One last doha

Sometimes in sleep I walk the forest, wrapped in bear-skins,
Giving voice to tree and river, sky and stone.

Or ride a clean-limbed horse across the high dun prairie
Tuned in to the silent song of wind-washed grass.

Of nights my restless mind runs frantic through lampless streets,
A blade in every shadow, I will not speak;

Nor of sheet-twisting hours caught on some lightning-laced cliff,
My eyes and soul drawn ever towards the drop.

Today I wake to sun, empty roads, the west wind’s kiss.
What dream could conjure such a world, or promise?



Loving the doha, so just one more before I move on to something else! The first two lines were given to me by my friend, mentor and inspiration Thomas Davis, for whom no praise is too high, or expression of gratitude sufficient. N.


Doha II

Last day of winter. Could I be anywhere but here,
Marking the moment, feeling the great wheel turn?

One final skirmish in a war fought on long cold fronts
Against the North wind’s fists, clear nights with sharp knives.

Now its white wolves, cowed and muzzled, slink back to their lairs
Among the floes and treeless slopes shot with scree.

A westerly breeze sends dead leaves spinning before me
As, together, we run winter off the road.



I started this on 29 February but wrote the closing two lines today, when the weather finally realised that Spring officially began a week ago. The long months of filthy bikes and endless layers of thermal/windproof/waterproof cycling kit are at last coming to an end. And not a moment too soon. N.