Slow of pulse and steady-purposed
in the darknesses behind stark-moonlit sheds,
the lee of mossy walls —
in stealths of ground mist,
eaves of hoarfrost-crystalled rooves —
antennaed, tuned, alive at every sense
to the parentheses that breathe between
chill owl-hoot; harsh-stricken vixen call —
lie, covert all,
the overlooked, unreckoned-with, unshown,
keeping Winter’s night watch
that you might stand, as you do now:
stamping, coughing, blowing on your hands,
and think yourself alone.
Copyright © Ken Cumberlidge 2017
Birkenhead-born recovering actor Ken Cumberlidge has been writing poetry, songs and stories on and off for 40+ years, during which his work has appeared variously in print and, more recently, online (Algebra of Owls / Ink, Sweat & Tears / Snakeskin). Since 2011 he’s been based in Norwich, where he can be seen muttering and gesticulating in the company of an embarrassed-looking dog. Don’t worry – the dog’s fine.