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The Warm and the Cold

by
 Freezing dusk is closing
 Like a slow trap of steel
On trees and roads and hills and all
 That can no longer feel.
But the carp is in its depth Like a planet in its heaven.
And the badger in its bedding Like a loaf in the oven.
And the butterfly in its mummy Like a viol in its case.
And the owl in its feathers Like a doll in its lace.
Freezing dusk has tightened Like a nut screwed tight On the starry aeroplane Of the soaring night.
But the trout is in its hole Like a chuckle in a sleeper.
The hare strays down the highway Like a root going deeper.
The snail is dry in the outhouse Like a seed in a sunflower.
The owl is pale on the gatepost Like a clock on its tower.
Moonlight freezes the shaggy world Like a mammoth of ice - The past and the future Are the jaws of a steel vice.
But the cod is in the tide-rip Like a key in a purse.
The deer are on the bare-blown hill Like smiles on a nurse.
The flies are behind the plaster Like the lost score of a jig.
Sparrows are in the ivy-clump Like money in a pig.
Such a frost The flimsy moon Has lost her wits.
A star falls.
The sweating farmers Turn in their sleep Like oxen on spits.

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