Winter says ‘Earth, come to bed and love me.
Leave all this frippery of leafage and blossom,
all this burgeoning, fruiting, ripe-and-rot bustle.
I’ll give you frost-gems for every frond and tendril.
I’ll wrap you in snowflakes, a glittering ice-cloak.
Earth, take your ease, chill out with me.’
Earth is aroused. Trees strip-tease in western gales.
Goose-skeins unravel across his rumpled skies.
Birds beasts and herbs must fend for themselves
while she decks her bareness with jasmine
and mistletoe. She pours him bumpers
of frothing river-water, snow-melt,
bobbing goosanders and ice-floes.
His cold rains embrace her; he impregnates her
with ice. Their ecstasy reverberates in midnight
cries of owl and vixen. They sleep at last
in a stillness of frozen ponds
and the blue glitter of stars.
Ah, but earth is fickle. Already,
even as winter drowses, dreaming of permafrost,
earth turns in her sleep towards the spring.
About Elizabeth Rimmer:
Elizabeth Rimmer is a poet, editor for Red Squirrel Press and occasional translator. She has published three collections of poetry with Red Squirrel Press: Wherever We Live Now (2011) The Territory of Rain (2015) and Haggards (2018), and is working on a fourth Burnedthumb, which will be out in 2021. Her website is at www.burnedthumb.com.