Friday, 18 June 2010

The Midnight Hour


(c)  Ted Hughes

I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:

Something else is alive

Beside the clock’s loneliness

And this blank page where my fingers move.

Through the window I see no star:

Something more near

Though deeper within darkness

Is entering the loneliness:

Cold, delicately as the dark snow,

A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;

Two eyes serve a movement, that now

And again now, and now, and now

Sets neat prints into the snow

Between trees, and warily a lame

Shadow lags by stump and in hollow

Of a body that is bold to come

Across clearings, an eye,

A widening deepening greenness,

Brilliantly, concentratedly,

Coming about its own business

Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox

It enters the dark hole of the head.

The window is starless still; the clock ticks,

The page is printed.

I just enjoy reading Ted Hughes poetry.  It is out of this world!  It is intricate and full of depth of meaning.
This poem of his reminded me of a late night 'Fox Thought' which helped me to write a poem of my own.
I had originally intended to write my poem about Bryan my husband.  What he meant to me down the years and the things I admire about him.  I even got as far as to read some of it over the phone to my son and he liked what he heard.  Then strangely, one evening I was burning the midnight oil, trying to chisel away and improve on my original  poem,  whilst using the concept of a box and what was inside or outside it;  When I seemed to be taken over by another hand and I wrote the following poem.
Perhaps it was the fear of death through my having cancer at the time, which pushed the words out of my head and onto paper.  Who knows?  I do know that I didn't sit down intending to write it.
I suppose you could call it my 'Comfort' poem.
So here is my 'Fox Thought' poem.  No way am I classing it in the same league as Ted Hughes poem above.  I am just borrowing on the concepts and theme of his as to how mine came about.

The Box (c) Jeanie Kirkby 2006


Do not be afraid to hold this box,

Hewn by an immortal hand.

Hold it. Feel its life force

Springing from its sides.

Turn it and see your life

Before time stood still.

Be not afraid to turn it again to see how in spring

you ran laughing and playing

With your childhood friends;

In the park after dark

Climbing trees. All this you’ll see,

And more, when you hold the side

With the mirrors of infinity.

You see there is no need to be afraid.

When there, before you, on another side

Is a chimera of your family appearing,

And reappearing, throughout life’s ages.

Happily unaware of time slowing

Down, throughout your summer and autumn.

Do not be afraid to see through the leaves

Of time and look at what you had before

Time stood still.


Slide the window of the world open

On its other side, and smell the winter snows.

Bone chillingly cold as they rasp at the door

Of life and death.

See how they glow like crystal tears.

Do not be afraid to open the lid

And breathe in the scent of heavens

Warm welcome to you as a spirit of the universe.

Do not be afraid as the roots of the box

Disappear and you are revealed as a

Shimmering surge of the nuclei and atoms

Of all that you are and were to man.

You will see inside the box, as you lift the lid,

His world lays waiting for you to step into.

Do not be afraid.

All will be as you have known it.

Love Jeanie xxxxxxx


Gerry said...

How beautiful. I always love your poems. I like it that you give the creation of one long thought, because when the poem finally comes forth it is bound to be a moving one. Thank you for sharing the Ted Hughes poem, too as I have not read much of his poetry. Always nice to hear from you.

Jan said...

Pheww Jeanne that was excellent ,it really caught me ,it sort of reached me ,erm ,not putting this very well but it moved me Janxx

Joan said...

It is a lovely poem so sad yet poingnant really enjoyed it. Great to see you writing again too sometimes it's hard to find something new to write about. Keep it up Love Joan

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

That is a beautiful poem with m any layers of meaning! Patsy from

Marie said...

Like the poem by Ted Hughes, but LOVE the poem by you Jeanie. You are very talented writer. You really touched my heart. To be able to do that with the written word is a very special gift. xxoo

Kath said...

How I lost and now found your blog Jeannie I will never know, but glad I have.Well arn't you talented you clever lady.The poem is brilliant.Keep up the good work I so enjoyed it.Thankyou for the kind words in my blog much appreciated.Have a Blessed Sunday." Happy Fathers Day" to all of the Fathers you know.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

Liz said...

I am in the box like one of Schroedinger’s kittens.
I wait for the box to be opened.

Your poetry is thought provoking and that in this world is worth more than gold.

Maria said...

Oh my goodness. I am writing through tears in my eyes over your poem. It exactly described some of my feelings when I had breast cancer (twice)...the music on the site amplified the feeling. It wasn't sad..I'm not sure what it which brought the tears but yes they were and are still brimming, not quite overflowing. What a beautiful talent you have. I found your blog thru Marie's photo challenge blog. Your photo entry for that blog if cropped would make a beautiful banner.... Thank-you. Hope you can stop by my photoblog sometime...:) Smile to you!

Jeanie said...

My thanks to everyone who kindly posted comments here about my poem.
I too was very touched by how my words touched you also.
Much love
Jeanie xx