In the bleak midwinter…

This is grim; it seems no end in sight Though perhaps the darkest point is here, The plumber will come, and this freezing night Will die, and glow of morning reappear. Until then we are reduced to a tribal dance Negotiating the ice-cold shower, Scott of the Antarctic would have no chance But cometh the man when cometh the hour. But what a test for my elderly heart, Though to ease the pain the plan we make Is to introduce each body part On its own, wash, out again in a shake. Cold-shower, hokey-cokey makes me shout, ‘In out, in out, that’s what it’s all about’.


Wood transforms itself under my touch Whether it be hard olive or mountain pine, Something I never questioned much, Belonging to a carpenter’s long line. I love the scent, the texture and the grain Revealed by my steady and knowing hand As I make things both elegant and plain, Polishing with oil and smoothing with sand. When I first saw her, troubled lass, and lost Already big with child and destiny I loved and married her, there was no cost, I reckoned she would grow close to me. And these workman’s hands must now I know, Help this miracle to thrive and grow.

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