The winter solstice has passed, and today is one of those Canberra days of rare and perfect beauty. Ali has a lovely poem this week by Amy Carmichael, better known as a missionary but a dab hand at poetry too. Given that I'm looking at bare hills and rich colours instead of snowy wastes, I chose an Australian, Thomas Shapcott, and a poem not strictly solstic; instead, "Winter Westerlies."
The knuckled shadows of the western wind
strike and stumble on our little hill
and leave a mark as visible and chill
as broken glass in all the air – you mind
your fingers on such mornings! Strong, unkind,
the winter vandal tweaks and worries till
he makes the country quick as razors; still
he cuffs, and all the land is roused and shined.
On days like these, these are the cleared-eyed days,
that wind is rogue, is brave, to slap the back
and snap the lock and strike and break and crack
the lazy comfortable town all ways
at once. And when, his three days done, he dies,
the whole town settles deep again, and sighs.