True North

This week’s main event for Britain and Ireland has been the Siberian weather front being characterised as #BeastFromTheEast. It seemed all a bit of a hum to us in the west of Ireland. On Wednesday morning it was indeed very cold, but sunny and dry. I chatted with the Foróige coordinator of our Cavan Youth Arts Lab session about whether we should cancel for that evening, having noticed a trend for early cancellations.West Cavan schools were open. There was none of this snow and ice from yellow to orange alerts the Met Eíreann was on about. We joked about those soft Dubliners who didn’t know how to cope with a bit of weather. By lunchtime it was clear that the #BeastFromtheEast was heading straight for the Atlantic, stopping by us on its way. The entire of the Republic of Ireland was on red alert.

Yet the snow that has arrived is, unusually for us, dry powder. So our lane, under normal freezes an ice rink, is passable. We were able to drive on empty roads across the border to fetch some parcels from the Parcel Motel along with milk, eggs, bread and spuds. Being cautious, I ventured out with my walking stick, but it really was redundant.

The wind, however, is cruel. The pets are sensible to the biting cold and only stay out long enough to answer the call of nature. Or, in Ellie’s case, to make a snow angel before dashing back indoors. The dogs enjoyed the change of venue with the car ride to the shop though.

So Friday arrives and it is time to address writing my weekly poem. I was helped by the timely arrival of an email fromVisualVerse, which offers a pictorial prompt along with the challenge to write between 50-500 words within an hour. So I rattled off a submission. Which was a good five finger poetry writing exercise. But then there is the evidence of my training for NaPoWriMo2018 here to consider. So, with the #BeastFromTheEast as muse, this is my weekly offering.

True North

A wind to make your jaws ache

Rictus grinning into gale

A wind to cut through you

Making you wish chain mail could be thermal 

A wind to sear the snowdrops

Droop the daffs and immature aconite

A wind to sting a false Spring

February playing us will crush the rest of the year

A wind of dips and flake drops

Of polar ice cap taking its hat off

Copyright Bee Smith 2018

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