Sunday, April 11, 2010

Frost Lingers in the Shadows, Michael

Frost Lingers in the Shadows
by Michael

Winters day
Warm sun, cold earth
The frost lingers in the shadows

The picket fence casts zebra stripes on the pavement
My car wears an old man’s hair – shock of grey, left-side parting
The shadowy fingers of tussock grass reach out across the open moor
At the mountain’s north face, the Arctic Circle extends
Like an army encamped, preparing for retreat?
The sun rises but the frost lingers still

Frost lingers in my heart too
Broken, splintered by my grief
My act of protection, casts my heart in shadow
The Son has risen, but the frost lingers still



about the piece.
Michael loves extended analogies. This poem was written during a winter's walk about six months after his daughter Abigail died. As he recalls "the extending frost was fighting a battle with the warm sun and the frost was winning on that day. There were lots of images on this walk which seemed to speak to me of grief and the grip of death. The frost seemed a fitting metaphor for my grief which despite the occasional ray of hope was very much dominating my life." Michael has combined this short poem with some pictures he took on a walk the following winter (January 2010).  You can view those pictures here. Michael enjoys hillwalking and mountaineering and remembers that "it was -12C when I set off from the car to climb this mountain. The snow was everywhere and formed some beautiful patterns all around. But this was a truly savage beauty! I remembered the poem I had written the year before and realised that some beauty was surely shining through my grief - but it remained a fairly fragile and precarious place. The photos were taken with a Canon EOS20D and the light was absolutely stunning. I never made the summit because I was too busy taking pictures."

about the contributor.
Michael wrote his first poem ever a few days after his daughter Abigail was stillborn in October 2008. Since then he has found creative writing as a good outlet for his grief and emotions. He has also for several years enjoyed photography. In his own words "death and grief are ugly beyond words but that does not mean we cannot find beauty within the pain and perhaps it is even enhanced because of the contrast. This is part of my journey of healing and a way I can honour my daughter." Michael has been blogging since July 2009 at  Living in the Rainbow.


  1. Beautiful pictures, and a very touching poem to accompany them. Glad for your sharing these. Thank you.

  2. Nature has always managed to speak to my grief. Each season seems to understands a different aspect sorrow, love and longing. Your photos are beautiful and the poem is very moving.

  3. Very powerful poem, and the photos are absolutely stunning.

  4. This is where I was all winter, and still am. We named our baby boy Frost. There is beauty to be found, I feel him all around me. Thank you for sharing the beauty you have found with us.


What do you think?