They stand up straight and spear.
Through them, I see a white expanse,
the field has stolen snow, hoards it,
as a girl hoards crystal.
Gentle outlines of cattle emerge,
stamped with patches of earth and cloud.
Piebald heroes, open to cold,
warm breath, fighting frost.
© K. S. Moore 2014
Some Background Information
Before I moved to Ireland, in 2009, I had always thought of myself as a winter person. My birthday is in November and I’ve always loved the build up to Christmas. My childhood only featured the odd snow day – so much of winter was spent ‘dreaming of a white Christmas, or even a white something . . .’ I have a handful of snow related memories, although a trip to Brecon with my parents often satisfied that yearning for white landscapes, and even saw us attempting a spot of outdoor ice-skating on one occasion!
But, yes, since settling in Ireland and making my home in a rural area, the winter wonderland dream has not quite caught alight. You see, when you live in a country cottage, with stone walls and no insulation, it’s very cold, and being cold is not comfortable! Yes, we have an open fire, which provides great heat, when in its full roaring glory, but it also takes a lot of maintenance.
This was never more evident than during the snow-laden winter of 2010, a time I dramatically refer to as ‘The Great Snow’. This period in time saw Hubs and I trapped in our yard for days and a little afraid to chance a walk, when snow turned to ice and even a few steps forward seemed hazardous . . . We were surrounded by stunning, chilling walls of white and along with the beauty of it all, came fear.
It was also around this time that I saw ‘proper icicles’ on our garden shed. The poem ‘Icicles combines this memory with images of the snowy fields and dark, embattled cattle, who came to the gate to stare at us. Their ability to cope with the conditions challenged us to do the same, and somehow we escaped, through the prison bars of the icicles and out to the other side.