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Winter Evenings, East Suffolk


The sun's and our days are shortening
While before solstice the visible moon fills out,
What on these lowland wide horizons lingers
As though to reiterate recall, is dusk:
On the south-westerm from flame to glimmer
Slowly the glow subsides
From scarlet to roseate, amber drifts and shifts
Or else to a strip of blue
Deeper than any a summer noon sustained.
If a black cloud hangs there it shines
Rimmed with departing light.

December's last leafage responds:
A red so dark on this maple
It's nightfall too, detained,
Wisps of pale yellow to ochre
On the rugosa stems wilting
As on those with buds for another year.

Then, moon not yet full, whole skies
Whether clouded or clear
And silver tarnishing.

Never a night is total
Until our vision, dimmed,
Disowns the shapes, the shadows,
All colours mixed on palettes too far away.
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