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The Immanent Moment

by Kevan Manwaring


      The Sound of Snow


falling on snow.


A deepening silence.


The city is still.

Platforms empty.

Roads unburdened

of their incessant freight.


Trees, shuddering in the sudden wind,

exfoliate ice blossom.


There’s probably a word –

in an Arctic culture accustomed to

and observant of its nuances –

for this kind of snow.

Powdered crystal

over softer layers:

a cake of ground glass

impossible to roll

into a snow torso –

like making dough

without water.


Churned up by

excited scurryings,

sledge runs,

snowman trails,

the moulds of dog noses,

bird feet runes.

Squeaking polystyrene

under boots –

like some cheap special effect.


To find a snowfield

unmarked by man –

to be the first

to place one’s foot

in virgin regions.


To make one’s mark

and to know it is

the original.


Not to follow

in the blurred footfalls of others,

but to be the pioneer,

breaking trail.


One foot after another

into freshly fallen flakes.

Boot soundlessly slipping

into the place waiting for it.


Walking on angel down.


No one around.

No direction –

except your own.


Nothing to listen to


the sound of snow

falling on snow.

         Song of the North Wind


Wild North Wind


frosty breath from the broken teeth of glaciers,

breaching spume of sperm whales,

endless stillness of the taiga,

ineffable Fata Morgana of the aurora borealis.


Wild North Wind


unsentimental, austere,

you suffer no fools –

cut the wheat from the chaff,

strip bare all illusions.


Wild North Wind


your howling song sends men bosky,

makes seadogs batten down hatches –

become winter stay-at-homes, hearth-tenders, coal-biters,

nurture the fires of families, recite sagas, nurse grudges.


Wild North Wind


grey-cloaked raider, storm-herder,

all bow to your power –

mightiest of winds, bringer of the white death,

the cold kiss of eternal peace.


Wild North Wind


a grim giant striding the land,

heavy boots on rooftops, dislodging drift –

tile-clatterer, sky-strafer,

son of the midnight sun.


Wild North Wind


when will you stop your restless search for vengeance?

When will you cease your bloodfeud with summer?

When will your tundra heart thaw?

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