Posted by: John Looker | 28 February, 2010


Here’s a second winter poem, picking up on the unusual amount of snow we’ve had this year in England. It is a pair to the last poem, “Winter Closes In”.

The photos below are by Tom Stevens, taken with permission from his photography blog at


A cold day, and a premonition of snow.

No longer the celestial vault,
the sky is a lid,
low and heavy over the roofs and spires and domes.
The streets are sprayed with salt,
the temperature drops,
and an ancient instinct alerts the senses to a change in the rules.

During the night the snow begins to fall.

Is it the silence that wakes us?
It could be the light,
for the room has a luminosity from Nature’s winter lab:
outside the snowflakes tumble;
they’re catching and firing particles of light from the sodium lamps.

Daybreak. Breakfast. And it’s time to confront that snow.

Wearing unsuitable shoes
and encumbered with bags,
homo sapiens emerges on two improbable legs.
Couples will cling to each other
they may laugh, or exclaim,
slithering in slow detours to where the asphalt’s clear.

Their lives have now been re-engineered by snow.

Distances grow, time slows down,
and spoken words form crystals in the air.

© John Stevens 2010



  1. Very nice poem… can’t say there is anything about it that I don’t like (that’s high praise from this end). The imagery is excellent – phrases such as the sky is a lid, Nature’s winter lab and catching and firing particles of light are superb. And there are no distractions from the theme to make the reader wonder where the poem is headed. Really good work.


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